Sweet success of garden patch
HAPPINESS, for me, is eating fresh produce grown in my own backyard.
I've been hard at work for the past year, transforming a yard that once grew nothing but grass into a food-producing oasis.
Four raised no-dig garden beds filled with a mixture of manure, soil, straw and lucerne are now lush and green. Now I'm enjoying eggplant, chard, strawberries, lettuce and broccoli. And a big clump of rhubarb is thriving in one corner.
All this bounty didn't appear as if by magic, of course, but it is so satisfying to eat a salad made with lettuce that is still screaming, so to speak.
Today's recipe is for rhubarb and strawberry crumble. Of course, if you don't have a vegie patch handy you can buy the ingredients - but it's so much better to grow your own.
Rhubarb and strawberry crumble
INGREDIENTS: 4 cups chopped rhubarb (about 8 stalks) 2 punnets strawberries, hulled and sliced in half grated zest and juice of half an orange 1/2 cup raw sugar 200g softened unsalted butter 3/4 cup rolled oats 150g brown sugar 1 1/2 cups plain flour double cream or vanilla custard, to serve
METHOD: Preheat oven to 180C. Combine rhubarb and strawberries in a small pan. Add the zest and juice of the orange and the raw sugar; cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Taste and add more sugar if necessary. Set aside.
In a small bowl, roughly combine the butter, rolled oats, brown sugar and flour. Divide the fruit mixture between four ovenproof ramekins. Sprinkle with the crumble mixture and place ramekins on an oven sheet to catch any spills. Bake at 180C for 20 min, then increase to 200C and bake for a further 20 min. Serve with a dollop of double cream or a slurp of vanilla custard.