Monday 3 May 2010

It's Lilac Time!!

He had no worldly treasures.
No fortune he possessed . . .
To leave unto his children,
But this was his bequest.
He left them all the beauties
Of earth and skies and seas . . .
The marvels of creation;
The brooks, the birds, the trees . . .
The salt wind on the marshes,
The primrose in the lane.
The green and golden meadows . . .
The sun, the stars, the rain.
The heather on the moorlands.
The swallows on the wing.
The snowdrops in the winter . . .
The lilacs in the spring.
~author unknown

We were sitting here last night watching the telly and I looked out the window and across the road behind a tall fence I saw lilacs in bloom and swaying in the wind.

Oh how I do love lilacs . . . they hold a special place in my heart. Their pretty purple and white flowers are so very beautiful and the scent . . .

why . . . the scent is pure heavenly bliss.

when I was a young bride, our first apartment had a drive lined by a lilac hedge and in the springtime it was a riot of bloom and scent. Oh how very wonderful it was to behold and to smell. I would bring armfull's of them into the house and set them out in vases . . . the perfume of the blooms working magic that nothing from a can ever could.

Down at the Manor where I worked there were several lovely lilac bushes, quite large in size, both a purple and a white. I could see them from where I worked in the kitchen and often admired them as I was washing up or puttering away.

We don't have a lilac bush here, but I may ask Todd if we can plant one. It would be so lovely out in the garden, taking over once the rhododendron finished it's springtime dance . . . and then we would have the lovely green of it's leaves throughout the summer . . .

Oh, it does sound a grand idea!

Wherever you are today I hope you have something pretty to look at and to smell. It is good medicine for whatever ails you!!

Here is some more good medicine for what ails you in the form of a lovely and simple Rhubarb Tart. I think Rhubarb has to be one of my favourite fruits and none is nicer than the early spring cuttings . . . so pink and tender. My mother used to give us sticks of rhubarb and bowls of sugar. We would dip the cut end of the rhubarb into the sugar and bite the ends off, doing this until we had eaten the whole stick. Oh how lovely it was . . . our cheeks would ache with the tartness of it all, but it was so good and such a rare treat!

*A Simple Rhubarb Tart*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

It's no secret that Rhubarb is one of my favourite fruits. Especially Rhubarb Pie, this is for when you get that craving, but haven't the time to make a whole pie. Quick, easy and scrumptious!

4 cups of rhubarb slices (about 1/2 inch in length)
Brown sugar
1 sheet of Puff pastry (either fresh or frozen)
milk to glaze the edges of the tart
a bit of demerara sugar to glaze the edges of the tart (In North America Turbinado sugar)
4 heaped tablespoons of vanilla pudding or custard
4 heaped tablespoons of mascarpone cheese

Prepare the rhubarb first. Preheat your oven to 205*C/425*F/Gas mark 7. Lay your rhubarb out in a single layer in a large baking dish with sides. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over top of it. (As much or as little as you want, it all depends on how tart you like your fruit) Bang it into the heated oven and roast the rhubarb for about 15 minutes, until softened but still holding it's shape. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, while you prepare the base. Keep the oven on.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray it with a bit of nonstick cooking spray. Unroll your puff pastry, and place it onto the baking sheet. Knock up the edges all the way around, creating a raised edge. Crimp with your fingertips. Prick the middle of the pastry all over and then brush the edges with some milk and sprinkle with the demerara sugar. Place into the heated oven and bake for 15 minutes or so until nicely browned and crisp. Remove from the oven and knock the middle back down with the bottom of a spoon. Allow to cool completely.

Mix together the vanilla pudding (custard) and the mascarpone cheese. Spoon this mixture into the centre of the tart, spreading it to fill the base. Take your rhubarb and spoon it over top of the pudding mixture, covering it and only adding as much of the juices as you desire. Serve immediatly, cut into squares. You can have an additional topping of sweetened whipped cream if you desire.

Note - This tart is not a keeper so must be eaten on the day and soon after preparation. If you don't want a big tart as that, bake your puff pastry into individual tart shapes and only fill and top as many as you need at one time.

Over on The English Kitchen today, more sweets to tempt your sweet tooth. Chai Cupcakes!

If you could spare a few Happy Thoughts for my good friend Hazel, it would be much appreciated. She is going into hospital for a hip replacement operation tomorrow and I hope it all goes well. Thanks!!


