April 23, 2017

The Starlings of Spring...

A good friend sent me this video, and I was simply fascinated with it. Just take a look at this clip, and see what I mean. It's only about 4 minutes long, but it will stay with you in a good way. 

You have to love the British take on these Starlings, "the long distance daily commuters of the bird-world", as the narrator puts it.  These birds are so amazing...truly.  How on earth do they pull this off?  Bravo to capturing it on film for all of us to enjoy...

April 18, 2017

The Great Dixter Cookbook

New on the shelf...The Great Dixter Cookbook has arrived just in time for spring.
This cookbook features seventy simple and delicious seasonal recipes from the kitchen garden at Great Dixter, the historic house and garden located on the borders of Kent and Sussex. Dishes included range from English classics such as chicken and leek pie, apple crumble, and beetroot chutney, to contemporary recipes like crispy kale with sea salt and shakshuka. Dixter was home to the revered and highly influential gardener and writer, Christopher Lloyd, and a number of this book's recipes have been taken from the Lloyd family's personal kitchen notebooks.

As we head into the season of farmer's markets and finally begin to plant our own little garden patches, this is a perfect guide to refresh us on just how useful the bounty of the season truly is.  The beautiful photos are also a powerful enticement to get in the kitchen and start creating...

Spring rhubarb is wonderfully pink and tender, so you can dispense with the poaching step and put it straight into a pastry case (shell) with a little brown sugar before putting it in the oven. The sugar caramelizes to give an almost toffeelike flavour. Make it the day before so that the flavours have a chance to soak into the pastry, or eat it immediately. Either way, it goes well with cream, custard or ice-cream. —Aaron Bertelsen

Rhubarb Tart

  • ACTIVE: 
Gather the goods:
Butter, for greasing
1 quantity of your favorite shortcrust pastry or pie dough recipe, chilled [a recipe for Sweet Shortcrust Pastry (Basic Sweet Pie Dough) can be found in the book on page 186]
Flour, for dusting
1 kilogram/2 1/4 pounds rhubarb, chopped into 5-centimeter/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons demerara (turbinado) sugar
120 grams/4 ounces (1/2 cup) caster (superfine) sugar, plus extra for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5, placing an oven rack in the lower part of it. Butter a 25-cm/10-inch loose-bottom tart pan.

Roll out the pastry (dough) thinly on a lightly floured work surface and use to line the prepared pan.

If using spring rhubarb, arrange it in the pastry case (shell) and sprinkle with the demerara (turbinado) sugar. If not using spring rhubarb, put the caster (superfine) sugar and 200 ml/7 fl oz (3/4 cup) water into a pan and stir together over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a gentle boil, then add the chopped rhubarb and simmer for 1 minute – you don’t want it to lose its shape. Drain the rhubarb, then arrange inside the pastry case.

Place the filled case on a baking sheet and bake on a low oven rack for 40 minutes. Take the tart out of the oven and carefully slip off the outer ring, leaving the tart sitting on the base. Return to the oven on the baking sheet for another 5–10 minutes so that the sides get really crisp.

Slide the tart onto a plate and sprinkle with caster sugar, if desired. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

Certainly with Mother's Day approaching this would make an excellent gift--perhaps, accompanied with a solemn pledge to make the meal of Mama's choosing!

Related Posts with Thumbnails