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Neither Here Nor There and Brown Sugar Rhubarb Fool

May 28, 2011 · 26 comments

in Desserts,Gluten Free,Snacks,Spring,Sweets

rhubarb fool image sasasunakku

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).

cut rhubarb image sasasunakku

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.

rhubarb cutting image sasasunakku
honey rhubarb image sasasunakku
roasted rhubarb image sasasunakku

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?

brown sugar rhubarb fool image sasasunakku
half eaten fool image sasasunakku

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.

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Kocinera May 28, 2011 at 9:10 pm

I must say, I kinda like that bittersweetly jittery feeling. It always hints that something really exciting is about to happen. Even if the move is bringing up a fair bit of nostalgia for you, I think even better things are ahead. Like a jaunt to Istanbul!!! Oh-ehm-gee that’s going to rock! :D

Sasa June 4, 2011 at 1:29 pm

It did! I ate so many great things, coming to a post near you ^_^

ana May 28, 2011 at 11:20 pm

moving definitely makes me notice the little things. before leaving slovenia we had a long list of things we wanted to do or eat one last time (and one of them was kajmak!)
and lately, being on a diet also makes me notice all the little things i don’t eat now – and helps me enjoy them better when i do :)

good luck!

Sasa June 4, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Kaymak/kajmak…It was so delicious, I wish I could have brought some home!

papaya May 29, 2011 at 2:45 am

“this is the last time i’ll walk home from the station…this is the last time i’ll brush my teeth in this bathroom…” i do that quite obsessively when i’m about to leave a place too. hehe.

good luck with the big move, sass! am excited for you.

Alessandra May 29, 2011 at 7:51 am

Lovely fool, I hope it picked you up. I know the feeling. Big hugs and have a good trip.


Alli May 29, 2011 at 9:30 am

Have a great trip Sasa and I look forward to catching up with you more in NZ when your back.

Bops May 29, 2011 at 10:33 am

Yum – I love rhubarb! That feeling of being on the brink of departure is one I love to indulge and attempt to create as often as poss. Istanbul is Constantinople …

Sasa June 4, 2011 at 1:30 pm

And Byzantium!

Musashi May 29, 2011 at 10:36 am

Haere mai.

Injins May 29, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Absence definitely makes me notice the little things.
Sometimes, I’m running around like a blue a*** fly and it is only when I find time for the little things that I realise just how much they mean to me – having breakfast with Mr B on a Sunday, tending my garden, reading and people watching whilst eating cake!

Good luck with the big move x

Sasa June 4, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Thanks Inya x

Suzy May 29, 2011 at 5:43 pm

You know, before I moved to Berlin, the last time I had moved (from Paris to London) was 13 years ago and I was literally crippled with fear, well not, not literally. But I was pretty scared. Once it was done though. It was so liberating. To realise I had been tied down to ‘things’ and situations that were really oppressive and stifling creativity, wonderment and so on. So I get why you have a bit of an addiction.

Kimberley May 29, 2011 at 6:40 pm

I know exactly what you mean. Travel does the same for me, except that the circumstances are weirdly opposite. But both put everything into sharp relief. Oh and this rhubarb fool. Minus the whipped cream it’s almost the perfect breakfast, too.

Marietta May 29, 2011 at 10:27 pm

wow…already time to move?! i cant believe how fast time has fly .. all the best sasa… sad to have another euro halvsie to move far away but what the hell..the world is an even smaller place now!

Sasa June 4, 2011 at 1:31 pm


Jane - Kitchen Stools Direct May 30, 2011 at 12:08 am

Gorgeous velvet of the whipped cream and yoghurt.. what a tantalasing feast to the eyes that photo! The feeling of packing and unpacking stacks of cartons is not alien to me either, with butterflies in the tummy every time you land into alien soil. Good luck with everything, Sasa.

Su-yin May 30, 2011 at 1:51 am

Catty mentioned that you were moving back to NZ in a few weeks, it must be exciting (yet daunting!). Have a great trip in Instanbul, and have a safe move home! xx

amber May 30, 2011 at 4:03 am

I tend to get pretty hyper-sensitive to detail in the midst of any extreme emotion — happiness or sadness. I think it’s that sense of the ephemeral (that this isn’t going to last)… I start to notice everything.

Good luck with your move, Sasa. And a preemptive welcome back to the Southern Hemisphere! xo

SMITH BITES May 30, 2011 at 6:12 pm

moving definitely makes me notice the little things; however, i am forcing myself to live in the moment more and that helps me notice the little things . . . birds singing, size and shapes of the clouds . . . a train in the distance . . . The Professor’s small snores when he first fall asleep – even the color of green on the trees as they change from day to day. i do hope the move goes well Sasa – looking forward to reading all about your new adventures!!

btw – the fool looks right up my alley and i DO have a very large rhubarb plant that needs a good whacking or two . . .

hungryandfrozen May 30, 2011 at 10:21 pm

I love how the sugary rhubarb swirls into the creamy yoghurt. Beautiful! I have to admit, I was so happy to leave my previous flat that I didn’t have any of those moments, but while we were traveling round Europe earlier this year, every single place we went felt like the best place, and it got harder and harder to leave the closer it got to the end of the trip. Got to the point where we were saying “we could sooo live here” about basically everywhere ;)

All the best for your packing and your trip! Enjoy that kaymak!

catty May 30, 2011 at 10:40 pm

That looks pretty delicious – i love rhubarb and how its tartness goes with all things sweet like ice cream, custard and BROWN SUGAHHHHH! dont be sad about leaving, a new chapter lies ahead and though the next 12 months might be a little tougher, think of the amazing years ahead after that, back down in the better hemisphere ;) and i will be there for you if you need anything (well, sorta. across the Tasman Sea).

Luisa May 31, 2011 at 11:36 am

I’ve been thinking of you and your imminent move lately. I know all those feelings of terror and jitters (and excitement) you’re having and I just wanted to say that I’m sending you all the crossed fingers and best wishes I’ve got for this next chapter of your life. I hope you come back to Berlin sometime to visit – you’ve got some big fans here ;) – and remember that this hemisphere will always welcome you with open arms! xoxo

Sasa June 4, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Thanks so much for all the wishes my lovelies, now everything is sent (I had to post it a week earlier) I’m wandering about feeling like I’ve forgotten something but reading your lovely thoughts makes me feel a bit more anchored.

Mairi @ Toast June 6, 2011 at 3:53 am

Hi Sasa, not long now…safe travels home. Love rhubarb & mixed with the cream & the brown sugar…yum!

Marie June 13, 2011 at 2:17 am

I was going to ask where you were moving to and then saw in the comments that you are coming here! Will you be in Auckland? Anyway, thank you for stopping by my blog and, believe me, I know the ‘moving house feeling’ well. Like a billion times over. Excitement, stress, sadness, happiness…and that’s just while making your morning tea! Good luck with it. I will be making this recipe tonight with the rhubarb that is burning a hole in my fridge:)

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