Sweet suc­cess of gar­den patch

Central and North Burnett Times - - TASTE - with Mag­gie Cooper Con­tact Mag­gie at mag­gies.col­umn@big­pond.com

HAP­PI­NESS, for me, is eat­ing fresh pro­duce grown in my own back­yard. I’ve been hard at work for the past year, trans­form­ing a yard that once grew noth­ing but grass into a food-pro­duc­ing oa­sis.

Four raised no-dig gar­den beds filled with a mix­ture of ma­nure, soil, straw and lucerne are now lush and green. Now I’m en­joy­ing egg­plant, chard, straw­ber­ries, let­tuce and broc­coli. And a big clump of rhubarb is thriv­ing in one cor­ner.

All this bounty didn’t ap­pear as if by magic, of course, but it is so sat­is­fy­ing to eat a salad made with let­tuce that is still scream­ing, so to speak.

To­day’s recipe is for rhubarb and strawberry crum­ble. Of course, if you don’t have a vegie patch handy you can buy the in­gre­di­ents – but it’s so much bet­ter to grow your own.

Rhubarb and strawberry crum­ble

Serves 4

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS: ◗ 4 cups chopped rhubarb (about 8 stalks) ◗ 2 pun­nets straw­ber­ries, hulled and sliced in half ◗ grated zest and juice of half an or­ange ◗ 1⁄ cup raw su­gar ◗ 200g 2 soft­ened un­salted but­ter ◗ 3⁄ cup rolled oats ◗ 150g brown 4 su­gar ◗ 1 1⁄ cups plain flour ◗ dou­ble cream or vanilla 2 cus­tard, to serve

METHOD: Pre­heat oven to 180C. Com­bine rhubarb and straw­ber­ries in a small pan. Add the zest and juice of the or­ange and the raw su­gar; cover and cook over medium heat for 10 min­utes. Taste and add more su­gar if nec­es­sary. Set aside.

In a small bowl, roughly com­bine the but­ter, rolled oats, brown su­gar and flour. Di­vide the fruit mix­ture be­tween four oven­proof ramekins. Sprin­kle with the crum­ble mix­ture and place ramekins on an oven sheet to catch any spills. Bake at 180C for 20 min, then in­crease to 200C and bake for a fur­ther 20 min. Serve with a dol­lop of dou­ble cream or a slurp of vanilla cus­tard.

PHOTO: 123RF

◗ This warm­ing rhubarb and strawberry crum­ble will make your mouth wa­ter.

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