I am one of those people who carries all of their tension in the shoulders.  I can tell when I’m particularly stressed because my poor neck and shoulders are an absolute mess.  Plus it takes a very long time to let go of that tension once the source of anxiety subsides.  For me, any sort of baking or general food prep has this effect.

Many people use cooking as stress-relief, I’m told.  I have a long way to go before I grow into one of them.  Even just the action of chopping vegetables causes major clenching.  I can’t help it, those muscles still need a lot of practice.  Though I have learned the proper way to use a knife (the sort of sliding down, then up motion that chefs make look so easy), which has at least helped cut the process time in half.

Today I tackled a new recipe.  I recently made an account on, and this was the very first thing I searched.  Anytime that I am in a restaurant, there are three words that are bound to leap out at me: cilantro (or coriander, as I’ve mentioned before), chorizo and RHUBARB.  Any mere mention of this unique plant (the rhubarb), I’m like Pavlov’s dogs.  I salivate, I smack my lips, I practically pant.  I credit my dear mother in this obsession. It was she who first brought home a pack of frozen rhubarb to go into my latest crumble creation. I turned my nose up at the strange-looking chopped veggie, but she insisted I give it a chance. It’s been a love affair ever since. Hence the recipe of the day: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.

When I was last in America, I tried my first strawberry rhubarb pie. It was a store-bought one, from Jerry’s, and it was absolutely superb. I believe I annoyed my family nearly to death with my constant odes to the tasty tart that sat in our fridge only as long as I could control myself. It wasn’t long.  I was pestering everyone to try it lest I eat the whole thing myself before they got a chance to taste.  Unlike mine, the Jerry’s version was completely covered.  The pastry-strip topping was my call.

I was cool as a cucumber through all of the prep, then proceeded to agonize and hover over the oven the entire 40 minutes it took for this gorgeous pie to bake.  I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.  I didn’t follow the recipe word for word, but I hope it’ll still taste amazing.  I added some cornstarch to make it less runny.  Hopefully after it sets overnight it’ll be perfection.  I’ll let you know!


Author: emma a.

I'm Emma, a Minnesota girl getting back in touch with my creative side. Since graduating university in 2008 (the first time), I've been traveling and living abroad. Seven years ago I settled in Australia with my husband. I love running, reading, writing, knitting and pilates. I'm also a physiotherapy student and soon-to-be mother of a baby boy.

One thought on “Clench…unclench”

  1. So Matt and I just dug into the pie, as we don’t have the self-control to wait until tomorrow. It tastes absolutely wonderful! I’ve never had a dish turn out so well! Matt’s smile said it all. It’s exactly how it’s supposed to taste. Triumph! I can now add it to my list of mastered recipes.

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