Sunday, July 27, 2008
We're lucky enough to have inherited three varieties of plums. Denise made a plum preserve last weekend with our new wonder spice, garam masala. Since we haven't stocked the Point Reyes pantry yet we are reaching for garam masala whenever we need something with cloves/cinnamon/cumin etc. It is very cool to cook with. Anyhow, it turned out like a cross between a jam and a chutney. We've using it on toast to date but Denise is using it to glaze lamb chops tonight.
I've got a plum tart in the oven as we speak. While Denise was inclusive in her preserve, using plums from all across the size and color specturm, my tart is a strickly fascist Santa Rosa affair. (See second pic.) I was about ten minutes into researching a crust from scratch when I decided it would take too much time. Denise suggested a graham cracker crust. So a little melted butter and some crumbled graham crackers and I was off. I decided that the plums were so sweet that I'd only add lemon juice and zest. I don't get all this sugar in the recipies.
The larger story is that I am trying to cook without recipies and internet more and more. One of my goals in moving up here was to get to know the hiking trails well enough that I didn't have to take a map along to find my way. I wanted to know which ones were good in shade and in sun, which were a hard workout, which had good spots by streams by heart, so I could just pick up and go.
I'm getting more and more like that with my cooking. I want to get good enough that I can improvise all the time...only turning to books and internet for new experiments, or complicated things like bread. (Although, I really want to get some basic breads down as well.)
So back to the title...I can't take credit for growing the plums, but you can bet your ass I'm going to claim credit for my tart. Assuming it turns out well...