I was forced to make this astounding tart, and you need not learn how!

On June 23, 2010 by Eden M. Kennedy

First of all, this:

Secondly, to get the first thing, I needed this:

(He just goes on forever, doesn’t he? He’ll be nine in less than a week.) Not everyone has their own personal Huck Finn, I realize. I realize I am priviliged, and I will try to remember not to lord my privilidge over those without free food dangling from the tree outside their window, and also I don’t know how to spell priveledge.

Recently it was Father’s Day, a day when we at the Kennedy compound pay obeisance to our lord and master, the refrigerator. We larded ours up with beer and bagels and not too many weird cheeses, and because Jackson had been practicing the gathering arts of his most ancient ancestors, we had a bowl full of these:

Our plums did not suffer this particular fate. Things may be rough all over, but they’re not yet so desperate that we’re scraping food off the sidewalk that’s been squished by children’s bicycles “because it’s fun, and remember when Boloni stomped on all those snails?”

At this point, readers new to the site may be thinking one or more of the following:

1. What kind of parent lets her child leave the ground without a helmet?
2. What kind of parent lets her child climb a tree without supervision of any kind, lest branches be broken, bird nests dislodged, or unripe fruit prematurely harvested?
3. Why didn’t anyone stop this Boloni person from stomping on snails?
4. What kind of people name their child Boloni?
5. This blog is ridiculous, and I think those ads might be fake.

Yes, even though it is incredibly onerous for me to answer imaginary questions in order to bring new readers up to speed, I will do it because it is a bad idea to take your readers for granted. (I don’t know why, it just is.) So listen: we live in a small housing development with lots of fruit trees that are treated as community property. Anyone interested in climbing these trees may do so, as long as the tree isn’t harmed in any way. The careful climber enjoys the opportunity to pick whatever fruit they can reach and then huck it at whoever’s in range. Not that you asked, since I hadn’t mentioned that the fruit tree pictured above isn’t actually ours and that I’m ignoring all your other questions, but technically I don’t think my son was stealing from anyone, insofar as all neighbors have equal access to the plums and lemons and whatnot dangling around our ears night and day, and half the time the stuff just falls off and rots on the ground. If my LAZY neighbors, so bloated with their own privileage that they do not BOTHER to take advantage of easy pickings (either because they lacked the wherewithal, courage, and/or foresight to birth some tree-climbing monkey-spawn of their own, or because they lack arms, or aprons with which to carry nature’s fruity bounty back to their kitchen), and so are deprived of pie, I am not actually sorry, because it just means more for me. However, anyone feeling fruit-deprived need only ask my son; he and a squad of excited children will have a bushel of plums and weird, deformed lemons on your doorstep in no time.

Anyway. I don’t know whose idea it was, but between the two of them, my husband and my son agreed that a tart must be made featuring the many plums Jackson had recreationally harvested. Thus an instructional video arrived in my inbox Saturday evening, which I promptly ignored. Everything went black until Sunday afternoon, when I drove to the store and spent $12 on pre-made pie crust, raw sugar, and fig preserves. THEN I watched the video, and that is when I realized I should have bought a flat roll of pie dough, or just sucked it up and made my own, rather than getting a pie crust pre-pressed into a foil pan with fluted edges. Problem-solver that I am, I popped the dough out of the pan and smushed it flat (as a sidewalk snail) on a cookie sheet. Jackson was then recruited to spread fig preserves in the center of the dough (a chore which “made him sick” — this from a boy who eats fried shrimp heads and raw fish eggs). I’d already pitted the hell out of the plums, so we piled them in the middle, pushed a rim of dough up around them, brushed a little egg wash on the dough, sprinkled a lots of of raw sugar all over the place, and baked it at 400° for 20 minutes.

And as you can see, it leaked all over the place because the stupid crust broke. Despite that, it was good and tasted all natural and wholesome and stuff, and I am not ashamed to admit that I ate half of it. HALF. OF. IT. Because, as you know, free food has no calories, so the only part that counts is the crust. But if you eat the crust in little broken pieces, it doesn’t count, either! I actually lost weight eating this. It was a Father’s Day miracle.



