23 July 2007

Rhubarb, rhubarb

Where I used to live (before moving to Oxfordshire), there was a café called ‘Rhubarb, Rhubarb’. I loved it there. It was also a shop that sold all sorts of objects, mostly very arty, of the ethnic kind, and very expensive, but there was the odd thing I could afford so I bought a couple of things from there. They played jazz all day long, served homemade food, and because there were only a few tables, we all had to share them with one another, which made for a social and convivial atmosphere.

I have always loved the fruit itself, rhubarb, so my love of the café had as much to do with its name as with the décor, atmosphere and originality.

One of the first things we grew with Monsieur l’Anglais was... yep, rhubarb. We put three seeds into three small pots, and when they were ready we planted them out into our vegetable patch. Then we started clearing some of the patch, and what did we find? A very old, slightly sick-looking rhubarb plant! So we now have four thriving rhubarbs!

In April, I harvested our first crop of rhubarb stalks. I was a bit worried that I had hacked everything and that we probably wouldn’t have any more rhubarb this year. I shouldn’t have been: three months on, I have another huge crop. Just look at that!

Tonight, we’re having guests, so I’m cooking an almond and rhubarb cake, of course with rhubarb from the garden. Here’s the result:

I just love gardening when it yields such wonderful results!

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