Work has begun again down at the allotment. It has been a long time coming and it did get to the point where I questioned whether it really was possible to fit the allotment in to our ever increasingly busy lives. There is nothing remotley relaxing about owning an allotment. In reality, whenever I (& Mr.Scott) get a moment to go down there, we inevitably stay for twice as long as we said we would and we can return the following week knowing there will be equally as many hours needed to attend to various jobs.
I say all this and you may think I am on the verge of throwing on the allotment towel. But, no I am not. In fact, I do love it. The allotment provides a welcome retreat from my virtual world and I have come to the conclusion that I need it in my life to give me sanity and restrain my mild addiction to the virtual world. A chance escape from it all. When I am there, absorbed by seed planting, relentless weeding, digging and hoeing that is all that matters. It is so good for me. I rarely check my phone and I don’t really take photos.I just work on the job in hand and reap the rewards of growing your own.
The rewards so far have been sorrel, rainbow chard, perpetual spinach, chives, spring onions and rhubarb. The pink stemmed gigantic leaved plant is what this post is all about. Rhubarb is the plant of the moment, it seems and I have been experimenting with it over the last week.
So, I have just made rhubarb vodka following THIS recipe. It isn’t ready for consumption for another THREE months though. I have also experimented with sour flavourings to the max in Ottolenghi’s latest SOUR salad recipe. Raw rhubarb is curious but in a good way. The salad was unlike anything I have ever made before but as with all Ottolenghi recipes, his flavours bring ingredients to life, allowing ingredients to shine like the sun.
The recipe I want to share with you is something I have adapted from one of my favourite food writers, Sybil Kapoor. This is a recipe I have adapted from her book SIMPLY BRITISH. Her recipe begins with a quote from Eliza Acton on the benefits of eating fruit compote and I knew I had to make it. The poaching liquor in itself is just beautiful. Heady, mildly alcoholic and perfectly good to drink neat.
I adapted the almond cream, turning it into a ginger custard cream. I baked the ginger biscuits myself and used the winning recipe (for the biscuit crunch) from The Guardian “Cook” featuring the best “Crunchy” recipe, made by Ruth at VeggiSchmooze. They most certainly do pack a crunch, as well as tasting very good. This recipe is something I would urge you to try. It is everything a good sweet dish should be. Layers of flavours, harmonious and well balanced. Soft poached aromatic fruit with a silky yet crunchy spiced cream. This dish sums up just why Sybil Kapoor is one of my absolute favourite food writers.
I am linking this recipe to the SwallowCharity RECIPES FOR LIFE challenge over at BangersMashChat. The ingredients this month are Rhubarb, Lemon and Spice.
I am also sending it over the Ren Behan’s Simple and in Season. Rhubarb is certainly in season right now, according to my allotment and Utterly Scrummy’s, she has so many lovely rhubarb recipes to try out! I am soon going to be bombarded with gooseberries and hopefully elderflowers too. So the allotment is forgiven for being such hard work for this year.