23 Responses to “I was forced to make this astounding tart, and you need not learn how!”

  • Please tell me you ate that gorgeous thing while it was still warm, and with a little vanilla ice cream on top.

  • I hope you ate it standing up because that actually burns calories. But I’m sure you knew that. And it beats food poisoning as a diet. Ask me how I know.

  • Yummy. And I do love having monkey-spawn of my own.

  • Karen, all we had was some year-old frozen yogurt in the freezer. *sob*

    Jelli, I’ll bite! HOW DO YOU KNOW?

    Steph, yes, and I never knew how handy children could be! Their little hands fit right up into the Coke machine.

  • Did you know that the number of therapy visits for any middle class child with two parents in the home for most of their childhood is offset by the number of pies you make?

    amount of things you didn’t allow them to do + number of times you fought with husband/number of pies you make=number of therapy visits

    So get bakin’ mama!

    Formula changes if you are a crack addict. But anyway, that there pie is an investment in your child’s future.*

    *Tarts are 3/4 of a pie

  • Now I know what to do with all of the plums in our trees! That is, after my own monkeys get home from camp. Mama can’t climb trees.

  • Wait, how long have the ads been fake? I thought I’d been so clever, primly ignoring them, and now I feel like I’ve missed opportunities for fun. Wah.
    We have a cherry tree. I suggest you come and visit. We can let Jackson climb the tree and then you can show me how to make the tart. I learn better in person. This is a plan that will benefit everybody, I’m sure.

  • Warning: do not attempt to eat plum tart (or any baked confectionary prepared in collaboration with tree-climbing monkey spawn) while perusing the purportedly fake ads. It will not End Well.

    Oh dear, I’ve missed your writing so…

  • Your weight loss plan intrigues me. I will also try the “eating (mostly) free tarts until I am thin” method. Thanks!

  • We watched this thing once on the Green Channel about Urban Gathering. I remember being really jealous of people who could walk down the side walk and just pluck an avocado from a limb hanging over the sidewalk. I live in no-man’s land and our fruit only comes in the store variety.

    The tart looks very yummy.

  • Gosh that tart’s beautiful. No fruit trees in my neighborhood – do you ship to the East Coast? I’ll take a bushel of plums and lemons, or, if it’s easier, a half-dozen pies.

  • Ah, the secrets they don’t tell you in Weight-Watcher’s. My mouth is literally watering just looking at that fabulous tart.

  • You are awesome. Period. Love it!

  • Dammit! I want a tree-climbing monkey-spawn to deliver a bushel of plums and weird, deformed lemons to my doorstep! Too bad my doorstep is like, 3,000 miles away. *sigh*

  • Damn, that looks delicious. I’m suddenly craving cobbler.

  • We have this same tree, and just noticed the plums. There is plum graffiti all over our sidewalk. I always thought that you couldn’t eat them, but if you’re all still alive…

    I’ve just started my own blog. Will you visit?

  • Why in God’s name do we have nothing but a stinking loquat tree in our barrio?

  • Oh my god, that looks amazing. I’ll send my three kids to you as migrant labor for a cut of the harvest.

  • You go girl! If I was there, I would have eaten the other half!

  • That looks so good!

  • i am in AWE… i L O V E your writing!
    Does that calorie-free-pie-eating miracle only happen during Father’s Day? Darnit!

  • Hi Eden! You must be lucky, you were featured in yahoo news, and i read it! I too am a blogger like you. Thanks for unselfishly sharing your experience with blogging. Like you, I am also doing the same, encouraging everyone to write. And we’re both lucky to have trees grown around the yard and we’re free to get some from them.
    God bless from a Filipina :-) !

  • My comment speaks directly to the monkey-ness of your kid. My brother is insane. You have a normal kid. He has an insane, fearless kid who is going to grow up to do incredibly dangerous things!
    This is a photo of my maybe 7 year old niece, having free-climbed up the lamppost. She’s about 35 feet in the air here. Yeah. Insanity.