Summer plum and cherry torte – with a side of thoughts
|August 24, 2012||Posted by ameliaps under dessert, summer, Uncategorized|
(scroll straight down if you just want the recipe, and none of my writing nonsense)
“I sometimes think that people’s hearts are like deep wells. Nobody knows what’s at the bottom. All you can do is imagine by what comes floating to the surface every once in a while.” ~Haruki Murakami, “Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman”
You see, lately I have had a lot of thoughts on my mind about the human experience, why we are here, why we are the way we are, who am I, who are we, who are you, will we really ever get to know another person (let alone our own selves), why is everything spinning so fast around us and we barely can stop to observe what is right in front of us, why all the noise and business, what will remain of us after we are dead, and so on… You too know the drill: seeking answers to the most elementary questions. I never stopped asking those questions over the years, but lately I must be going through some form of adolescence, together with my older son who is approaching pre-teen years, and questioning everything. I rather do like that, though. It’s through the questions we ask, not through the answers we get (or might not get), that we grow.
“I have this strange feeling that I’m not myself anymore. It’s hard to put into words, but I guess it’s like I was fast asleep, and someone came, disassembled me, and hurriedly put me back together again. That sort of feeling.” ~ Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart
I was traveling for most of the summer, with my family of four, away from my usual universe, from the local distractions, from the people I know.
This was a healthy detox, might I say, as it helped me readdress a few priorities and look at my life from the distance. Although jumping right back into the pond has a seductive way of absorbing and magnetizing you, I am trying to ride the wave of a fresher, more “me” perspective of life. I had hoped for adventure, and adventure brought me a hunger for a quite return, for home, for routine, for predictable mornings.
“Whatever it is you’re seeking won’t come in the form you’re expecting.” ~ Haruki Murakami
It takes some considerable strength to go beyond comformity, to be ok with not fitting it, to know that whatever you do is not always going to be liked, to live according to your principles and wishes. While I do not consider myself a rebel, I do feel that I frequently defy the common path, just by exploring new things all the time and not walking in a row, trying to discover unusual approaches. I should be ok with it, since it is what my heart says… but human nature has a funny way of making you feel uncomfortable if you are not just like the next person, it is a defense mechanism, probably set in place for self-preservation. The different is frequently targeted as weak in the animal kindgdom… but the different is also the one that discovers new food and water sources by testing unknown boundaries.
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking” ~ Haruki Murakami, “Norwegian Wood”
While I enjoy exploring the world, discovering new boundaries, sometimes, I feel like a nomad. My roots are a feable remembrance of my original stance and my core is made of branches leapeing out to the wind. When you are a nomad, it is indeed exciting to be adaptable to new soils, and flourish wherever you are planted, but if wind comes blowing fast, you might not be as planted as you would expect, and it will take time to find similar souls. Sometimes I feel that people can barely blow in my face for my leaves to be shaken up. In the end, we are all human (I tell myself, rarely them), and I try to respect everyone’s stance, curious to learn what made them who they are and what they are seeking in life. Human nature fascinates me, especially people’s curiosity (or lack of it).
“Each person feels pain in his own way, each has his own scars.” ~ Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
Anyhow, I digress… sorry for my blabbering… I was feeling like doing a little stream of consciousness this morning…
…but I should stick with seasonal produce and kitchen conundrums such as: what to bake with fresh, ripe plums and cherries…
And so I did that too. My very first post of this very blog, almost 3 years ago, was a recipe I have cherished for long and is a very predictable and welcome presence at our home, especially in summer: plum torte.
So, while I settle my ponderings, I enjoy a slice of mundane cake with stone fruits to remind me that summer is after all the sweetest season and I am thankful that my travels were safe. I am home.
|Summer plum and cherry torte||
- 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) butter (115 gr.)
- 3/4 c. sugar (150 gr.) plus 2 Tbsp. for topping
- 2 eggs
- 1 c. all-purpose flour (125 gr.)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- pinch of salt
- Zest of 1 lemon (OR 1 tsp. almond or vanilla extract)
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- Fresh plums, as many as needed (~2-4), quartered
- A few cherries (8-10), pitted and halved
- Place rack in lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C).
- Beat the butter and 3/4 cup sugar together until fluffy. Beat in the eggs.
- Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together, then mix thoroughly with the wet ingredients. Mix in the lemon zest (or the chosen extract)
- Place the batter in a greased 10″ pie pan (I use a removable bottom fluted French tart pan).
- Pit and cut up the plums — if they are the little kind, cut them in half; if they are larger than about 2″ across, cut them in quarters.
- Arrange the plums cut (peel) side down and the cherries on top of the batter, leaving about 1/4″ to 1/2″ in between the pieces.
- Mix together the 2 Tbs. of sugar and the cinnamon and sprinkle over the top. Bake for about 45 minutes. Cool in the pan.
You can watch me bake this torte (from a small TV segment I recorded on Atlanta’s channel 11 news):