11 April 2012
Technically, rhubarb isn’t fruit. However, in the kitchen, simple is good and rhubarb is for afters (OK, also for jam and chutney). To get some, go to Astrose or Tesbury’s and roam the chilly aisles for a bag of something floppy and imported, or go to a greengrocer’s for something crisper. Alternatively, grow your pudding from scratch.
First obtain a plot of ground. Be patient though, because telly programmes have bumped up allotment waiting lists. Next, wonder what the orange coconutty root is that you’ve dug up, realise it’s rhubarb, and re-plant it somewhere sunny. Augment this with another bit plot number 3 didn’t want, adding plenty of compost. In two years you’ll be able to pull luscious pink stems. Notice it’s pull not cut, and remember the leaves are poisonous. You may also notice slow-worms, bees, and the sweet songs of robins and bluetits while you’re about it.
Then, get in the kitchen, put chunks of rhubarb, sprinkled with sugar, in an oven-proof dish, and bake at gas mark 4 (180°C) for 30 to 40 minutes. This way (via Mrs Teasel from St Delia), avoids your rhubarb boiling to mush. Add cream or custard and go for it. Or, there are crumble recipes all over the web, but I might mention adding oats or ground almonds to the crumble mix, and some chopped stem ginger in syrup to the rhubarb. And any rhubarb you don’t cook is an excellent excuse to call on the neighbours.
Post by our lovely guest blogger Old Teasel.
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