Wednesday, April 30, 2008

[napa 2001] 1. plums from our tree

In the summer of 2001, I lived in a house surrounded by edible things for the first time in my life.

One of these things was plums, or rather, four of these things were plums. There was a small Italian prune plum tree, from which we plucked hard--almost juiceless--little oblong fruits with sharp pits.

And the other tree...that tree was magical. It was an amazing grafted concoction with three main branches, each a different variety. One branch was most favored, big-in-your-palm green-skinned monsters, crisp-skinned juicy with exploding fuschia flesh. Their bud-ends tapered, shaped like human hearts. I brought them to Copia for Jeff Dawson to identify, and he declared them Elephant Heart plums.

They changed my mind about plums, and I invented the double-stacked Elephant Heart Plum Upside-Down Cake to honor them. I'll add the recipe soon. Shocking pink layered with dense vanilla cake. I decorated the birthday cake platter with fresh baby fig leaves and pistachio marzipan figs the size of my little finger tip.

Story one, in a series of 48.

2 comments:

Naya said...

my birthday is july 3rd. time to revive the napa cake!

Naya said...

my birthday is july 3rd. see you in napa for cake and maybe a few other things on that fine list.