"A plate of rhubarb crumble with a dollop of cream, serving dish and spoon in the background."

Eat for the season

It’s good for your wallet and your waistline

With today’s global transport options, it can be easy to lose track of local seasonality. Strawberries and sweetcorn in winter?? No problem!  We’re spoilt for choice, but we pay for the privilege.

The season knows best, so now’s time to enjoy roast meals, soups and casseroles with sweet potato/kumara, parsnips and swede, as well as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts. Winter fruits?  Apples, pears, mandarins, navel oranges, lemons and rhubarb.



5 (750g) granny smith apples, peeled, cored, chopped

1/3 cup caster sugar

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp finely grated lemon rind

6 rhubarb stems, trimmed, cut into 3cm pieces

2 tsp plain flour

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup plain flour, extra

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

80g butter, chilled, chopped

1/4 cup flaked almonds

Icecream, to serve


Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced.

Place apple, caster sugar, cinnamon, lemon rind and 2 tablespoons of water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cover. Cook for 5 minutes or until apple starts to soften. Add rhubarb and flour. Cook, covered, for 3 minutes or until rhubarb just softens. Transfer to an 8-cup-capacity baking dish.

Combine oats, extra flour and brown sugar in a bowl. Using fingertips, rub butter into mixture until it resembles crumbs. Stir in almonds. Sprinkle over the rhubarb mixture. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden. Cool 5 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice-cream or custard

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Judy McAuliffe is a writer, and publisher Essence Mid Canterbury. Her experience in media is extensive and includes approximately 15 years as Creative Director for The Radio Network, writing, and managing the writing of radio advertising, mainly in Invercargill and Greymouth. In the late 1990’s she transferred to Christchurch, moving into an Account Management role with 91ZM. In 2007 she and a business partner set up Essence Mid Canterbury, very quickly adapting her radio-writing skills to print media. Judy became sole owner of Essence Mid Canterbury in June 2014. Judy is a ‘people person’ and has found her niche writing feature stories about the community she lives in and the people who live there. She is also available for freelance writing assignments.