There’s a special feeling I get when a big move is imminent, kind of bittersweetly jittery, kind of wistfully melancholic. All the things I should be doing mill about in my head, jostling for space and I have five or six to-do lists on the go (ok, that last is something I pretty much always have – I amused friends the other day by admitting that I have a list for cooking goals, the latest of which was getting faster at peeling artichokes).
Suddenly all the good things about a place come crowding in on me and I wonder why on earth I’m leaving, contrary creature that I am. I look at all my things stacked up in piles around the room and it occurs to me that this is probably what it feels like for cats and dogs when their owners are packing up to move house. I look at everything like it’s the last time I’ll see it. I think, this is the last time I climb this hill, this is the last time I clean this shelf. The fierceness of the joy and delight I feel in little things is how I wish I always felt but I suppose it’s a function of my situation. If I could hold onto it then perhaps I would be enlightened. Perhaps that’s the answer to why I move so often; this feeling, just one more time.
We’ll be in Istanbul for the next week where I’m looking forward most of all to eating kaymak, a kind of Turkish clotted cream made from either buffalo, sheep, goat or cow’s milk, among other things. My hunger for creamy things came on a little too early after mulling over one too many Istanbul food blogs so I made this fool with rhubarb. It’s light from the whipped cream and smooth from the Greek yoghurt with a good dose of sourness from the rhubarb and suited my mood perfectly.
What makes you notice the little things?
Rhubarb and Brown Sugar Fool
Makes 2 servings of about a cup each or 4 servings of a half cup. I had bourbon vanilla which is a kind of vanilla powder they sell here in Austria but vanilla extract is fine – if you wonder why there’s brown sugar on the roasted rhubarb in the picture, it’s because I panicked and thought it would be too sour but I needn’t have and neither should you – if you follow the recipe, it’ll be sweet enough.
450 grams (just under a pound) rhubarb
60 ml (1/4 cup) honey
1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla or vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180 celsius (350 fahrenheit).
Wash the rhubarb and cut into 1 cm (1/2 inch) pieces. Layer them in a roasting pan and drizzle with the honey and vanilla. Massage the honey around with your hands to coat the pieces evenly.
Roast for 15 minutes or until soft but not collapsed. Mash the pieces together a bit with a fork.
100 ml (3/5 cup) whipping cream
1 teaspoon icing sugar
Put the icing sugar in the cream and whip the cream until it holds firm peaks.
200 grams (4/5 cup) Greek yoghurt (Full fat or 2 %)
2 teaspoons honey
Stir the honey through the yoghurt. Fold the whipped cream through the yoghurt with a light hand.
To assemble: Layer a quarter of the rhubarb in each bowl and top with the yoghurt/cream mixture. Sprinkle a tablespoon of brown sugar over each. Repeat. Chill and serve cold.