Strawberry, Rhubarb and Ginger Pie

All the photos in this post were taken by my new friend Layla Mays, who provided me with the best company while I made this pie. 

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I'm approaching 30 and I have to admit that I'm a little bit behind on some life goals, both of the serious and of the silly variety. I'm not exactly where I thought I'd be at this age and I ask myself incessantly: is that okay? And if it's not okay, what am I going to do about it? 

The short answer is yes, it's okay; I'm not done yet!

The long answer is complicated, as long answers (and most things in this world) tend to be. I'm not done yet, but who knows how long I have left? I never used to wonder about my personal expiration, not even for a second, until a semi ran over me on I-24 three years ago. That's a surefire way to make yourself work on a tighter deadline...as soon as you overcome crippling PTSD (more on that another time, perhaps?). The downside: I feel rushed. Some of the things on the list I haven't started yet and they seem to be too monumental to even decide what the first step might be. Others sound so relatively simple, I tell myself that it's lazy and not okay at all that I haven't worked towards them; if I wanted them as much as I thought, wouldn't I have done more about it? One or two of them are downright terrifying. I don't want to let any of them go, but I also suspect that I may not be cunning or brave enough to accomplish them by myself. So here they are, in no particular order:

Drive cross-country by myself
Build, own, live in, and die in a cob house with a root cellar
Plant a giant garden next to my cob house, then protect it forever and ever with an easement 
Go naked cliff jumping in Greece
Write a book (or two or three or twenty) 
Learn to box and win a match
Save up $50,0000 (or more!) and spend every last dime of it feeding hungry people
Be half as happy about anything (or preferably everything) as this dog is about swimming
Master cooking a minimum of 10 legit Indian dishes
Adopt enough pitbulls to fill a king sized bed
Throw a fancy party celebrating the premier of a movie written by my main squeeze, Dan Fine
Be able to take my top off when it's hot at the beach or wherever and not get arrested or molested (read: overthrow rape culture)
Have Patrick Stewart read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban to me while I fall asleep
Do heroine under the Aurora Borealis (that's a joke from Broad City, haters)

During the months I've been asking myself these questions, I've come to only one hard and fast conclusion: in order to accomplish any of these goals, I have to add two more things to the list- "Learn to combat my natural instinct to procrastinate" and "Ask for help more often."

Could there be two more
difficult tasks for a very independent, overly stubborn, and annoyingly distractible person? Two more things to figure out and two more potential failures.

Many days I get stuck in a cycle of frustration that begins and ends with these two steps that basically mean changing the core of my character. I go around and around until I'm dizzy and dysfunctional. My anxiety hits the roof and fuels my procrastination; I'm embarrassed to ask for help because I'm procrastinated for too long. And just when the anxiety is so heavy I think I might crack, I make pie.

Pie makes sense. It has a simple, logical order to it. The feel of dough between my fingers and the sweet tune of the rolling pin knocking against the counter are undeniably more real, more consequential, and more truthful than the resounding "can't, can't, can't" being chanted by the demons in my head. They are cast out only by the smell of butter and the color of strawberries, which hold the power to silence the chant, calm the mind, and save me, time and time again. 

Strawberry, Rhubarb and Ginger Pie
Makes one 9.5" pie, Serves 8

For the crust
12 ounces butter
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup ice water
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg yolk

For the Filling
4 cups fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/2" cubes
4 cups fresh strawberries, halved or quartered, depending on the size
scant 1/2 cup raw cane sugar
scant 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour, cornstarch, or tapioca starch
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger*
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


1. Follow these instructions to make pie crust.
2. Divide the pie dough into two pieces, one a good deal larger than the other.
3. Refrigerate dough while you make the filling. Give ginger and cloves a toss with the sugar to distribute evenly before mixing with fruit. Set aside.
4. Roll the larger disc out and form it in a deep dish 9-10" pie plate. Place it in the freezer for about 20 minutes while your oven preheats to 425 degrees.
5. Roll out the smaller piece of dough based on how you wish to do your lattice. Prepare your egg yolk by mixing it well with about 1/2 teaspoon of water.
6. When your oven is ready, place filling in pie and lattice away. Brush any exposed dough with egg wash and top with extra sugar if desired.
7. Bake for 15 minutes in the bottom third of the oven. Then, turn oven down to 350 and move your pie to a middle rack. Continue baking for another another hour, or until crust is golden brown and filling is thickened, up to an hour and a half. 
8. Let cool on a rack for a minimum of two hours before slicing- it's delicious hot, but the filling isn't set until it's mostly cooled (see pictures above!). Top with whipped cream. Keep leftovers in fridge for up to one week. 

*or more if you like it very spicy!