This is the time of year when I most miss my dancers.
Late April and early May are the times when Morris and Rapper dancers have the most to do, at least in the Northeastern U.S. There’s the New England Folk Festival Association’s annual gathering, an extravaganza of all imaginable kinds of folk dancing and folk music. There are various ales, as gatherings of Morris Dancers are called, including the Ginger Ale, especially for young dancers. There are May Day celebrations, mother’s day dances, and more. There aren’t many Morris or Rapper Sword dancers around, and those of us who keep the traditions alive tend to form interweaving patterns of close-knit communities. I was on a teenage Morris and Sword team, and the dancers I met both within that group and at the events we participated in are some of the warmest and most fascinating people I know.
An intergenerational group of us from many different teams used to gather each year on Cape Cod for a weekend of dancing and friendship. We swapped dances, did workshops for the public, attempted wildly dangerous gymnastics, went swimming, sang, played silly game, contra danced the night away. Everyone brought something to share for a feast—a grand affair testifying to the fact that folk dancers tend to be darn good cooks.
The last year I attended the gathering, I took along this crumble. It was spring, and the rhubarb was rioting in the garden. I warmed it in the oven, and we ate bowls of it doused in cream on the porch, tired and shivering and happy in the cool sea breeze.
I’ll be back someday—maybe not on Cape Cod, but definitely among dancers, crashing sticks, tangling swords, sharing life.
A remote descendant of the crumble in the The King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook.
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 C coconut sugar or sucanat
- 2 T flour (I used sprouted whole wheat)
- 1 T butter, melted
- zest and juice of 1 orange
- 4 C rhubarb, cut into 1/2″ slices
- 1 1/3 C flour (again, I used sprouted, but use what you have)
- 1/4 C coconut sugar or sucanat
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 C butter
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, 1 1/2 C coconut sugar, 2 T flour, 1 T butter, and the orange zest and juice. Mix in the rhubarb, coating it evenly. Pour the sticky mess into a 9×9-inch baking dish.
In another bowl, mix together the remaining dry ingredients, then rub in the butter until you have a crumbly mixture. Spread this evenly over the rhubarb, then put the crumble in the oven and bake it for 40-45 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Allow to cool and set for at least 10 minutes before serving. This is delicious on its own, with yogurt, cream, or—best of all—a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream.