Sunday, November 15, 2009


'She feels they need a dessert. She feels they need it because somewhere, in the
inner recesses where mothers look from time to time to see how they are doing,
something tells her she has been negligent in some way. And dessert is an easy
way of making this up.'
-Norma Jean Harris (Sheila Ballantyne)

Rhubarb Caramel Crust Pie
4 C diced rhubarb,3/4 C flour, 1/2 C rolled oats, 100g butter, 1t baking powder, 3/4 C sugar
3/4 C brown sugar, 1T cornflour, 1/2 C boiling water
You cut the rhurbarb up and put it in the dish. put the dry ingredients into the food processor with the butter in cubes. Chop in the butter. Spread this over the rhubarb. Mix the brown sugar and cornflour together in the food processor and sprinkle this on as a third layer. Finally pur over the boiling water evenly and bake 1/2 hour at about 180.

Yep we've been having a lot of puddings lately, for no particular reason. Rhubarb has a season even though in more temperate climates it may seem to be there all year round. In the Spring when the first shoots come up through to about December is best, and it needs to be kept well watered. Otherwise it gets dry and woody. Like other garden perennials the new growth goes to the outside circle and the inner part becomes old and spent . Every few years it's best to dig out some edge peices to start off new plants. I've made two beds, one each year so that there is always one lot to pick. First year you let it build up strength and don't pick any. This one has thin stems and is reluctant to come out cleanly when you pull it which can cause problems of its own. It's very frost sensitive and disappears all winter; but it is nice and red and stays red when it's cooked so it'll do in the meantime. Rhubarb thrives on grass clipping mulches and anything else. Mostly lots of water.

If there was such a thing as a guest trophy it would have been given out again this week. Jonothon and Morven came to stay enroute back to the U.K so although they brought goodies to get rid of, a bike for Louis and kitchen toys for me of course, what really was the best thing, J noticed that Jude's bike had a puncture so he fixed it in the morning and tonged up the brakes and left it parked by the front door ready to go for when Jude got home from school.
To give the trophy out, if there was one, I would have had to retrieve it from Jen who doesn't know she would have had it. When she came to stay she finished off Giles' craft project from school that had become becalmed for a year and we are now enjoying the footstool. Thanks Jen.
Jonothon and Morven used to get an organic veggie box delivered each week and he asked me a great question that has sort of set me on a better gardening course.
'What are you eating from the garden at the moment?' I know how easy it is to have a garden full of things, but week by week not much alot of the time for tea.
The most difficult time is Spring. Now really. All the winter stuff is cleared for new things, or gone to seed. New season stuff is weeks away. I thought it would be a really useful exercise to catalogue each week what could go in my veggie box if I built it. Well, rhubarb, and asparagus, but that depends on the weather, when it's warm it romps away and when it's cold it grows slowly so enough for a stirfry or a quiche but don't bother making hollandaise this week. There would be a head of garlic, and spring onions and mint and parsely and broad bean tops which I'm pinching out and they need plenty of butter and salt, and potatoes. There's still peas and french beans in the freezer and parsnips, above, dug in early Spring when they begin to go hairy and blanched for the freezer. And at this time of year we chow through the last of the jars of tomato and jars of beetroot. I can see a new sub heading on my blog (with apologies to Marg): a veggie box a week
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  1. Aah Miri it's so lovely to read your blog and being able to catch up with your garden. how I wish you lived near us so that when you finished your garden you could do ours as well.

  2. I can hardly remember the last time I had rhubarb, and I've just realized I miss it. I wish I was at your place for dinner tonight, I could do with a nice hot pudding.
    You know, the veggie box diary is a great idea. We have stuff from our garden most of the time, but as its a very small city garden I am ruthless about what goes in there. Herbs, because they make everything taste better, and they're best when they're fresh. Rocket, lettuce, corn salad, mizuna. Baby beetroot. Not broccoli as there are too many leaves and not enough eats. Not corn because it takes up too much room. Not carrots because they're in the garden for too long. Potatoes, because they're Simon's Favourite Food Ever and you really need to have your own. Tomatoes, because I am still revelling in the thrill of growing them outside after living in Dunedin for so long. Purple dwarf beans ebcause the plants and the flowers are pretty and the beans are nice too.
    The mighty bathroom project started today, very exciting it is too. Hope the birthday season is progressing well, love Jen.

  3. Thanks for the Rhubarb tips. I've got those crowns from Dads place that originally came from Dunblane street and I need to find a good place to put them. That;s a priority now I see. Im almost tempted to put some in the front garden.
    A veggie box a week. THat's a great idea. I fro one would be interested in hearing each week what you've had out of your garden. THat would inspire me for mine.