Excitement is mounting in this Bowral household. The rhubarb is on the ‘cusp’ of turning into a ‘crumble’. We have had the debate about what the differences are between the delights of puddings and cakes. There is now a new girl on the block; the ‘crumble’. (The word ‘cusp’ seems to have sprung up suddenly and conquered the world within days. In 2012 it was all the rage with ‘new paradigm’. Everyone all of a sudden wanted to ‘find’ their ‘new paradigm’. I lost mine in George Street, Sydney. No one has found it even though it had my name scribbled on it with Mob phone nr.)
Apropos pudding, cake, and now crumble, the debate still rages around the world from Gibraltar to NY city, Mexico to Sydney what the differences are. It is now generally conceded, even acknowledged, that one is steamed or boiled while the other is baked. A Christmas pudding is steamed or boiled in a cloth like other puddings. What about Yorkshire pudding? (steamed in a cloth 😉 ) There is black pudding in a net or cloth, and in the case of G getting an invitation years ago in Whitby to go ‘out for pudding’ this meant a cup of tea with a muffin in a sea-side Tea establishment. Kippers at Whitby was something totally different, it was neither. For a Europhile it remains all a bit like cricket, very esoteric.
The stalks of the rhubarb in our garden are still green. Helvi reckons not all rhubarb turns red. Last year it was green too. I then made a delicious crumble with apple, some muesli and lots of butter. The apples were the green ones, very tart but snappily juicy. The addition of cinnamon and a couple of cloves did add some spice although H reckoned the cloves were a bit over the top.
Anyway, the word crumble must indicate the looseness of it all. It crumbles. I am sure no-one could call it a pudding or cake. I have seen it being called a pie. I don’t know. I suppose there are meat pies, apple pies, pumpkin pies, mince pies, why not rhubarb pie?
Yes, I googled rhubarb and the stalks can be green, green fading into pink or bright red. It is a fact of varieties and not of age or soil. Anyway, all stalks turn green when cooked. What a revelation!
I am struggling trying to make this tale amusing but I am not sure if rhubarb lends itself to humour as in lost socks or the profoundness of Pierre Cardin’s lost pyjamas, the pathos of a little boy’s lost train ticket.
Last night we had dinner at the local Royal Hotel. My favourite was on the blackboard ‘fresh pepper calamari’ with H’s choice being the ‘flat-head fish fillets and stringy chips’. A bottle of fine white ‘The Royal Chenin blanc’ in an ice bucket made it to our table as well.
Both meals were honest without pretence or concerns if they were puddings or cakes. I now will look at my rhubarb cooking results tomorrow and will call it either a cake or a crumble depending on its consistency. A cake, if it stays together, or crumble, if it crumbles. However, if it is all runny I leave the option open to call it a ‘slushy’
The RHUBARB SLUSHY.
It will take the world by storm. Phew…I made it!