A couple of years ago we acquired an allotment, which had been a bit of a dream for me for a while. The dream involved baskets and baskets of home grown fruits and vegetables that would see us through the winter months, balmy evenings spent enjoying views across the countryside whilst sipping wine on our home made pallet bench, and involving the rest of the family in our [semi] self sufficiency venture.
In reality it was hard work. Now I'm not afraid of a bit of hard graft & really enjoyed clearing our plot and getting some veggies planted. At first the whole family joined in too and it was a great way to do something together. By the following spring the enthusiasm began to wane, and one by one the kids drifted off and no longer waned to be involved. A combination of bad weather, longer working hours, and a frozen shoulder made us realise that maybe an allotment wasn't for us after all - not to mention the fact that my fingers aren't all that green and woman cannot live off potatoes alone.
After many years of attempting to grow tomatoes and peppers at home, I made the decision earlier this year that no more growing of vegetables would be carried out on these premises, and the piles and piles of seedling pots were disposed of. (Then Jack brings a tomato plant home, and decides to plant some runner beans!)
One thing I have had lots of success in growing though, is rhubarb. Ok, so you don't have to be green fingered to be successful at growing rhubarb as it just grows and grows year after year, but it does make me feel like a real gardener when I snap a few stalks off to use in a crumble - from garden to table within the space of an hour.
Last weekend I made a Rhubarb & Custard Cheesecake (recipe can be found lower down this post) using rhubarb from the garden. Oven roasted rhubarb is *the* best, and it's such a lovely pink colour, so perfect on the top of a creamy cheesecake. The cheesecake was so good, and the whole family loved it, although I did have to remove the rhubarb from the top for a couple of fussy ones.
Another rhubarb recipe that I make over and over is my rhubarb cake, which can be thrown together really easily, and keeps really well in an airtight container, making it great for lunchboxes throughout the week (as well as a delicious dessert served with custard).
Worktop Express have included my Rhubarb Cake in their 'From Garden to Table' recipe ebook, along with some other delicious looking recipes made using home grown produce, which you can find below.
Dig Your Food eBook 2017 on Scribd
Do you grow your own fruit and vegetables?
I would love to hear about your successes.