Monday, November 2, 2009

Non-Death & Disease-Related Post (Plum Kuchen, More to the Point!)

Shocking, isn't it? I really do have a post here that doesn't relate to anyone dying or diseased -- including me. And you thought it had become the medical blog! We are all bipping along rather well at the moment. Scott planted approximately 6 zillion bulbs yesterday (daffodil, tulip, hyacinth, crocus, iris -- yes, I know they're not bulbs, lilies, and I don't know what all else), and I graded the same number of essay papers, I swear. No great bloomers this time, except for the student who referred to the "Super Attendant of Education" (as opposed, you know, to the "Superintendant"), and the one who kept referencing The Jim Crow Society, as though it were a club one joined (yes, we're reading Angelou's "Graduation" again -- great essay, why change it?). All in all, my students this year are really quite a joy -- intelligent, cheery, and much better writers (particularly in terms of mechanics) than in former years.

Speaking of joyful things, have I mentioned butter & sugar recently? I have the most ridiculously delicious recipe for Plum Kuchen ever. I got it from my very dear friend Lori Schafer, with whom I spent much time knitting and happily gossiping during long cold Colville winters -- and short sunny Colville summers. Very happy golden years, those were. The kuchen recipe comes from her grandmother, an Austrian native who obviously can bake in the very best Austrian tradition. Don't even look at it if you're doing anything like trying to avoid calories. It's terribly delicious with coffee, after dinner, before breakfast, FOR breakfast .... well, you get the idea.

Note: This recipe can also be made with other fruit, such as apples, rhubarb, peaches, etc. You will want to use a single layer of peeled, sliced apples/peaches, or about 3 c rhubarb.

:: Lori's Oma's Plum Kuchen ::

5 c flour
1 c butter (Lori uses margarine, as they're vegan)
1 1/2 c sugar
3 t bkng. pwd.
2 t vanilla
3 eggs (Lori uses egg replacer [see above reason] and it comes out beautifully)

Mix the above together well -- I do mine in the Kitchen Aid. Add a bit of milk, until the dough holds together, is slightly sticky and almost like a slightly more mobile sugar cookie dough (I usually end up adding +/- 1/4 c.).

Divide dough in half between two ungreased 9 x 13 baking pans. Press or roll dough out evenly over bottom of pan, using fingers to build it up a bit on the sides.

Place halved, pitted plums SKIN SIDE DOWN in a single layer atop the dough. Sprinkle the plums lightly with a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon (like all good family recipes, this one requires a bit of eyeballing).

Top with crumb topping (recipe below), and bake at 350 degrees until crust is lightly browned, and plums are bubbling.

*Crumb Topping
2 1/2 c flour
1 1/4 c sugar
1 c butter/margarine

Cut above mixture together until the butter/marg. is the size of green peas. Sprinkle half on each pan of kuchen.

Enjoy! You will suddenly become deeply popular.

love, kristin

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