Cal had the day off; after we took Abbott to school in a chill, steely fog, we raked our deck. At one point, he stopped to point out the star shaped perfection of a bright red leaf. I find half the woods – leaves, twigs, acorns – under his bed. We paused to watch two men unload a truckfull of firewood down the street.
A classmate of his came over, and in between Lego construction and X-Box Madden 25 they raced about the thick and tangled woods that surround our house, their sweaty bodies as healthy as the crisp autumn air. I made Ed Fretwell soup and roasted our surplus of Italian plums.
After eating our fill of soup and plums we walked to the end of the street, past silvery applewood logs soon to become firewood and a plastic wading pool on its way to storage. In the waning light a foghorn sounded in the distance -- a harbinger or an incantation -- interrupting, then part of, the evening's peace.
Roasted Italian Plums
3 pounds Italian prune plums, halved and pitted
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
crème fraiche, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400F. Toss the halved, pitted plums in a large bowl with the sugar and butter. Place the cut side of the plums down on a rimmed baking sheet, and roast until the plums are cooked through and caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and serve with a dollop of crème fraiche.
Yield: 8-12 servings