We’ll get to the apple rhubarb crumble but first…
How safe is your kitchen counter?
Do you ever worry about germs? My mother always said you had to eat a peck of dirt before you die but I sure don’t want to rush things.
I was sitting at the kitchen table the other day, chatting with a friend who dropped by for coffee and I looked over at the counter top and it was streaky. Not in a ‘that’s really gross you should be on Hoarders’ way but it was obviously not shiny granite.
After she left I began to think about how clean am I really? I don’t get all worked up about living in a germ free environment because personally I think not having enough or the wrong sort of gut bacteria is what makes a lot of people sick. However, I do want to avoid any contamination that could give us a nasty bout of tummy distress. Food poisoning can be annoying but it can also be deadly.
I looked over at my stack of cutting boards and wondered how they fared in the quest for a food poisoning free kitchen. I use both wooden and plastic cutting boards and I do my best to have boards for meat, fish and chicken and others for veggies and bread, but is that doing enough?
Imagine chopping up an iceberg lettuce after cutting up raw chicken? Rather like giving that raw chicken a French kiss. Recent reports indicate that up to 80% of supermarket chickens are contaminated with Salmonella or other nasty bugs.
I put my plastic cutting boards in the dishwasher and every once in a while I’ll make a bleach solution and give them a soak in that for a few minutes. I don’t dry the cutting board in the dishwasher because I’ve learned that I don’t like warped cutting boards.
I wash my wooden cutting boards in soapy water and if it’s sunny outside I’ll dry the board with a cloth and leave them in the sun to dry and kill off all the baddies. I don’t do this often enough.
I clean my counters with soapy water and every once in a while I’ll wipe them down with a solution of 50% water and alcohol. I spray it on and leave it for about 5 minutes and then rinse and dry. It’s as shiny as can be and I feel good about cooking. I was told, but don’t know for sure or why, that using bleach on granite is not a good thing so I don’t.
Now that my kitchen was clean, it was time to dirty it all up again by cooking this apple rhubarb crumble I found on Aussie Farmer’s Direct. Their recipe uses way more rhubarb than apple so I adapted the recipe for what I like to eat.
- 5 stalks rhubarb
- 3 large (4 medium) apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
- ¼ cup caster sugar
- ⅓ cup self-raising flour
- ¼ cup plain, all-purpose flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 100 grams (7 tablespoons) cold butter, cubed
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F
- Grease an ovenproof dish and add the rhubarb, caster sugar and apple, plus 2 tablespoons water. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes until fruit is tender.
- While the apples and rhubarb are baking, make the crumble topping.
- In a large bowl sift the flour and add the butter.
- Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles crumbs. Add the brown sugar and rolled oats and mix well.
- When the rhubarb and apples are cooked, remove the foil and top with the crumble mixture. Return to the oven and bake for a further 20-25 minutes until the crumble is golden brown and crispy.
- Serve with whipped cream, ice cream or custard (or all three!)