Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Common Scents

The most stimulating sense for me at the moment is that of the smells of Spring. Visually I have noted that greens, pinks and purples are exciting me in the garden but there has been an assault of fragrance this week as the weather has melted into warmth.
In fact the smell of the rhubarb and date chutney in the making has been really mouthwatering. It is so good that I have some at any opportunity and have put my recipe here:

Rhubarb and Date Chutney
4lb rhubarb
1lb dates
1lb red onions
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon or a stick
1 teaspoon Chinese mixed spice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1lb cane sugar
1/2 pint white wine vinegar
Chop the rhubarb, dates and onions and place them in a large pan with the other ingredients. Bring to the boil, and then simmer for at least two hours, stirring to prevent sticking.
This can be eaten straight away, which is lucky because it was...

In fact the peelings were even prettier than the chopped up ingredients and could be the basis for a great abstract don't ya think?

The other overpowering scent is that of the two lilacs in the garden. So heady at night it can make me feel quite drunk - oh, sorry no, that's the gin and tonic I'm holding, but anyway...
It's lovely to cut some to have in the kitchen to take away the smell of the endless chutney making!
The garden has somewhat overtaken the sewing as it still shouts at me to keep it in check and plant out, pot up and poke around whenever possible. It's worth it to see (and taste) what beauties the earth brings forth.


  1. Wonderful recipe, thanks. Have you thought of using the rhubarb waste and onion skins in a dye bath or for an eco print?

  2. And the lilacs give a wonderful yellow and green dye...

  3. Looks like a great recipe. I had the same thought as Jasmine, using the peelings and waste for dyeing.

  4. Hi Clare ~ thanks for stopping by my blog today, nice to "meet" you. You have a very nice blog here - and we do indeed have much in common, including the gardening! My garden is very new (going in this year) but I look forward with great anticipation to warm air filled with scent, as you describe here...

  5. Yum... chutney sounds good! I need to pick more rhubarb this weekend.

  6. wow that recipe sounds delicious! I may try it instead of a pie this year... I am disappearing into many gardens this time of year, too! I second Jasmine -- I'll bet that waste could have been boiled up into a nice dye bath.

  7. Thank guys for your comments - when I get time (ha ha) I shall try the dyeing

  8. I know the feeling when there are not enough hours in the day, nature does compensate with extra daylight and as you say wonderful, heady aromas.

    Thanks for the recipe, I would never have thought of those combinations.

  9. Am going to pass your recipe over to the Chief of Chutney - it will be added to his expanding repertoire. Lovely pics of everything again.

  10. Oh, now I can feel your excitement too! And my yarn is really corresponding to your garden colours :-)! Yes, it is wonderful to feel the smell of spring!


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