You know how it goes. The school year begins and suddenly the calendar fills up: parent association meetings; soccer practices and games; school fundraisers. You try to get friends over for dinner and it takes a dozen emails and weeks of planning. Except, every once in a while, it comes together quickly, magically, like it did for us last night, in a matter of three text messages with a friend:
#1: “Can we swing by after temple to pick up your tent?”
#2: “Sure. Stay for dinner?”
#3: “Love to!”
And just like that, I had an outlet for the beautiful black and red plums from our CSA, and an excuse to try the plum cake recipe my Mom had spotted and emailed to me, captivated by the accompanying story about the author’s search for a way to update a beloved sour cherry cake recipe. The cake is a snap to make, requires no fancy ingredients
(you could skip the demerara sugar topping if your pantry isn’t stocked, like mine, with six kinds of sugar), and tastes delicious. Even the kids, who are generally skeptical of cooked fruit, enjoyed it (with the exception of one, who preferred the traditional apple slices dipped in honey). Again and again, we’re reminded, food is stories. For me, now, the story of this plum cake is of an impromptu holiday dinner with old friends. We may have to make a tradition of it.