Spring forward into spring.

Have you, like me waited patiently for today when the clocks spring forward and we can officially think of spring and summer and be glad that we survived what turned out to be a very long and hard winter?

I have just wandered around my garden taking stock of what has survived and what didn’t make it through the weather.

The good news is I still have 6 chickens, 1 guinea pig, 1 cat, 2 dogs and oh yes 3 children!

The garden is looking surprisingly good, apart from the lawn which looks extremely sorry for itself.  Everything seems to have survived, I worry most about the Clematis that has been here since my Mum and Dad moved in, which was 1989.  But it has lots of shoots and I’ve cut it back to let it create a colourful show.

Last spring, I purchased a ‘peonie’ at considerable expense.  It was one of those, buy it get it planted remove the packaging and pretend it’s been there for ages kind of purchase.  I know, only women to this, but there you go! Don’t be shocked by my honesty, I’m sure the lady in your life does it too.  We have wardrobes that can tell a similar tale!

Anyway, I am delighted to say it has thanked me by putting on lots of new growth already.

The raised beds and Access Cold Frame are also looking lovely.  I removed the net to take some photos to show you and trapped a huge bumble bee inside the net.  He got cross with me as I tried to untangle him to make his escape possible.  But, I was pleased to see him and hear his buzz.  There are sounds that you forget about over winter and make you smile when they return, don’t you agree?

My forced rhubarb was pushing the pots off the ground that I had put over them to make them grow.  Looking at my three patches, I have enough for a rhubarb and strawberry crumble today.  The strawberries are from the Coop, but my strawberry plants that have wintered inside my Access Garden Frame have put on lots of new growth, so we can look forward to them in late spring I hope.

I discovered this crumble a couple of years ago, the secret to this is not the rhubarb and strawberry combination, which is amazing in itself, but when you add the zest and juice of a fresh orange, something extra ordinary happens to your taste buds!  I hope you enjoy it.

Rhubarb and Strawberry Crumble

1lb of rhubarb – or however much you have picked!

1 large punnet strawberries – again you decide how many you want

1 orange, zest and juice removed

8 oz self raising flour

6oz sugar

2oz sugar to sprinkle over the fruit

4oz best butter – nothing else will do.

Cream or ice cream to serve.

Carefully peel your rhubarb and chop into 1” chunks, wash and chop your strawberries to a similar size or leave whole if you have lots of them.  Sprinkle over the zest, juice and sugar onto the fruit.

Rub together or use your food processor – the flour, sugar and butter until you get a ‘breadcrumb’ consistency.  Sprinkle over the fruit.

(It all depends what size of crumble you need to make)  I have a family that likes lots of crumble, so I tend to use 8oz of flour but if you only want a small one, use 4oz and 2oz butter etc.

Bake in the oven at 180°C for about 30 minutes, or until it is golden brown.

Take the phone off the hook and sit in your garden and enjoy!

2 Comments

  1. Michael
    Posted April 14, 2010 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    I like the recipe for crumble, one of my favourite dishes. If my Rhubarb which is only just appearing gives me enough I will try it. I must take issue with the final ingredient however, as the only suitable thing to accompany crumble is custard!!

  2. Anne
    Posted April 14, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your comment! For any readers outside of the UK, custard is a yummy english tradition that accompanies puddings. It’s a vanilla sauce made with milk and cornflower that is a pale yellow colour and of thick pouring consistency. Some like the skin and some don’t.

    As kids, my mum would have to divide the skin on top of the custard and share it EQUALLY amongst us!

    Michael, put a pot over your rhubarb to force it, you’ll have enough in no time.