Greengage Tart

For those of you who aren’t sure, greengages are a variety of dessert plum with a taste somewhere between bitter and sweet. Green in colour and small in size, greengages are the quintessential cooking plum – though they are also enjoyable in their unadulterated form. Simply roast or reduce them with a sprinkling of sugar and they’ll work equally well in chutney, cake, puddings or a greengage tart.

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There are a few stark differences between residing in Britain and living in Spain; the language isn’t the same; the summer in Spain is guaranteed (so much so that you could probably return your holiday to the Spanish government if it rained for more than a day); and the fresh produce is far cheaper, yet far better. To be fair that final point is tantamount to a sweeping generalisation, but unless one is actively willing to seek out superb tomatoes, fruits and vegetables in Britain one is likely to be disappointed. However, in Spain it is difficult not to stumble upon magnificent beef tomatoes the way they ought to be – large, colourful and ever so slightly cracked or split. To me there is little doubt that the reason behind this is the preposterous idea the supermarkets have that only food that looks and feels good is worthy of their shelves, despite the fact that these often haven’t finished growing or ripening. I say we do away with the waste and welcome what may not be considered first class produce into our supermarkets.

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Since it’s coming to the end of the rhubarb season, I thought it best to give you lot a couple of recipes which include this fabulous vegetable. However, I’ve not always considered it fabulous; in my younger days it was looked upon, by me, as a most contemptible ingredient. To be fair, it is easy to see why, since rhubarb does have an inherently bitter component to its flavour; which is why it’s always cooked with sugar. Luckily, as I’ve grown older my tastes have come to love the tang which accompanies fresh, seasonal rhubarb. The less said about forced rhubarb, the better.

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Granola seems to be all the rage these days, particularly when it’s in bar form. There are myriad different brands flying about, each hoping for a bite at an increasingly sizeable pile of health-food dung. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since it shows that people are becoming a little more conscious of their health. However, with a surge in demand comes an equivalent increase in price; a single, top-end, chewy granola bar will set one back in the region of £1. Cumulatively, that could end up being a rather high price to pay to maintain one’s health. Besides, granola bars are, as you shall soon find out, incredibly simple to make.

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