I’ve never been the biggest stone fruit fan that I can remember. Maybe they weren’t as abundant in the UK when I was young as they are here. Nowadays though I find myself doing a little skip towards the nectarines, craving fresh apricots and willing the plums on the tree to be ready. We have a sprawling plum tree at my rental that last year produced bowls and bowls of red flesh plums but this year I have had to resort to buying some as the haul didn’t seem as fruitful! These guys will no doubt be leaving soon as Autumn knocks on the door so i’m trying to use as many as I can and embrace them before they’re gone.
I think plums are best when they’re a little firm and just tart enough they make your lips pucker. These were perfect. I also get a lot of satisfaction from being able to pit stone fruit cleanly without ending up with fruit mush in my hands. Does anyone else get that? I think i’ve finally nailed it this summer which has been excellent. The honey in the recipe cracks through the sourness of the fruit and drizzled atop softly frozen cheese it is just, well try it to see but it I think the word divine should be used abundantly and loudly. I have a penchant for unfussy cheesecake, no baking, no gelatine, so this is pretty much as simple as it gets.
I love cooking for other people. No other way around it, I find myself swelling with happiness when someone is fed and full and content. I definitely use food to connect with people and reconnect when i’ve been a slack friend or sister or daughter. I want to try and do this every month, have an indulgent supper where it’s all about food and beautiful people.
I don’t like to plan these dinners days in advance, they’re meant to be after work easy so you can enjoy as much of your Sunday as possible – which I did. A slow morning at the pool and then the markets, collecting all sorts of fresh treats – like the fresh ricotta from Il Casaro. Their cheeses are gorgeous. You can find them at Parnell Farmers Markets, behind the library on the weekends. Sample a few if you can, I am just itching for an occasion to try their black mozzarella! I had to fit the ricotta into dinner somehow and what better way than simply with strawberries and a little sweetener. I also had a hankering for gratin so picked up some kumara and also grabbed some courgette to make a simple salad. Of course we had bread too because i’m a huge fan of dinner with lots of bits to pick and dip!
There’s a few recipes today so i’ll keep the chat short. We had supper for two plus some leftovers for lunch on Monday (don’t miss out on the leftovers!). Everything is optional and because it’s the end of the week remember to just use what you have – if you have potatoes not kumara, that’s ok, just cook for longer. Same thing if you don’t have cream or milk, just use what you have up to the total liquid amount (the gratin is simple and doesn’t use a béchamel, which I always find a little too heavy). Do make an effort to get fresh ricotta for dessert though, it melts in your mouth and you won’t regret it!