Tag Archives: rhubarb

Homemade Rhubarb Tea

I recently tried rhubarb tea at a friend’s house – not sure where she’d got it from as I’d never seen it before but it was really tasty so I thought I’d have a go at making my own with the last of the rhubarb harvested from the garden this week.

Blanched rhubarb in the dehydrator

I sliced the rhubarb into thin slices and blanched it briefly before dehydrating it – it took about 10 hours to fully dry it out. Then I blitzed the dried stalks in my food processor and stored it in a airtight tub ready for use.

Blitzing the dried stalks

It was pretty simple to make and resulted in a lovely lightly pink and refreshing homemade tea. I think next time I’ll try adding some ginger or possibly mixing it with some dehydrated apple to add some extra warmth and sweetness.

Refreshing homemade rhubarb tea

Looking forward to making more teas with the Autumnal harvests just around the corner.

Rhubarb Ice Cream Recipe

We always get a good crop of rhubarb throughout the growing season – I often make jam, crumbles and cakes but I wanted to try something a bit different so decided to give ice cream a try. It’s fantastic – so tasty that I can’t believe it isn’t more common. I’ll definitely be making this again, and probably again.

I got the recipe from ‘The Ultimate Ice Cream’ book by Bruce Weinstein and have adapted the ingredients and measurements for the UK.

Rhubarb

Ingredients

1lb rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

300 ml water

Juice of a lime

150 ml maple syrup

200 g caster sugar

1 large egg plus one additional egg yolk

2 teaspoons corn flour

300 ml milk

300 ml double cream

Method

Combine the rhubarb, water and lime juice in a medium saucepan and place over a low heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until the rhubarb has broken down, approx 10-15 minutes.

Add the maple syrup, return to a simmer and cook for a further 2 minutes. Put the mixture through a sieve or a blender and puree. Set aside to cool.

In a bowl, beat the sugar into the egg and egg yolk until thickened and a pale yellow. Beat in the corn flour and set aside.

Bring the milk to a simmer in a medium to heavy saucepan. Slowly beat the hot milk into the eggs and sugar. Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and place over a low heat. Stir constantly until the custard begins to thicken. Be careful not to let the mixture boil or the eggs will scramble. Remove from the heat and pour the hot custard through a sieve into a large clean bowl and allow to cool slightly before adding the rhubarb puree and cream. Mix well and then cover and refrigerate until cold.

Once the mixture has cooled freeze in your ice cream maker according to the instructions. If you don’t have an ice cream machine you can freeze the mixture (in a freezer safe tub) but will need to ensure you take it out and stir thoroughly regularly to break down any ice crystals as it freezes.

 

Rhubarb Rhubarb (and Potatoes)

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Cosmo the hover dog

It’s exceptionally mild today and my thoughts can’t help but look toward Spring. Despite the freezing temperatures for a large part of the Winter, we’ve had very little snow in comparison to previous years. I haven’t forgotten the heavy snow at the end of April 2016 that brought the chicken run down though.

Ice crystals on our gas tank
Ice crystals on our gas tank

The rhubarb is bursting out of the ground just now and our seed potatoes have arrived – this year I’ve gone for Epicure (had to be really :o), Mayan Gold, a favourite with top chefs, Salad Blue – they’re actually blue all the way through and some Pink Fir Apples because I liked the name. This year I won’t make the same mistake I did last year – I put them out too early and a few late frosts meant we didn’t get great yields in comparison with the year before.

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None of the Spring bulbs seem to be coming up – they were from two years ago and I replanted them using a multilayering method last year, guess they didn’t like it as they’re not playing ball. I have however ordered a load of summer bulbs for the front garden.

The rhubarb is shooting up
The rhubarb is shooting up

The hens are still incarcerated because of the avian flu restrictions – with an increasing number of outbreaks being confirmed down South the past couple of weeks I’m not sure they’ll have their sentences commuted on the 28th February either. I guess time will tell…

Wherefore art thou Summer

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In need of a haircut!

What a miserable few weeks of rain we’ve had – the grass is going wild and I still haven’t had chance to try out the cordless strimmer that the lovely folks at GTech sent me a couple of weeks ago to review.

 

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Blackcurrants ripening up nicely

 

My soggy garden inspections are showing that it’s going to be a bad year for crops this year – we haven’t seen so much as a blossom on any of our apple trees, we have 2 gooseberries between our two bushes and no blueberries at all.

