The sun shown today and, in spite of a rather biting wind, I took a walk around the garden. I was primarily looking at my herb garden but while out there I went looking for signs of spring. I found it in the green shoots of new garlic and multiplying onions, swelling buds on the fruit trees and rhubarb visible in the raised bed.
While it’s too soon to harvest any, I did remember having a few bags put away in the freezer. The question was what to do with it. As it is also the season for eggs and milk I decided to work up a rhubarb custard. I sautéed 2 cups of rhubarb in some butter with about 1/3 cup of sugar. While that cooked down, releasing the juices and thickening up, I put together a simple custard. I whisked together 1/2 cup of heavy cream, 1 cup milk, 2 whole eggs and an extra yolk, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour and a pinch of salt. The hardest part was getting the flour incorporated without lumps. I dumped the rhubarb in a greased oven proof dish. A pie pan would do nicely if deep enough.
Then it was a simple matter of pouring the custard batter over the fruit and baking it in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.
The result was a delicious mixture of sweet custard and tart rhubarb. This would work with any fruit and will certainly go into my quick dessert recipe file.
As we move forward we have no idea what to expect but there a few things I can guarantee. Feeding 7 billion people is not going to be easy. A big part of being prepared is learning how to feed your family better for less. It will mean knowing how to make good use of what is abundant in your area. For me, fruit, eggs, and milk are staple items. I could probably figure out how to substitute honey from our bees or maple sugar from our trees for the sweetener. The bit of flour should not be a problem but there is corn flour should the wheat be problematic. With the flour, fruit and the protein from the eggs and milk, I could justify having this for breakfast.
What’s popping up in your yard? if the answer is, “Nothing”, it may be time to check out rhubarb.