  1. Those bushes look so delightful. I can see why you would want to plant one.

    Have a wonderful day.

  2. You are talking about two of my favorite things...lilacs and rhubarb! I have loved them both since childhood..we used to have little mud-tea parties and we ate rhubard right off the plant and loved it! Love lilacs too and the smell is pure Heaven! Come say hi :D

  3. I have never had a lilac but I do love their beauty and fragrance. I think I need to plant one too. What a good idea you have given me.

    Our rhubarb is big and beautiful. This weekend I made several pints of rhubarb sauce, 1 pie and one cake. Your tart sound wonderful. I will have to try it for sure. However I am not sure what Turbinado sugar is or what mascarpone cheese is. Could I use powered sugar and a cream cheese?

    Have a great week. I look forward to talking to you tomorrow or Tues. I send love. Hugs, Lura

  4. I love the smell of lilacs! How wonderful that they are out for you!

    And that tart looks so good too. I love those cupcake wrappers - so pretty Marie.

    Have a wonderful week my friend!


  5. I love lilac too Marie, we have one that has dark mauve flowers and I really like it. My Mum used to love rhubarb and it always reminds me of her, and your rhubarb tart looks lovely and seems simple and quick to cook.
    Love to you and Todd, xx

  6. Marie,

    What a lovely poem and those lilacs are beautiful. Everytime I stop by your blog I turn my laptop volume up to hear your music, generally I have the volume off. It's a lovely song though and always brightens my day :) Hope your having a nice weekend

    All things nice...

  7. I love lilacs but they just don't grow well in our area. I have one plant that actually had 6 spires of blossoms this year. Sadly, I cut every blossom and brought them inside just to enjoy the fragrance. Maybe if I fertilize well, there will be more blossoms next year!

  8. Hello, Marie! LILACS... oh, I just LOVE lilac time! We have a very old lilac shrub, it's white with such heavenly fragrance. I fear we will miss much of the show of it while we're on our trip soon. Just a week now until we go on holiday! Lovely sweet treat here today...mmm... Happy Day, dear friend! Do hope we get to chat before we're off. LOVE YOU HEAPS!! :o) ((BIG HUGS))

  9. Hello you! Lilacs are lovely. Pity their flowering season is so short. We haven't actually got one of our own but there's one in next door's back garden. It's between the back of their garage and back of our shed and they don't even know it's theirs! It's a lovely dark red - yes, there are other colours but white and purple are favourite. Anyway, we love it on their behalf.

    Keith just planted some new rhubarb as what we had has been rubbish for a couple of years. As we wait for it to fruit next year I shall just have to plunder sis's garden!

    We're off asparagus hunting down south Lincolnshire on Wednesday. I hope we find some (they grow it downthere) because I thinkit's the most exquisite veg there is.

    Happy Holiday Monday
    love, Angie, xx

  10. The lilacs are so pretty, aren't they? I saw the most beautiful wisteria the other day also. The earth is just so abundantly decorated with God's handiwork right now. It brings joy to the soul.

    Have a wonderful week, Marie!

  11. Lovely lilacs are blooming here too. They are delightful. I hope your Monday is a great one!

  12. Ah Marie! You're earlier than NS for both lilacs and rhubarb. But you've got me itching to have both now.

  13. Second attempt..first went awal..
    I too love rhubarb and your comment brougth back memories of Mum making wee three corned bags and filing with sugar and then we woudl sit on teh step dipping our fresh rhubarb stalk...mmmmmmm I can taste it now..thanks for the memory x I also love the smell of the lilac but Mum would never have it indoors as it was unlucky ! as if any of Gods flowers coudl be unlucky !! however the thought must have stuck with me as I don't bring it in either !! daft I am !! don't know what size your new gadren is but did you know that you can get small lilac bushes now ?
    Love Sybil x

  14. Thank you so much for the lovely photos of lilacs. They are my favorite flowers in the world. They do not grow where I live.

  15. I so miss lilacs. They grow West of here, but not where I am. They make me think of my childhood days and college days. The smell is so wonderful--I used to put my head right into them!!

  16. The first time I ever saw lilacs was in New York City and I fell in love! Unfortunately, it's much too hot here in the south for them so I have to enjoy them through pictures. What a joy they must be to have close by. blessings, marlene


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