BioBooksAwardsComing NextContactBlogFun StuffHome

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Cooking Success?

I successfully made chicken in the slow cooker a few weeks ago and I decided to push my luck and see if I could go for two in a row. The dish on the menu was a recipe my mom always made for us. It's seasonal and we always looked forward to the end of August/beginning of September because that meant plums.

Last year, I attempted to make this on my own for the first time. The dough ended up being an epic fail. I didn't even try to cook them. Since I was headed up to visit my parents shortly thereafter, I brought the plums with me and Mom made the recipe. This year, though, I wasn't going home and that meant if I wanted to have this dish, I had to cook it myself. :-/ Last year I used a dough recipe from the internet. This year I got a recipe from my mom.

So the basic recipe is this:
  • Italian (prune) plums (only available for a brief window around the beginning of September)
  • cut the plums open enough to get the pit out
  • fill the cavity with cinnamon and sugar
This is the easy part. My mom said to do this first and let them sit while I made the dough.

Dough is:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup water

Then it was time to tackle my mountain. Mom makes her dough by hand, but I'm not that patient. I threw everything in the mixer with the dough hook attachment. Instead of being firm and able to be rolled out, it looked like cake batter. This prompted a call to my mom for help.

Add more flour she said. I had to add quite a bit more flour than the recipe called for, but it finally firmed up enough to roll out. This didn't go without a hitch, but it wasn't out of the usual either--dough sticking to the rolling pin, etc.

Then I rolled the dough around the plums.

Next, they need to be boiled. I like to do it about 9 minutes give or take. I do know how to do this because when Mom made them, it was my job to actually cook them while she rolled more. 

Only one opened in the water. That's a minor victory because it's not always easy to keep the dough sealed around the plum. But that's why you see that pinkish watery juice in the picture.

Final review of my work: Moderate success. The dough was a little heavy because of all the flour I had to add, but it was still pretty good.

Kitchen? Total disaster. I cleaned while the plums were cooking and even then, I still had to spend more than a half hour cleaning up after dinner. I filled the dishwasher with everything it took to make this recipe. So on a scale of 1-10 for how much work/total effort is involved, I'd give it about a 7. (The higher end of the scale meaning more effort.) It's time and labor intensive on the front end with the dough, but it's as bad on the back end for cleanup.