Monday, August 22, 2011

Balsamic Roasted Plums, a Burglary and a Birthday

Ah yes, one of those things is not like the other. I'll get there.

Above we have a scene from the kitchen during tonight's Monday meal prep. Karyn ran over from Old Town, showered and spent the rest of her birthday dinner in her birthday suit and a very stylish towel wrap. Gina came straight from training but skipped the shower. Joner was a frock-rocking basil-tearing machine and Bec wore one of my oversize buttondowns around, buttoned all the way up as mosquito/frosting protection.

I'd put the picture up but I think I need approval on that one first.


  • Zucchini fritters with yogurt and apricot jam
  • Mixed greens with balsamic roasted plums and blue cheese*
  • Pork scallopini (Divina Cucina style=fennel pollen!)
  • Pappardelle with heirloom tomatoes and fresh pesto
  • Chocolate Cake with Guiness poured over the top

I'm grateful for beautiful nights like this one. I snuck off to the downtown farm stand to grab beautiful plums at lunch was home in time to head to the butcher shop. I've made that chocolate cake so many times that I think I could do it blindfolded and the rest...while creating a breathtaking path of dishes and destruction...came together simply. We ate outside in the magic garden and I just needed that.

It's been an interesting seven days. My apartment was broken into, my laptop and iPods stolen and some peace of mind taken along with them. I am a tough cookie most of the time but knowing someone was in my home is jarring. Even though it could have been a whole lot worse (I wasn't there at the time), I still feel violated. And pissed, if we're being candid. Five separate friends offered HC and I a place to stay that night and all I could think of was straight, stubborn, crimson fury.

A planned work trip got me out of town for the weekend and it was truly awesome. I still wasn't feeling quite myself but Philadelphia with a bunch of professional optimists and an old school partner in crime were the best kinds of distractions.

Police reports filed, fingerprints collected and now we wait. It's not the first time I've been here but that doesn't make it easier. Some simple precautions like new windows, fresh locks do wonders but having a house full of people who love you and the smells that go along with that are the fastest ways to restore order to my world. Monday mission accomplished.

I lied about the picture. I'm sorry, friends. It was too perfect. I love you enough to delete it later if you want to raise a protest.

A chocolate beer cake cheers to houses that feel like home and to the people that fill them with light. Dinner was very much in Karyn's honor tonight but I'm definitely going to bed feeling gifted.

Balsamic Roasted Plums

6 small, ripe plums
2 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
Smoked salt to taste

Rinse and dry your plums then cut them in half, removing the pit. Toss in balsamic in a glass baking dish and top with a pinch of smoked salt. Roast at 375 for 4-5 minutes. I don't even know that this counts as a recipe, it's that easy.

Serve over mixed greens with blue cheese and just pour your roasting juices from the plums over the salad as a dressing. It's a delight.


nicole antoinette said...

Must eat these plums IMMEDIATELY.

Lila said...

I love the way you depicted joy and loss in this post, all swirled together like a big soft-serve cone. The evening sounded comforting and lovely, but I'm sorry to hear about the break-in. Cheers to having great friends.

Laura said...

hahaha.. that pic is so funny.. Gina and her asian peace sign. :) And that cake sounds and looks delish!! :) But i'm so sorry to hear about your house getting broken into. ugh!

Molly said...

yay!! fabulous post & wonderful attitude - that's how you get through shitty episodes like last week! i don't know what I like better ... karen's towel wrap or becca's mosquito collar ... awesome :)

Kelly said...

OMG! I am SO sorry to hear this dear. I would feel the exact same way you did. It's bigger than just stuff, it's a violation. Glad you were still able to have a gorgeous dinner out of it.

Hope you are feeling better and if I can do anything, let me know. I was thinking (separately) that we should cook dinner sometime at my place. Entertaining has kind of taken a backseat to my househunt but now that it's clear I'm not going anywhere for awhile, I've decided that is a shame.

Shanti said...

did you really pour Guinness over the Ina cake? genius move. glad you are safe physically and cheers to friends and food who do the same for our minds and hearts.

TKTC said...

Nic- stunning are those. I took roughly 15 pictures of them and none really did them justice but I'm glad you are seeing the love.

Lila- You are too kind. Particularly as I happen to love soft serve. Best of all, custard. If you ever make it to the Midwest in the fall, we'll get custard at Culver's and go apple picking.

Laura- Aren't they a trip? I don't know what they were going for there but all that was achieved was their signature brand of awkward:)

Molly- You're the best and you make it feel like home no matter what. #mush

Kelly- I would love to come to dinner. I head back to MA for the first week of September but beyond that, I'm around!

Shanti- we totally did that. And it was good but I think if I did it again, I'd whip it into the frosting with something thick like cream cheese. The cake got soggy fast. Delicious but there is a better way to express the flavor.

Janine at Rustic Kitchen said...

Oh, dearest, such an awful experience, even though you weren't hurt. On the other hand, the plums sound divine!