Sunday, 10 April 2011

A celebration of nice weather. And another rhubarb recipe

We have had lovely, lovely weather this weekend. When it is warm in Cambridge everybody goes out and finds a patch of grass and then sits on it.
Divided but together, staring into the middle distance
I count myself exceptionally fortunate to have my own patch of grass i.e. the garden to sit on. It has been possibly my favourite week of the year in the garden: as I am not much of a gardener, I cannot say that our patch is a cornucopia of earthly delights with new and thrilling blooms every month of the year. No. We have a few ratty daffodils and that is about it. We do, however, at the very beginning of summer, have the cherry blossom tree, which has survived my lack of pruning, and an ivy which is trying to strangle it, and has done its magnificant cherry blossom thing again.
You see, if that was a quilt you'd think it was a bit garish
Partner has also been enjoying the garden.
Partner in shades and not properly attired. God knows what the neighbours think. They probably think, there goes the neighbourhood
The squirrel who comes and eats the nuts I put out for the birds is completely furious that Partner is encroaching on his turf. Completely furious. He cannot forgive. He sits on the fence and stares at him. I am hoping he does not move from passive aggression to active resistance, but Partner is very laissez-faire about wildlife (there was an incident recently involving a spider in the bathroom) so I am leaving him to fend for himself.

Mum and dad came to visit this weekend and brought me some rhubarb. We have been having lots of rhubarb since it came into season and I was happy to have it again as I am enjoying it this year. Mum said she was about to take a knife to her rhubarb patch when she was apprehended by Beryl, who is my mother’s next door neighbour, peering at her over the hedge. ‘Put that knife down!’ Beryl said. ‘I will give you some of my own rhubarb to take to Susie. Because my rhubarb is bigger’. So my mother feels her own rhubarb has been unforgiveably dissed, but we all enjoyed Beryl’s rhubarb and I have sent her some marmalade to say thank you. I feel I have essentially moved to a barter economy and perhaps I may end up like the man who started off with a paperclip and ended up owning something like prime real estate in Manhattan (or perhaps it was a slightly larger paperclip). Anyway, I shall share with you my rhubarb-using-up recipe. Because, it uses lots of rhubarb (and I am suspecting rhubarb oversupply might have become a bit critical in Chesterfield if people are fighting over who is giving theirs away) and is so easy you can cook it when your brain has gone awol, which mine has this week. I always think that would be a fine recipe book: Recipes You Can Cook Even When You Have PMT or Have Started on the Gin. I cooked it with a migraine! - For those of you who get them you will know the flashing lights do not help with difficult culinary manoeuvres.

Rhubarb Fool – serves 4 people (or thereabouts).

500g rhubarb
150g sugar
250ml double cream

Chop up the rhubarb into smallish pieces. Put it in an ovenproof dish with the sugar, give it a good stir round. Again, you can use any sugar you have got, I always go digging at the back of the cupboard where I seem to have an endless supply of muscovado sugar which I have not consciously bought for years, it is a mystery where it comes from. Cover the dish in foil and cook at about 190-200 degrees C for about 40 minutes, then take it out, poke it with a fork, and if it is soft then good, it is done, if not, leave for about another 15-20 mins. When it is done, sieve the juice into a separate jug and save it, then leave the rhubarb to cool. Then whip all the cream into soft peaks, squash up the rhubarb and fold it through, and fold through a splash of the juice. Then you can add the rest of the juice to taste when you have served up the fool.

Delicious. If I had had energy and no migraine I would have made some biscuits to go with it, shortbread would have gone really well. I have no photos sadly because we ate it really quickly, so, you might want to take the lack of photo as, counterintuitively, a really good sign. Happy rhubarbing.


The Gingerbread Lady said...

Gawsh. That Beryl's a real wagon, as we'd say in Ireland. Who does she think she is, with her flippin big rhubarb? I hope Mum Beauty gave her a piece of her mind.

Voie de Vie said...

Is there no end to rhubarb foolery? Here, I think, because we are nowhere near rhubarb season. :) Nevertheless, love the fool recipe. I wonder the equivalent of double cream on this side of the pond.

Marushka C. said...

I am waiting for the cookbook which inspires family members to want to cook for me, instead of me cooking for them all the time.

Ms C @ HappyElastic said...

There are rhubarb recipes all over blogsville today and I can't make any of them because I have no rhubarb and even if I did my family would pull 'bleuurgh' faces. I want some rhubarb-y goodness!