darkly sweetly madly…..

” …we’re in the soup” ” in a bit of a stew” “there are too many cooks” “the salt has lost its savour” “it only takes one rotten apple” “our goose is well and truly cooked”. Being that the cooking and eating of good food accounts for a siseable slab of the mighty virtual rock upon which I have created a mental safe room as protection, from what I perceive as a world gone rogue, it occurs to me how odd it is that so many of the idioms that relate to that great pleasure should be the ones that augur ill. At those time when I watch over onions that are slowly melting in olive oil, a process that removes tears and creates  savoury sweetness, I wonder how it is that great writers and composers primarily choose tragedy and misery from the à la carte of life whilst steering clear of  dishes that contain too much laughter or happiness and, above all, my favourite dessert, a happy ending. We, the public, are shocked each day by reports of appalling cruelty by man to nature, nature to man and man to man and yet, after a punishing day filled with worthy petition signing and tweets of disapproval, our appetite for fictional horror and cruelty will have been whetted yet again. Considering the extreme skill and care that is taken in the special effects kitchen to ensure that the first cut will be the deepest and will indeed be seen to be just that it is little wonder that we produce such talented torturers being that our diet of horror and pain has been so instructive.,,,,by this time I was so upset that I could hardly cut another plum into quarters without thinking of William Wallace. All that was left for me to do was to drop the drawn plums into a sweet pastry case, sprinkle with sugar and raspberries and place the lot in the oven for 45 minutes…..I wanted to get it done so I could settle down to the first episode of Rellik…..a gentle tale of serial killing with hydrochloric acid as the weapon of choice….which must have made for a madly busy special effects kitchen.

This wonderful tart is a recipe of Nigel Slater’s with which I have taken certain liberties. In his recipe, below the picture, you will notice that he makes his “pie” in a pie dish whereas I have used a tart tin with a removable bottom as I have never had success with a pie dish…not the pie dish’s fault. I also used a different pastry recipe but that was only from force of habit.

About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2017, baking, Cookery Writers, Cream, desserts, Digital photography, Humour, Nigel Slater, Photography, photography course, Plum and raspberry lattice pie, Plums, raspberries, Recipes, tart, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to darkly sweetly madly…..

  1. Mad Dog says:

    Dans le pétrin!
    You’ve definitely made the most of it, with that lovely pie.

    • …nice one….that’s a new one for me….:)

      • Mad Dog says:

        Many years ago, before I lived in Paris, someone sent me a postcard from France with a cartoon of a man in a bath of custard/soup and the cation read, “Je suis dans le pétrin!”
        It reminded me of Keith Moon in a bath full of baked beans and expression stuck in my head.

      • Wow….I’d forgotten that picture of Moon….what’s funny is that I saw a Martin Parr picture of a spoon in a bowl of baked beans. It was being treated with great reverence and, much as I like a lot of his images, it was complete bollocks….I think Moonie would have appreciated that:)

      • Mad Dog says:

        Moonie would have appreciated that!
        I’m no fan of Martin Parr. He was brilliant to start with, taking contrasty black and white reportage images, but then he switched to colour and started taking iPhone snaps (20 years before mobile phones had cameras) and IMHO I think he lost the plot. I’d actually go as far as to say he’s been detrimental to professional photography and should not be in Magnum.

      • It’s a case of Emperor’s Clothes…..he’s got all these admirers who are frightened of realising that they were wrong…..

      • Mad Dog says:

        Ha ha – I’d definitely agree with that.

  2. lulu says:

    I took a food photography workshop last weekend and continually thought of you as the simple beauty of your photos is what so appeals to me.

  3. Eha says:

    I do not like sweet things or bake or watch storyline television as a rule, but looking at the cruelty and stupidity of the ‘man against man’ scenario in this country at the moment, methinks I better join you hoping I still have a fast learning curve . . . . !

    • I recent years I’ve come across quite a few truly cerebral food writers who seem to me to be some of the calmest and happiest people one could imagine. In my case cooking relaxes me and makes me want to take pictures which makes me want to write……a good cycle:)

      • Eha says:

        Roger dearHeart – we may be on entirely different pages , , , , as many like me are putting all our time and belief systems into at last getting a ‘yes’ vote re marriage equality’ thru’ to ALL the people in Australia . . . . you may not agree . . . the next two months of my life are in that ballpark . . . and, quite unnecessarily, that will be an ‘ugly fight’ . . . .

      • …oh, we’re definitely on the one of the same pages…..although we’ve been married for 44 years tomorrow and are still very happy, I honestly can’t see the importance of marriage ( or religion) as we seem to be quite unusual. Human rights are so dreadfully abused that same sex marriage isn’t top of my list…but, I think it’s important that everyone should have the right to choose to marry if they so choose. I pretty much despair of it all….so I keep cooking:)

      • Eha says:

        *big smile* Have a wonderful day and cook something very special for your beloved! I am v spiritual not religious and moved from cold and stiff Lutheranism to Buddhism a long time ago. Love, love, love being married even tho’ the longest span has been 21 years! About ‘same sex marriage’ – have so many friends who cannot what I can and since most 1st World countries regard this as natural and normal without further ado, hate that Australia is so backward at the moment and that the issue has become so politicized . . . so . . . .

      • We’re on a train heading to Nice to stay with friends for a few days😎

  4. Sally says:

    Just needs a generous pouring of homemade custard

  5. Linda Duffin says:

    A fine looking tart, can almost smell those caramelising juices from here …. I’m with you on using a tin rather than porcelain, btw, you get a crisper result. With all the travails you’ve listed, no-one wants to add a soggy bottom. Lx

  6. Oh well said. I may need to avoid plums now you’ve mentioned William Wallace. Thank goodness food is a beautiful escape from the craziness of this world.

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