Pie-in-a-Jar: Strawberry Rhubarb

6 May

Pie is my zen. Time and again, I’m always surprised by the random thoughts that enter my mind as I clear my head and focus on making pie.  Over the past few weeks, my pietifications have centered around a funny phenomenon that I now affectionately call the Disappearing Mommy.

I’ve been seeing articles recently about how social media – Facebook specifically – can lower your self esteem and influence your self perception in more negative than positive ways (thank GOODNESS Facebook did not exist when I was a teenager).  While I’m sure these articles make very good points, I just usually shrug them off and feel grateful that I would never allow something as trite as Facebook to influence how I feel about myself.

As usual, I’m a walking contradiction and have realized that Facebook has actually begun to affect the way I see my life as told through photos.   Not a day goes by that I don’t see a beautiful picture posted of a friend in my newsfeed. In the age of Instagram and Hipstamatic i phone apps, beautiful, artsy pictures are being posted left and right.

These women post new profile pictures of themselves more frequently than I can come up with something witty to say in my status update.  The photos are cool – maybe a profile of her staring off in the distance, or a sassy head tilt accompanied by some sun glasses.  Or they are with their children, lost in a gaze or walking in the shadows.  These are not the same pictures that I have of myself – mostly in the middle of talking, chewing or eyes shut.  That’s when I even come across a picture of myself.  See, I wonder who is taking pictures of these women?  Do they take them themselves?  Do they have husbands or partners who fawn over them and carry a camera at all times? Is there a well kept secret that families are hiring professional photographers on a regular basis much like the revelation I just had that a majority of my friends hire housekeepers?

The reality is, even if I wanted to post pictures of myself, I don’t have many to choose from.  And to make matters worse, I don’t have many pictures of me with my children.  I discovered this when my son had an assignment to bring a picture of himself and his Mom to show and tell.  As I was tearing the house apart looking for a picture, I realized that photos of him and his Dad were in abundance, but other than the “just born” photos, the pictures of the two of us were slim.  I finally found one from three years ago, but at least it was the two of us.

And so the photos of my friends and their children flood my Facebook news feed and I wonder what my photo legacy has become.  If something happened to me tomorrow, what snapshots would tell the story of my life with them?

I’ve become the disappearing mommy whose time behind the lens has had the unintended consequence of cheating her out of the opportunity to document her life.  Will they remember how I buried my face under their ear to kiss their necks and smell them?  Will they remember our dance parties in the living room before dinner?  Will they remember that I liked to jump on trampolines and sing karaoke?  I don’t know – no one is taking pictures of that stuff.

I do not have many photos of me and my own Mom.  I have a few family photos, but I honestly don’t know if I have a photo of just the two of us.  Has she always been the one behind the camera?  And if not behind it, avoiding it?  My family is facing generations of disappearing mommies.  Mothers who have created countless photos of the life that happens around them, yet appear all too infrequently on the other side of the lens.

To remedy the disappearing mommy syndrome, I decided that I just need to start asking people to take my picture when the situation warrants.  So, for the past couple of weeks, I have done just that and, you guessed it… posted the pictures on Facebook.

Pie-in-a-Jar:  Strawberry Rhubarb

Pie in a jar has been the next frontier for me.  I mean, who doesn’t want to eat pie out of a jar?  Luckily, two of my friends requested some pie jars for some special occasions, so I had a reason to practice this weekend.  And of course, what better flavor than strawberry rhubarb.  If you don’t know already, I turn into a rhubarb maniac during the springtime, so this is just the first of many posts about rhubarb.

Ingredients and Supplies (makes 8 jars)

8, 4 ounce canning jars (I use Ball)

1 single recipe of pie dough of choice or best of both worlds

1 recipe pre-cooked strawberry rhubarb filling.

(Follow the recipe and directions posted in the mini pie recipe)


1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

2T melted butter

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat oven t0 400

Roll pie dough until it’s about 1/4 inch thick – just as you would for a single crust pie.

Using the lid from one of the jars, cut 8 circles and place each circle at the bottom of each jar.

Roll the dough a second time and begin cutting strips that are about the width of the jar.  You will use these strips to line the sides.  While you want to touch the dough as little as possible, don’t kill yourself on this step.  You can gently piece the dough into place.  If you want to make a decorative edge, be sure to have at least a 1/2 inch of overhang or more.  Otherwise, you can line the dough to the top of the jar.

You can eyeball the width by making a light impression with the jar.

Once the jars are lined, chill in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes – 30 would be better if you have the time.  This is also a great step to do a day ahead of time.  Make the topping by combining the sugar, flour, melted butter and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

When the jars are chilled, place filling into each jar.  The filling should be room temperature or cool if made ahead of time.  Fill each one to the top and cover generously with the topping mixture.

Place jars on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 35 minutes until golden brown and juices bubble.  Cool completely before enjoying.  Welcome spring!

P.S. – there won’t be any left so be sure to snag your own first!


4 Responses to “Pie-in-a-Jar: Strawberry Rhubarb”

  1. Hayla Parker May 8, 2012 at 7:34 am #

    How delightful! My grandmother used to bake rhubarb pies and make a rhubarb jam.
    Terri Marratta sent me this link, and I look forward to more pie recipes and variations. Way to go, Emily!
    Hayla Parker

    • pieeyedbaker May 10, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

      Mrs. Parker! Wow – how are you? That was so nice of Terri to send along my link. I’m going to start to get self conscious with three of my former teachers having read my blog- and two of them English teachers! 🙂 Do you have your grandmother’s recipe for rhubarb pie or jam? If so, you should send it along! Hope all is well your way!

      • Hayla Parker May 11, 2012 at 7:33 am #

        Unfortunately, I don’t have that recipe. I looked for her recipes, including the date pin-wheel cookies that I love, after she died, but I couldn’t find them.

  2. dandelion_blower May 28, 2012 at 7:24 pm #


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