Are you wishing for summer? Not me. If anything, I’d like to slow down spring! I want to savour every moment of nature’s awakening- the first robin, the first tender shoots in my garden , my first taste of fresh chives in an omelet or a fresh rhubarb crisp. In fact, retiring in the spring has allowed me to enjoy my garden in ways I was never able to, as spring often passed in a blur as we raced to the finish line of the school. Time is too precious to wish away. Although I don’t love all the seasons equally, I have to accept the four seasons I’m blessed with and find ways to live in rhythm and appreciate each as it unfolds.
I get to experience spring twice this year: first as I drove south with my sister for a holiday and now again back home. How exciting it was to see spring unfold in only two days! Bare trees yielded to a misty green and finally cherry blossoms, magnolias and azaleas in full bloom.
Chives and rhubarb are the first two perennial edibles to emerge in my garden and are foolproof for even a novice gardener. Almost any savoury dish can benefit from a sprinkling of freshly chopped chives- freshly steamed baby potatoes, scrambled eggs, as a garnish on bowl of soup , or a homemade vinaigrette. Something I’d like to try this year is chive oil – https://www.marthastewart.com/338887/chive-oil.
Rhubarb is a unique, tart fruit that is either adored or abhorred! I fall into the first category. I’ve been eating rhubarb since I was able to toddle out to the garden with my sister. Our mom would pull a stalk and trim it and hand us a little cup of sugar to dip the stalk in . Spring personified!
Rhubarb is quite tart and all recipes call for sugar in varying degrees. Decide on the level of tartness you want and adjust it accordingly. One of my favourite things to do is make stewed rhubarb and then layer it with vanilla yogurt and top it off with homemade granola. It makes a great breakfast or even dessert if you put it in a fancy dish! I often make fruit crisps with rhubarb combined with berries or apples to temper the tartness.
Here’s a recipe for a rhubarb tea bread.
Rhubarb Tea Bread with brown sugar streusel
Makes two small loaves.
- 2 cups of a.p. flour
- ½ cup w.w. flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- A tiny pinch of salt
- 1 ¼ cups milk
Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
In another smaller bowl combine:
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup of buttermilk
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup sunflower or canola oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Grated zest of ½ an orange
Combine the wet and dry ingredients gently- don’t overmix.
2 cups of finely chopped rhubarb.
Divide the batter between 2 greased loaf tins measuring 3×7 inches.
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
Sprinkle evenly on top of batter in each tin and bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes.
Enjoy spring and all it’s fresh pleasures!