Saturday, April 21, 2012


I've thought of a hundred different ways to describe Lotusland, but I've come up with nothing that captures the experience of the garden. The only thing I can say is that someday, I hope to create a garden with a fraction of the wonder, personality, and humor this garden evokes.

Rhubarb Elderflower Fool
This is my own recipe, composed this morning when I wanted to create something special and evocative of a place. The elderberries are in early bloom in the arroyo, and the rhubarb plants I've babied along for a few years in the front yard have finally taken off. Bright with rhubarb but haunted by that floral-muscat scent of elderflowers, this is a dessert I'm proud of.

You will need:
8 ounces rhubarb (two small stalks)
juice of one Meyer lemon
3/4 cup sugar
3 large just-opened elderflower heads
plenty of just-sweet whipped cream
a handful of ameretti (bitter almond Italian cookies)

To make the fool:
Place all the rhubarb, lemon juice, sugar, and flower heads in a saucepan, cover the pot loosely, and simmer for a half an hour, until the rhubarb is soft. Remove from heat. Carefully remove the elderflower heads with a fork.

Pour the compote—you'll have about a cup—in a jar and place it in the refrigerator to chill.

When you're ready to serve the dessert, divide the chilled compote into four serving cups, add a generous layer of whipped cream, and drop a couple ameretti on top.

Serves four.


Anonymous said...

You captured some of my favorites -- the tiles, and the stone characters she had to bury to keep safe from the Germans.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

i should make a day out of visiting this garden.

i have one of those glass chunks. now all i need is 499 more. i love that as well as the polished stone patterns embedded in concrete

Christina said...

AH: I loved the theater garden so much. I could have sat for hours in it and been entertained by the scenes I imagined the stone characters acting. Is it possible to love a person through her garden? I think I love her a little bit through it. I've never found a garden that made me laugh out loud before.

PA: Yes. You should. I think you'd have a lot of fun also with her random giant chunks of minerals and stones in unexpected corners. I envy your one glass chunk.