Monday, September 15, 2008

Organic Box Scheme and a No-recipe Apple Crumble Recipe

I'm a bit hopeless when it comes to vegetable gardening. The weeds and the slugs beat me every time. From my small veg patch, I did manage to get some greens and a few yellow courgettes, but my high hopes for corn, beans, cucumbers, and other lovely things were dashed. So I did the grown up thing and joined an organic box scheme. For a very fair sum, I get a box full of local organic vegetables every week brought right to my door. Everything is lovely and fresh, and I feel good knowing I'm supporting local farmers. They should be rewarded at every turn. Growing vegetables is darn hard work!

Fruit, on the other hand, I can handle -- mostly because it handles itself. I cut the trees back every year after the fruit drops, and they kindly make more fruit the next year. It's a very loving relationship.

My apple trees are doing exceptionally well this year, and I've been trying to use up apples as quickly as I can. One of our favourite ways is to make a crumble. It's so easy, and you can use just about anything you have to hand.

Just peel and chop a few apples and bung them into a pan with a bit of butter and some sugar (I don't use much as I prefer a tart crumble)and cook them over low heat. You can also add some spices. I like ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Cook the apples until they're slightly soft, put them into a shallow baking dish, and set them aside. In a separate bowl, add equal parts porridge oats, flour and brown sugar (you can use whatever grains you have instead the oats. Wheat germ and bran are both lovely.) and toss it all together with a little melted butter. Use this mixture to cover the cooked apples and then pop the whole thing into a medium-hot oven (gas mark 6) for about 15 minutes. Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

You are so right...growing veggies is very hard work! I admire all the growers at the Farmers Market because we grow for ourselves and it's hard enough, but to grow enough to sell - tough work indeed! I get a bit annoyed when people try to haggle with the farmers because having had sore backs myself from weeding and harvesting, I'd probably never sell our veggies for less than the price of gold. LOL!

Your apple crumble sounds so wonderful! It's a bit like the fruit crisp I bake in the winter.

gracefruit said...

Teresa, I don't know how they do it, especially if they're not selling one of the big cash crops like corn or soya. It must truly be a labour of love for them.

I am embarrassed at the amount of apple crumble I've eaten in the past few days. Bleurgh!

Heather@Twin Birch said...

Now that is my kind of recipe!! looks oh so yummy! I'm not much of a gardener, either. I can't keep myself out of the weeds, let alone my plants! :) Heather

Heidi said...

I've been wanting to plant some fruit trees. We have an ancient apple tree that has been sadly neglected. I think if we gave it some tlc it might produce good fruit again. I'll have to do some reading.

Next year will be my first time to have a garden w/o being pregnant. I'm guessing it will be much better. I hope = )

gracefruit said...

Heather, I'm all about relaxed baking! Most cake and cookie recipes make me crazy -- too specific and no room for throwing in a bit of this or that.

Heidi, I'd guess that non-pregnant gardening will be a bit easier! How old is your apple tree? Does it fruit at all?