I just had a meal you can’t get in a restaurant. Loretta has perfected her stew-making ability. The meat was tender, the Vidalia onions savory, the carrots and potatoes practically melted on the tongue. And to top it off, I made a plum pie the old-country way. It wasn’t much for looks. It looked like a boy scout made it to pass his cooking merit badge. But I got all the ingredient proportions right (I guessed at some of them) and the resulting taste was heavenly—two jiggers of kirsch in the custard, two eggs, milk, flour, and of course the brown sugar, plums, and cinnamon.
The Europeans (after all, this is Western civilization) like their plum pies uncovered, and saftig (juicy), with the custard absorbing the excess juice. Make that Italian plums. And the crust is usually crispy, not flaky. It was a perfect evening, and Loretta remembered her psych nurse training to make me feel the pie was excellent, despite its looks.