 

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Better late than never

 

On the plus side, our blackcurrants and rhubarb are both doing very well and it looks like we’ll be able to start harvesting some of early variety potatoes soon. The newly planted herb garden is doing well and we also have tomatoes growing nicely in the conservatory, despite everything being a lot later this year after the extended Winter.

 

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Beautiful Petunia Night Sky just started blooming

 

The chickens have managed to dig up most of the plants in our recently planted bed – periwinkles, tiarella, heucheras and helibores have all been tossed asunder by the naughty little beasts. We’re going to have to replant what we can salvage and then cane-off the bed until they’ve established themselves.

 

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The honeysuckle is looking great

 

Praying for some nicer weather this week as the to-do list is growing longer daily. I’ve been sent a self-watering hanging basket by Stewarts so I’m keen to see how that works and finally get to test the strimmer.

 

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Our other ‘surprise’ Rhododendron is out

 

I’m also quite excited to have been invited to RHS Tatton Park by Stiehl on the 16th and it looks like we’ll be in for a treat. Can’t wait to see the show gardens there.

 

 

 

 

Spring arrives & it’s all gone bonkers!

In the week that saw us celebrate our 3rd anniversary of moving to our country cottage we saw a lot of changes in the garden.

 

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Our 3rd Anniversary in Nine Mile Burn

 

We have a pair of nesting blue tits in our bird box (yay), the starlings have already fledged and there are now sparrows in their old nest. The swallows are back swooping and darting all around and the geese have returned to the fields roundabout, some with young. After a seemingly never-ending Winter, Spring is most definitely here.

 

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Rhododendron- Golden Witt 

 

The garden has gone bonkers, everything’s growing and blooming and budding and it’s heartwarming to see! The cherry blossom is out and the beech hedge is finally turning, that fresh green really makes a difference in our garden.

 

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Setting up the new Potting Shed

 

The (short) spell of warmer, sunny weather was filled to the brim with ‘getting shit done’ in the garden – everything from getting the potting shed set-up to clearing, weeding and edging, sowing seeds and bulbs (better late than never) and I even made up some hanging baskets inspired by the book Crops in Pots, that I reviewed a while back.

 

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Our latest haul from The Secret Herb Garden

 

We had a lovely trip to The Secret Herb Garden (LOVE this place) to source new herbs as the chickens have self-seasoned and destroyed what we had. We got lemon verbena, lovage and borage (inspired by Petal, Leaf, Seed), several new rosemarys, chamomile, sage, lemon balm, oregano, fennel, jasmine and rhubarb, amongst others.

 

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Re-potting some plants for gifts

 

Our new front lawn is looking great and we’ve just bought a new mower and hedge cutter so we’re getting tooled up to tackle the front garden.

 

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Thank You Miracle-Gro for this amazing surprise box of goodies!

 

 

So much to do now but sadly the torrential rain is back so no idea when we’ll be able to crack on – we live in hope though, always hope!

 

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It’s been well over 20 years since our house was a pub (garden find)

 

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Jasmine potted in a vintage watering can! 

 

Rhubarb & Ginger Jam Recipe (easy)

Rhubarb is one of the best growers in our garden (being an arctic plant the hard frosts we get in the hills keep it very happy) and I’ve spent a lot of time refining this recipe but I’m finally happy with it. I often make up a half batch (just 2 jars) if I have some windblown stalks needing using.

It’s super quick and easy to make, not to mention, very tasty! 

IMG_7613Ingredients

1kg rhubarb, washed & sliced into 2cm lengths

1kg caster sugar

zest & juice of 1 lemon

75-100g fresh ginger, finely chopped (I like a strong ginger zing)

(This makes about 4 average jars)

Method

  • Place the rhubarb, sugar, lemon juice & zest into a bowl, stir and cover and set aside for a couple of hours.
  • Once all the sugar has dissolved in the rhubarb juices transfer into a preserving pan and set over a medium heat.
  • Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved and then bring to the boil.
  • Continue to cook until the rhubarb is really tender and it has reached setting point – this will probably take about 10-15 mins.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and leave for 2-3 mins before pouring into sterilized jars. Seal immediately.

Tips

Testing for Setting Point

Put a couple of saucers in your freezer before setting the jam to heat. When ready to test, drop ½ a teaspoon of the jam onto a saucer, leave for 30 seconds and then gently push with your fingertip – if the jam ‘wrinkles’ then setting point has been reached. If not, cook for a few minutes more and test again.

Sterilising Your Jam Jars

I do this in the microwave, soak the jars in hot water and then put the still wet jars into the microwave on full power for about 1 minute (until they are dry) and then use immediately.

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