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.


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.