Thursday, June 6, 2013

Rhubarb Apple Gingersnap Crumble

I just got back from a training session for Community Kitchen Facilitators through the Vancouver Food Bank.

Apparently that is my job. I wasn't really sure what my job title was or what I had going on.

I often asked myself:
Am I running a cooking club? A cooking class? A social group that eats together? 
Am I a teacher? Leader? Chef? Or a mom that wants some adult conversation?

This was an inspiring session where I realized that people in various walks of life are excited about cooking together, eating together and building community.

I met people running similar community kitchens but with different groups (downtown Eastside hotel residents, new immigrants, university students, seniors, young families, various cultural groups, etc.)

As facilitators, we shared our challenges, our resources and ideas. We also shared in cooking a meal together as participants instead of facilitators. It was a great experience to see our programs through another lens.

Community kitchens are where people come together to cook. It is usually a highly social process where participants learn from each other and share their knowledge. Facilitators basically guide this process of collaboration.

Anyone can start a community kitchen. You can get friends together to cook meals to freeze. You can gather people to do big batch canning or preserving. You can work within your home, your school, your church, anywhere in your community. I love this.

If I could invite all my friends over to cook, I would. Cooking together, eating together and sharing stories is my idea of a good time.

Here is one of the recipes we made today. It just so happened I ended up with the dessert group and of course rhubarb was on the menu!

Besides learning that I am a community kitchen facilitator, I learned something else today- gingersnaps are an interesting addition to a rhubarb crumble. Enjoy!

Rhubarb and Apple Gingersnap Crumble
The original recipe made 2- 9X13" pans, so I halved the recipe here. 
This recipe is pretty adaptable if you have more or less rhubarb or apple. And if you have less cookie crumbs, just add a little more oatmeal. 
They served this up with vanilla greek yogurt- yum!

4 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1/2" pieces
4 cups apple, peeled and chopped into 1/2" pieces
1/3 cup sugar (or more depending on how sour your rhubarb is!)
3 tbsp flour

3 cups finely ground gingersnaps (crush with a rolling pin in a ziploc or process in food processor or blender)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cups cold butter

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, mix together rhubarb and apples. Add sugar and flour and toss well to mix.
3. Make topping: In a large bowl, combine ground gingersnaps, salt, oatmeal, flour and brown sugar.
4. Add butter and cut into dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly. (You can work it in with your hands or a pastry blender).
5. Pour fruit mixture into 9X13" pan. Sprinkle crumb topping over top and bake for 50-55 minutes or until fruit starts to bubble on the sides of the pan.

*Like Rhubarb Crumble/Crisp?
Here is my all time favourite recipe for Raspberry Rhubarb Crisp.