I absolutely love meeting new people! Talking to strangers and striking up conversations with the people I meet around town is something I cherish, although there seems to be a major divide in the world these days with everyone feeling the need to “pick a side” in one way or another. I’ll admit, I can be just as guilty of this, but what’s more important to me is a connection to other fellow humans through what brings us together in the first place. And sometimes through those connections, amazing new friendships are built.

You see, when we meet strangers — whether at a farmers market, our favorite restaurant or even just down along the bay raking for clams — we know that we automatically have an immediate common interest with these strangers around us. So instead of focusing on what divides us, let’s focus on what brings us together.

What can be more beautiful than connecting with the people around us and understanding that by focusing on our common interests, being kind, loving and helpful toward one another, we are also being kind, loving and helpful toward ourselves.

As humans, it’s in our nature to connect and build relationships, and in a time of social distancing, we seem to have forgotten just how valuable this human connection is.

I recently connected with some new friends, Katie and Kristi Schrock, who I met through my Instagram page @thekitchenwild that immediately became real life friends when we finally met in person digging for clams along the Alsea Bay. Those ladies were kind enough to surprise me with some delicious goodies from their farm in Corvallis, including some beautiful rhubarb, which I transformed into this mouth-watering cobbler. So through social media and our mutual love of clamming, we developed an immediate friendship that very well could last a lifetime.

Farm Fresh Rhubarb & Strawberry Cobbler

Ingredients:

Rhubarb filling

3 cups rhubarb, diced

1 pound strawberries

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Cobbler Topping:

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar, plus a little extra for dusting cobbler before it goes in the oven

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes

1/2 cup milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375°

Mix together rhubarb, strawberries, 2/3 cup sugar, butter, vanilla and cornstarch.

Pour mixture into cast iron skillet or baking dish.

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, sugar and baking powder. Once mixed well, add milk and cold butter.

Top rhubarb mixture with crumb topping and a little extra dusting of sugar, bake uncovered for approximately 45 minutes.

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