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...