rhubarb & berry crumble

Do you ever feel like you’re not in control? I mean like really not in control? Like you thought you, anally-retentive-super-organised you, had everything under control and you’re wrong? With your outlook diary and phone diary (ok, so they’re synced anyway) and diary diary and lists of to-do’s and actions… and you’re not in control??? What is wrong with you?

Ok, who am I kidding here, we’re not talking about you, we’re talking about me.

Sometimes I am so completely overwhelmed with my job that I don’t know what to do. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s like the Gods of a thousand panic attacks lashing down on me. Me. There is only one of me, and far too many to-do’s to be done by one of me. Sometimes, I’m so overwhelmed, I cry. Well, on the inside anyway (because I’m Chinese and we’re thrifty, and I refuse to buy proper eye make-up remover so I can’t use waterproof mascara, so now I can’t cry in public).

Sometimes I just close my slanty eyes and hope for the best.

So this is what I’m going through right now. I have so many projects on the go that my mind is splintered in a thousand fragments and I’m concentrating so hard on not even the details but just keeping the details in my head that sometimes I slip, I forget something, and to the perfectionist in me, this is not cool. And there is nothing I hate more than being woken in the middle of the night by that little detail that went AWOL earlier that day, and now at 3am, comes knockin on my door. Let me back in. Phuck off. Please. Phu- err. Ok fine. Only because this one detail might save me my job tomorrow.

Maybe I don’t even get nightmares. Maybe I’m just stressed.

[Stay with me, I’m getting to the good food part]

They tell me there are hundreds of ways to relieve stress. Like running (ah, I miss thee) and gardening (eeew) and drinking (I’m a cheap date) and other things that I can’t talk about on my G-rated blawg. For me there is Steve, my masseuse whose website is currently down otherwise I would totally share it with you. Honest! I mean, it’s not like I would keep him all to myself, right? Right? Never!

[Stay with me…..]

Anyway, I also find cooking enormously stress relieving.  I’m not sure if it’s the chopping and slicing, the stirring, or the resulting deliciousness that makes it so fulfilling, but I’m so relaxed when I cook. If I had a mandolin slicer, I would be 110% zen.

What I haven’t found so relaxing yet is baking. But they tell me it will come. I’ve had that good bake, and then that utter shite, and last Friday night marked my third attempt, which turned out preeeetty well.  Armed with all that rhubarb from my Abel & Cole box, I made me a rhubarb and berry crumble.

[We’re there!]

The crumble itself is easy enough to make and tasted delicious, but I’ve tweaked the recipe  below a little. I used 3 tablepoons of corn flour (corn starch) but it turned out a little gooey-er than I would’ve liked (reduced now to 2 1/2 tablespoons), and I upped the butter in the topping from 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup, because the topping could have been a touch buttery-er.

Anyway, relaxing it wasn’t, but I’m getting there! Next on the crumble list: apple. Yum.

Rhubarb and berry crumble
4 stalks rhubarb, diced
2 cups strawberries, quartered
1 cup raspberries
1 small lemon, juiced
1/4 castor sugar
2 1/2 Tablespoons corn flour
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2/3 cup melted butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups oatmeal
  1. Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F).
  2. Add the rhubarb and berries to a casserole tray, tossing with sugar and corn flour.
  3. Squeeze in lemon juice and stir to combine. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl combine  all topping ingredients. Using a wooden spoon, stir everything until clumps form (yes I’m very technical).
  5. Scatter the topping evenly over the fruit.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes until the topping is golden.
  7. Let cool slightly and serve with ice cream or custard.
Serves 4-6.

One Thought on “stress relief: a masseuse, a mandolin slicer and that rhubarb & berry crumble

  1. Interesting!

    Thanks for sharing.

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