What I had for dinner on Sunday, December 25, 2011

We went to G’s folks’ house for low-key not-really-xmas. They broiled some lovely wild salmon, and served it with a homegrown (by them!) homemade green tomato chutney. There was also bok choy with oyster sauce; brown rice; and delicious sweet potato oven fries.

We brought many types of cheese for snacking, including my homemade homegrown chèvre, as well as Manchego, a semi-stinky Brie, a Basque cheese with lots of Xs in the name, and a bunch of cheese nubbins from Calf and Kid. I also brought a tiny jar (quarter-pint) of pepper jelly made with one (or more) of each type of sweet and hot red pepper that Betsey had at the Laughing Crow booth in early October. When I made it, I envisioned it being spooned over a smear of homemade chèvre on a cracker; today is the first jar of the pepper jelly I’ve opened, and so I did that, and it was SO GOOD. I’m very pleased.

I also brought (baked at G’s folks) a version of Anna’s plum torte, which I usually make with cherries because that is my most abundant frozen fruit. It turned out very well, as usual; rustic, not too sweet, delicious and so simple to make. Also super reliable: I have never had it not turn out. This recipe is filed under “Anna Cake” in my recipe box, but I often lose its notecard and have to go search her site again, which Blogger doesn’t make easy, so I’m going to replicate it here (for fun, I guess, since I’ve now linked it and can find it here in the future anyway).

Preheat oven to 350°

Cream together 1 stick (aka 8 Tablespoons, aka 1/2 cup) softened (room temp) butter, and 3/4 cup sugar.

Add 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, pinch salt and two eggs (beaten).

Mix all, and add batter to greased (optional, I never do this) 8- or 9-inch springform pan. Place your fruit into the batter — whether fresh or thawed frozen cherries, or halves of plums (cut side down) à la Anna, or blueberries scattered throughout, or slices of nectarine or strawberry, or ??? — sprinkle with lemon juice (also optional, I rarely do this) and some cinnamon and/or sugar (I usually use some homemade vanilla sugar that was given to me).

Bake 35-45 minutes, until done in the middle and browned on top.

Cool and devour. Makes a great breakfast also.

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