Tuesday View (22nd April)

More April showers and plenty of sunny intervals are making this such a glorious spring!

TuesdayView22ndApril

Tulips are flowering all over now.

The red tulips at the top of the rockery are some of my favourites: Tulipa “Eye Catcher”. Here they are a little closer up…

Eyecatchers1

And even closer…

Eyecatchers2

This patch of Tulipa “Eye Catcher” has grown since last year. And they always stand up to the weather very well.

What is catching your eye this week?

In a Vase on Monday: May Flowers and Snowflakes

There is a very small patch of Lily of the Valley in my garden, hidden rather well under dead leaves directly behind a fence, so I cut them ALL this year to enjoy them to the full.

:D

Maigloeckchen

I wish you could smell them – this is one of the few scented flowers I love indoors!

They are really a May flower in my eyes, as the German name – Maiglöckchen – is “Little May Bells”.

~~~

The other vase on our Easter brunch table this year had the last Summer Snowflakes (Leucojum aestivum ‘Gravetye Giant’) in it.

SummerSnowflakes

These have been fabulous, flowering for about three or four weeks now, and I will definitely plant more bulbs for next year. They stand tall above other spring flowers, and their bell-shaped flowers like giant snowdrops draw attention to themselves.

Maigloeckchen2

A note on last week’s vase: the white Hellebores lasted only a couple of days, but the Periwinkle lasted about 4 days. Short-lived, but still giving a lot of pleasure!

Thanks once again to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting In a Vase on Monday. If you visit her site in the course of today you will find her latest post and others linked in the comments section – always a treat to see what people around the globe are picking from their gardens, and so inspiring too!

Do you have any Lily of the Valley growing near you?

:D

Luscious Rhubarb Cake

Rhubarb at its very best…

If you are going to make rhubarb cake, make THIS rhubarb cake.

You will love it .

I know you will.

It’s simply…

LUSCIOUS!

Auntie'sRhubarbCake2

This is another recipe from my lovely German baking book I featured here,when I posted my fabulous Raspberry Meringue Tart. The book has produced excellent results so far, and this one is an absolute star. When you bite into a slice the topping melts in your mouth, the tart rhubarb mingles perfectly with the sweet cake base, and the overall effect is just… Pure Lusciousness!

And guess what, it is really easy to make too!

Luscious Rhubarb Cake

Auntie'sRhubarbCake

You will need a well-greased 26cm (10 1/2 inch) loose-bottomed cake tin and…

For the base:

  • 250g (2 cups) SR flour (or plain and 2 tsps baking powder)
  • 125g (1 stick + 1 tbsp) softened butter
  • 125g (2/3 cup) sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 550g (1.2 lbs) rhubarb, cut into 2 cm (3/4 inch) pieces
  • 2 tbsps breadcrumbs (I used dried from a packet)

Mix everything together using your hands, as quickly as you can to bring it together into a soft dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.  Then roll out dough on a well-floured surface to fit the 26cm tin, with a couple of cms extra for a slight rim. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over it and then place the rhubarb on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

For the topping:

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 150g (3/4 cup) + 50g (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 125g (1/2 cup) sour cream

Beat the egg yolks, sour cream and 150g sugar together with a fork. Whisk the egg whites in a clean separate bowl, adding in the 50g sugar as it stiffens, until it forms firm peaks. Gently fold the yolk mixture into the whites and spread over the cake. Return the cake to the oven for a further 25-30 minutes until the top is golden.

Allow to cool a little before removing from the tin. Then place on a cooling rack.

Serve with whipped cream!

Auntie'sRhubarbCake3

Have a wonderful Easter weekend!

Tuesday View (15th April)

“April showers bring May flowers”

A very quick post today, and a slightly different angle too… I admit I forgot it was Tuesday until the light started to fade!

(Although it has been this dull most of the day. And cold, and showery…)

TuesdayView15thApril

Here’s another saying for April – a German one:

A cold and wet April will fill the barns and beer barrels!

April kalt und nass füllt Scheuer und Fass.”

Oh well, we can’t have it all! ;-)

Have a good week!

In a Vase on Monday

Between April showers and bursts of sunshine I managed to cut some Periwinkle and Hellebores for today’s vase… keeping it simple just seemed right when I put these two together in the vase.

VaseOnMonday14th

I also think the Hellebores still look lovely after so many weeks in flower, and wanted very much to make the most of them and bring some indoors. The tulips are getting battered by the wind, but I still didn’t have the heart to cut some. I did, however, cut a few of the white daffodils “Thalia”, which I immediately regretted as I realised the moment I got indoors that the scent would be too overpowering.

By the way, the wooden egg in today’s photo belongs to my wooden duck, Nora. She’s a bit shy, but I managed to get a photo of her here too…

Nora

Both Nora and her egg were a birthday gift a few years ago from my big sister. ;-)

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting In a Vase on Monday. Do take a look at some of the other vases again this week, which will be linked to on her post. Her vase is gorgeous this week!

:D

Wildflower Honey

A couple of years ago I made some Pulmonaria honey, adding a few other flowers for colour. I did the same the other day using a variety of wild flowers from the garden…

HoneyFlowers

The edible flowers I used included violets, daisies, brunnera, cowslips, pulmonaria, and wild strawberry.

Just make sure they are dry and then fill a sterile jar with a tight-fitting lid. Cover right to the brim with a mild clear honey, such as Acacia honey. Leave it on a sunny windowsill for a few weeks and turn frequently. It takes on a slightly spicy flavour, but the main attraction is the appearance.

FlowerHoney3

Serving this up for breakfast really gets the day off to a good start, and I’m thinking of making some wildflower butter too.

FlowerHoney2

Have a sunshiny Sunday!

:D

Going Wild about Wild Garlic and Potato Gratin

Recently we’ve been enjoying wild garlic – or bears’ garlic as we call it here – in various forms. Our neighbour kindly allows me to harvest the leaves that grow beneath his Magnolia tree – no matter how hard I try I can’t get it to grow well in our own garden!

Pesto is still one of our favourites… I posted that recipe here a couple of years ago.

BearsGarlicPesto

Apart from that we also had soup (see recipe here)…

BearsGarlic1

quiche with cheese and wild garlic leaves…

BearsGarlic2

… home-made bread rolls with a few leaves stuffed in each before baking…

BearsGarlic3

… and this delicious potato and wild garlic gratin

BearsGarlic4

Here’s the gratin recipe – I can really recommend it!

Potato and Wild Garlic Gratin

BearsGarlic5

  • 700g (1.5 lbs) waxy potatoes
  • 75g (2.5 oz) wild /bears’ garlic leaves, roughly chopped
  • 200ml (4/5 cup) cream
  • 100ml (2/5 cup) milk
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper
  • 175g (6 oz) tasty cheese, grated (Cheddar/Parmesan/Bergkäse etc)

Peel and thinly slice the potatoes and parboil for 3-5 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool a little.

Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F. Beat the cream, milk and egg together with a fork and season with salt and black pepper. Butter an ovenproof dish and layer in the potatoes, wild garlic and cheese – at least two layers, finishing with a cheese layer. Pour the cream mixture over the top. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top is brown and crispy.

Enjoy!

:D

Have you ever used wild garlic?