End of Summer Cobbler

After all the grumpy moving, we took off for the beach.

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I used to hate summer. Every year, my family moved up to Rhode Island the minute school ended. I would spend the next three months missing my friends and reading upwards of 40 books a summer. (This explains a lot.) 

Thankfully, I have grown to love and appreciate the beach, fresh fish, berries, and the smell of sunscreen, but I still remember just how much I loved the return drive from Rhode Island at the end of every summer. I got to buy a Milky Way bar at the Mobil station we stopped at before leaving the state–marking the end of a summer filled with paper bags full of Sweedish fish and sour watermelon slices bought for a penny at the Marina. But, my favorite thing, was rolling down the window when we got off the highway and were finally home. 

I remembered that last week as we drove back into Boston late at night. I rolled down the window as we pulled off the highway and realized the air actually felt cool. 

Back in New Haven, it still mostly feels like summer but there are lots of portents of approaching fall–like Noah starting school tomorrow. So, at the farmers market I decided I had to seize the moment and buy bunches of berries, peaches and plums. 

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Last night, I made a cobbler of the peaches and plums. I used spelt flour, which I’ve realized I can eat and which makes it feel almost wholesome. While it is decidedly not actually healthy, it is less sweet than a milky way bar. Nonetheless, it is still an appropriate way to mark the end of summer. 

Peach and Plum Spelt Cobbler:

For the fruit: 

– 4 smallish plums

– 3 peaches

– 1/2 a lemon

– 1/3 cup brown sugar

– 1 tablespoon butter

For the topping: 

– 1 cup spelt flour

– 1 1/2 tea spoons baking powder

– 1 tablespoon sugar

– 4 tablespoons butter

– 1/3 cup milk 

– Sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon 

* Slice fruit into relatively large chunks. 

* Toss fruit with brown sugar and lemon juice until well coated and arrange in 8 x 8 inch baking dish. 

* Cut tablespoon of butter into small chunks and sprinkle over fruit. 

* In a bowl mix dry ingredients for biscuits together. 

* Cut butter into dry ingredients and mix with hands until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. 

* Whisk in milk until dough pulls off of sides of bowl. 

* Drop dough in 9 small rounds over fruit. 

* Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over tops of biscuits lightly. 

* Bake for about 25 minutes until tester inserted into biscuit comes out clean. 

* Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. 

Meals for Grumpy Movers

So, we made the big move (which explains my two-week absence). As of last Friday, we are officially New Haven residents again.

This Thursday, I did my first commute into New York. Between various appointments (yay Tetanus boosters) and the archives, I ate breakfast  in Central Park, bought delicious Asian Pears at my favorite farmers market stand, and wondered how we ever thought about moving.

By the end of Friday I was so exhausted by the trains, the rain, and what appears to have been the beginnings of a some sort of bug, that I found myself crying on the subway. Someone once told me that you aren’t a real New Yorker until you cry on the subway. I don’t think I can really lay claim to that title, but it felt like an appropriate place to mourn the move.

In the last two weeks we also went to Michigan for a wedding. I took this photo while at the Heidelberg Project in Detroit. I think it’s fitting.

Here’s a list of positive things about our move: we have a real kitchen; we get real sunlight in our apartment; we are only half a block from the Saturday farmer’s market; our neighborhood always smells like the best pizza in the world; we live in the same city as Miya’s; our neighbors have tiny greyhounds; and, not to be sappy, but we do now live in the same city as a lot of wonderful friends.

Needless to say, the last two weeks have involved a lot of packing and unpacking, two trips to Ikea, and many stubbed toes. Since, in the midst of all this it was actually Noah’s birthday, the last two weeks have also involved a surprising amount of cooking, but none of that cooking involved me writing down accurate measurements so that I could relay those recipes to you.

I do, someday, want to tell you about my go-to corn salad for people who are too cheap/too lazy to buy fresh corn in August. I’m also excited about the red-cabbage “slaw” I’ve invented that uses tahini and parmesan in place of mayonnaise, but I want to get the measurements right before I do.

In the meantime, here is what I have cooked since we moved. I have no exact measurements for you and no photos. But, I’ve been reading An Everlasting Meal so maybe that’s ok. These are certainly less recipes than suggestions, a la Tamar Adler, about how to put together quick meals. They work well when you are still surrounded by boxes and can’t remember where you put your garlic press and spatula.

They do rely on more “gluten-free” ingredients than I usually use. (I find during moves and other busy times it’s helpful to have gluten-free pasta around.) They also relied on the best housewarming gift ever: a gift certificate to Pea Pod from Noah’s grandmother, which resulted in us having staples like frozen peas and parmesan stocked in our fridge starting on day 2.

 

Pasta for grumpy movers who miss New York: (I made one portion with gluten-free pasta and one portion with regular pasta, both work.)

– About a week in advance, realize that you can’t leave NYC without bringing some pastramied salmon with you. (If you miss this step, you should feel free to buy any smoked salmon to make this recipe. I used about a quarter pound of salmon.)

– Start boiling water.

– Chop up an entire bunch of scallions and throw in a pan with a good pat of butter.

– When the scallions start to brown and smell nice throw a lot of frozen peas in the pan and cook until they are warmed through.

– When water boils add pasta and cook according to directions.

– Meanwhile roughly chop salmon.

– Drain pasta.

– Mix pasta with a dab of butter, peas and scallions, chopped salmon, and grated parmesan cheese to taste.

 

On a happier night, make pizza: 

Before we left our friends gave us some gluten-free pizza dough mix and, while I’m usually skeptical of such things, since our neighborhood always smells like pizza and we had very little else to eat we decided to give it a try. It actually worked quite well. Whatever pizza dough you have, I highly recommend topping it with a whole bunch of chopped, sautéed swiss chart; fried shallots; mozzarella; and hot pepper flakes.

 

If you’re looking for a more precise recipe, I can’t recommend this cake, which I made for Noah’s birthday, more highly.