One of the earliest foods ready for picking in our vegetable garden each year is rhubarb – whether you are making my favourite rhubarb crumble or using it to stew and serve with custard (another favourite) to get the best flavour you can force it.
We used to have a large bed of rhubarb but with the garden redesign (as well as the fact who can eat all the rhubarb that grows in a 12 foot bed) we gave them away and composted them leaving none of our favourite early spring harvest there. So this autumn my parents brought over a couple of plants and we added them to our long fruit bed.
Now is the time of the year to force it – it really does make it taste nicer. J helped me with forcing it – simple to do and makes the most delicious stems. We found our largest black bucket and placed it over the stems – I know my father has used a black trash can in the past to place over the top.
Within a few weeks we will be harvesting and sharing our rhubarb crumble recipe the first crop of the year for us.