Plums always remind me of California.
Of days spent at my grandparents’ house in the Bay Area.
Of the plum tree growing in their backyard, a little fruit oasis in the middle of the most beautiful roses I’ve ever seen.
Of the long road trips taken to get to the West Coast – Albuquerque, Flagstaff, Barstow, and then to the hills covered in windmills right outside of their city.
Of the deep and restful sleep I got on their screened-in porch in my dad’s old bed.
Of the sunlight streaming in, gently warming my face until it felt like it would explode into flames if I didn’t get up.
Of the breakfasts of oatmeal and toast slathered with Grandma’s homemade plum jam.
Of the constant battle to beat my sister to the bathroom for a shower before the hot water ran out.
Of the trips to Oakland for baseball games.
Of the trips to San Francisco, walking along Pier 39.
Of the way the world transformed from busy, bustling city to quiet sanctuary the moment we entered John Muir woods.
Of the way we would get back from these 1-day excursions to a great big pot of clam chowder and a big salad with my Papa’s garlic dressing.
Of playing UNO with Grandma and Papa in the kitchen over sweaty glasses of water and cookies.
Of the way my grandparents would light up and laugh, joke around, and never let us sit on our laurels when we were there.
Of the sad waves and the tears that would inevitably come when we had to say ‘see you later’ early in the morning on our last day.
I love the way that food isn’t just food – it’s a catalyst behind almost every major memory of my life. As I said in my little video in the sidebar, it brings us all together and it makes us family. The fact that I can see plums coming into our grocery stores, the scent of them bringing to life these memories of my family that I hold so dear – it’s truly magical.
The simplicity of this dish is wonderful, and it’s truly one that you can slide in the oven and forget about til the timer goes off. It’s also not something that’s so sugary sweet that you’ll bowl over from the sugar. The cool Greek yogurt and the hot plums make an incredible combination – sure to start some plum memories of your own 🙂
ROASTED MAPLE BALSAMIC PLUMS WITH HONEY BASIL GREEK YOGURT
- 4 large plums, washed, halved and pitted
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup plain 0% Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp fresh chopped basil
Preheat oven to 400. In a bowl whisk together the butter, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar. Pour on the bottom of an 8-inch cake pan. Place the plums cut-side-down in the balsamic mixture. Roast at 400 for 25 minutes until tender and juicy. While the plums are baking stir together the yogurt, honey and basil and let sit for a few minutes for the flavors to deepen. When the plums are done allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve warm with a big dollop of yogurt!