Saturday, 31 March 2012


The idea of this blog is to bring my two previous blogs (which were proving to be difficult and time consuming) in to one place. This will be the place you can find my meanderings about my allotment and cooking.

My allotment is now starting to produce food, mostly rhubarb at the moment really.
But at least I'm able to have weekly crumbles! That is quite a perk to the allotment at the moment, considering I have 3 clumps of the stuff growing. In fact when I went to the allotment a week later the rhubarb had completely doubled in size, so harvesting is now a weekly task.
I made a rhubarb crumble with the stalks, after disposing of the leaves at the allotment. 

Rhubarb Crumble:
A very basic recipe and along with a basic victoria sponge one of the first I committed to memory.

Chop up about 5 stalks of rhubarb in to one inch chunks and pop into a saucepan. Add a little water and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and allow to cook until tender.

In another bowl, add 4oz of butter to 6oz of flour and 2oz of jumbo oats. The rule of thumb for a crumble is whatever weight of flour you use you use half that of butter and half that again of sugar for sweetnest, typically 8,4 and 2 ounces.

Rub the fat into the flour and when it resembles bread crumbs add the oats and 2 ounces of demarara sugar. 
Put the rhubarb into an oven proof dish and topple the crumble onto the top. Bake at 180C for about 25 minutes and serve with plenty of custard or cream.

The result was delicious and lasted me a week, very tasty breakfasts. 

The allotment is coming along really well, the garlic I planted in the winter is growing very well. 

Also the shallots and red onions that I planted are coming along too! My allium bed is doing really well and as I use all of those veggies in pretty much every dish I cook I'm pleased.

Against my mantra of 'grow only what you will eat' I have dedicated bed number 3 to potatoes... I know, it's all a bit much really but I figured that if I have them available then I will use them. I will look into correct storage of them in my shed come the winter time.
I have dug over the rest of the bed and planted more potatoes too, and although I don't have a photo of it, they are growing!

Last weekend we had an allotment work day to help spruce up the site. The glorious March sunshine made the day a great success and I got to meet some more plot holders too. I was given a section of the bank by the ditch to weed and dig over. The plan is to plant it up to look more appealing to us growers. 
Here it is before, it had been sprayed with some round up as the cootch grass (gootch grass?) is a pretty determined weed.

Two hours later the result is a weed free bank! 

Having caught the sun and with only 20 minutes until I had to leave to go and do the matinee of Half a Sixpence in town I decided to quickly prune my rose and also tayeberry (I'm still umming and ahhing about that to be honest). There was a roaring fire on the site so I made good use of it and burnt the taye and rose branches so I didn't have to find some other way to dispose of them.

I have also trimmed back the unruly sage, transplanted a fennel and rescued some sorry looking thyme bushes from a local hardware shop to create a small herb garden. It's a work in progress and I want to grow some summer savoury and lavender too (for the bees).

I found two paving slabs on my plot and also some slate tiles which were being used to weigh down plastic sheets, I thought they make better edging for beds. The rest of this section needs to be dug over a bit more sorted out. I'm thinking of putting a cold frame here and sowing some meadow seeds to encourage the bees a bit more too.

Anyway, thats all for now, will update in the week.
Look at my previous blogs to catch up on all previous posts.