01 September 2010

Allspice is a Spice and Nectarine-Plum Pie

In order to keep one's sanity when getting married, it is entirely necessary to put away your camera and (lesson I learned a bit too late) get someone else to answer your phone for you. As a result, I don't have any photos of the rehearsal dinner - though I can say I made a kick-ass pasta salad with my friend Tony - nor of the food at the wedding - though I was VERY pleased with the caterer, who was a real foodie and made a delicious buffet, most of which I couldn't eat because I was too emotional. Luckily someone DID get photos of the delicious cupcakes and you can hear all about them here (thanks Camille!): The Great Cupcake Extravaganza.

On our honeymoon in Belize, I likewise told myself I wasn’t going to be taking culinary photos or thinking about my blog. But, of course, I didn’t stop thinking about FOOD (heaven forefend)! As we were traipsing through subtropical rain forest in the mountains, our guide crushed a leaf and handed it to me. “What do you think?” he said. “Um, smells like cloves,” I said. “Smells like allspice,” said someone else. And here I learned something important: Allspice is a spice!

I know that SOUNDS like stating the obviously, but I seriously thought it was a combination of spices, like the French version quatres épices (a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger). But no, it’s a plant! You probably all knew that already, but just pretend you think it’s cool because I’m excited. The spice we buy in the US is made from the berries (sort of like peppercorns). The leaves apparently lose their fragrance when dried. So you have to live in a place where it grows to use them.

Also on our honeymoon, D. bought me a beautiful hardwood rolling pin. I argued that a rolling pin was not a very practical souvenir, being long and heavy, hard to fit in a suitcase and probably not legal as a carry on. BUT D. was having visions of pies and I’m already learning to say “yes dear”.

Now that I'm back in Paris, I have to remember to always make time to do my wifely duties. Now, now get your minds out of the gutter. I mean making pies. Like this seasonal pie with allspice. Look for the recipe here: Nectarine - Greengage Pie with a Gingerbread Crust. Next time, for a real Central American twist, I think I'll simmer the fruit in One Barrel Rum first. Seriously, best rum in the world. When we finish the bottle, I might cry. More about that and other Belizean ingredients soon...


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Congrats! That trip to Belize must have been wonderful.

A great pie!



Julie said...

Congratulations! Would love to see a wedding picture. Belize must have been amazing.

Psychgrad said...

Welcome back! I'm with Julie -- more pictures! I've never really thought about it before -- but I guess I too would assume that allspice is a combination of spices.

The pie filling looks delicious.

giz said...

Married you say!!!!! Big hug and congratulations to you both. I'm just not sure how you managed this without your blogging family :)

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to be back in Paris in time to catch the last of the reine claudes! And there was someone who took pictures of the cupcakes... ;)

I also have pictures of all the adorable passed hors d'oeuvres (my favorite was the mini lobster roll in the mini paper boat), and I'd be happy to send them to you if you want.

Felicitations encore!

Jessalyn Pinneo said...

Pies, pies, pies! I also was not aware that allspice is a spice, so it is exciting! I love the idea of simmering fruit in rum, I'm going to have to try that one...

Anonymous said...

Is a greengage like a plum? I honestly haven't heard of them. Congratulations on your marriage and a great trip.

kitchenmorph said...

sigh...and you could leave out the wedding pic!

kitchenmorph said...

oh and you sure haven't had biriyani then (it uses all spice dried leaves; the fragrance is defo there but not as good as the fresh leaves).

Sam said...

I think congratulations are in order. Oh and that pie pie looks fantastic!

Hopie said...

Rosa - Indeed, it was amazing! Cheers!

Julie - Thank you! I don't like to put up pictures of myself on the blog, but there will be more Belize pictures soon!

Psychgrad - The pie filling was amazing and I'm only sad that my CSA seems to have started on apples already and we'll be getting those for the rest of the winter... I know allspice sounds like a combination, but no!

Giz - I know, I'm not sure how I managed either. I should've called you all in to make food ;-)

Camille - I know, yay reine claudes! (Arg, are YOU getting apples already in the CSA too?) Yes, more foodie pictures please! The cupcakes pics are great.

Jessalyn - Yes, rum and fruit, can't go wrong with that. I'm dying to get a chance to make another pie and try it out. First I have to make D. a birthday cake for the party Sat - and that has to be chocolate of course.

Agrigirl - Yep, greengage is a type of plum. They're green when they're ripe, small and delicious.

Kitchenmorph - I guess I haven't had byriani with allspice leaves in it - or else I didn't know what they were.

Sam - Thank you! When do we get more yummy recipes from the cycling cook??

Ivy said...

Congratulation Hopie. Sorry I haven't visited for a long time but I wasn't visiting others as well. That was great news and wish you all the happiness.
P.S. I also though that allspice was a combination of spices :)