Friday, 20 January 2012

Crumble Grumble

I was given some rhubarb earlier in the week and I'd already brought some home from Judy's.  I love rhubarb.  Ironically it's not that easy to find in the shops here because 'everyone grows their own'.  It apparently is impossible for it not to grow if you have a plant.  I was told that on Lewis as well but whatever I do I can not be doing it correctly because I just can't grow it on Lewis.  I've never tried here.  Anyway I decided that tonight when the family come for dinner the pud will be rhubarb (and ginger of course) crumble.  I had some crumble in the fridge but not enough so set out to make another batch.  

I've never had a lot of success with rubbing the mixture until it looks like breadcrumbs.  So, as suggested by some cookery article or book or other I used my food processor last time and it was a great success.  I had the ingredients in the bowl for about 500g of crumble.  I decided not to overload my small processor (which I had used perhaps 3 or 4 times before) and make it in 4 or 5 lots.  'Twas not to be.  The Sunbeam processor decided that the central shaft would cease to turn after the first 10 or 15 seconds.  That's the third processor I've seen conk out in my time at The Cottage (Wendy's given up too although her last one was a large expensive one).   I'm also on my 4th stick blender and my third kettle (the second one was an expensive 'silent boil' one which lasted 2 weeks over the warranty period).   On the processors and blenders it's usually the plastic bit into which the shaft goes which disintegrates.  So the whole item has to be thrown out.

I use my gadgets constantly when I'm in the UK and I think I may have replaced a stick blender once.  I have had a couple of kettles too over the last 18+ years I've lived in Eagleton. 

So I had to make the crumble by hand after all and I'm writing this out of frustration before I clean up the flour I managed to get all over the place when I took the food processor apart and tried to use the liquidiser (didn't work) and then used a large bowl.

Glad game: I have the satisfaction of a hand-made product which is all my own work.  But did I want that satisfaction?  NO!


  1. That seems strange. Could it be the power supply surging and over stressing the equipment?

  2. A bit late now but I add a handfull of muesli to crumble. livens it up a treat.

  3. No Cat. It's just plain old cheap materials in an important component. When I took one back the shop said, and I paraphrase, that there was no point in them giving me another one the same because they are all like that and I should buy a better model. The point was that I bought a relatively cheap one because I use it so rarely here in NZ. It was a false economy. The kettle was not an electrical fault, the lid mechanism broke and it wouldn't stay closed (a common fault apparently despite not being a cheap kettle).

    I use oats Adrian. I'm a bit dubious about muesli because of the raisins etc but I'll give it a go.

  4. Chop up some walnuts too.


  5. Haha, sorry for laughing but your last sentence did make me laugh, so often I have felt the same :)

    Crumble is wonderful, think I will make one today. We had the benefit of cookery lessons at school, so what you have to do with rubbing in the fat and flour is to make sure you only try to rub in small chunks of fat at a time. We were taught to cut it into little blocks before tipping it in the flour. Otherwise you end up with big lumpy slimy fingers.

    You should also use half fat to flour, by weight.

    Better luck next time, it sounds altogether less stressful than using crappy machines that don't keep working.

  6. Oddly, SP, although I'm a nut addict walnuts are not in my top 10.

    Jenny: I use about 40% butter to other content but I use less sugar than some recipes. I cut the butter into very small cubes straight from the fridge. Oddly today it worked quite easily but sometimes I've had the devil's own job.

    And the crumble was enjoyed by all and is no longer!

  7. I will give you my fathers number - he is the undisputed village Crumble making champion!!

    All by hand. Just flour, sugar and butter which goes a gooey mess with fruit juice - and crispy caramel-ish on top. Yum!

    Coincidentally my wee blender just gave up the ghost too - but there's no shame in it as it is a very worthy 14 yrs old and has been used daily...

  8. I've given up on stick blenders. It only takes two to go for me to decide there's a basic design flaw somehere!

  9. There's plenty of muesli without raisins out there :-)
    I have never owned a blender or food processor. My mum has one, and she uses hers a lot, I think; a constant flow of the most delicious food, cooked and baked, streams out of her kitchen.
    The kettle I have here I have won at work (don't ask). It is in daily use (mostly more than once) and has been for the past 8 years or so, and I originally only chose it because it has a pretty vanilla yellow colour, and I love yellow.

  10. You really seem to have bad luck with your NZ gadgets. I think I must have had my food processor for something like 25 years - I've only ever had one!

  11. Nah muesli schmuesli. Oatmeal. Not pinhead stuff, giant bits. Yummity scrummity.

  12. I think I've shared with you before one of my philosophies on life - gadgets only lead to grief. Unless it does something I am absolutely incapable of doing myself, I don't see the point. (But I don't see the kettle as a gadget, that's a necessity!)

  13. I do like my gadgets. I cannot deny it. I was thinking as I made toast this morning that my toaster here has been utterly reliable. In Eagleton I am still using a toaster from my parents house which they left so many years ago I can't remember it. My heavily used food mixer is an ancient Kenwood which has made more heavy fruit and Christmas cakes and carrot cakes than you can shake a stick at because it made them for the cafe attached to the pottery I had.

  14. So, that glass kettle is OK Geeb? I only ask because I rushed out and got one when I saw yours :-)

    As for rhubarb, don't buy any, plenty here (wink).

  15. Yes, Katherine, the glass kettle is the cats whiskers or bees knees or whatever metaphor takes your fancy.

    You winked! My aging heart did flutter! Or was I thinking about the rhubarb?