Previous month:
August 2007
Next month:
October 2007

Mark Bittman's Scrambled Eggs with Shrimp


Hmmm. Okay. I think I know what you're thinking. But you try and scramble eggs mixed with soy sauce and see if you don't end up with a plate full of, well, brownish-brackish-looking slop. Thank goodness there are those little bits and pieces of pink shrimp to brighten things a bit, but still, I know this dish won't be winning any beauty contests any time soon.

And that's just fine. I'm used to comfort food looking gorgeous, though that may be my cultural chauvinism talking - after all, I think tomatoes in any form are superstars - but it's about time I settled down and realized that comfort food isn't always pretty. What it can be is, um, comforting and warm and perfectly balanced between salty and plain - a mishmash of elements that make eating dinner feel like being coddled.

I made this after bringing my mother to the airport (an absolute pleasure, if that can be believed, now that I live in Queens) - when I got home again, Ben wasn't there yet and the apartment felt empty - lonely, for the first time. My mother's presence, so tangible just hours before, had vanished with nothing but a faint whisp of her fragrance hanging in the air. There were other signs of her, too, the precise ordering of the detritus on our dresser top, the neat pile of old newspapers in a corner of the office, all the loose buttons on my pants and Ben's tightened once again.

Normally, I would have made spaghetti with tomato sauce to soothe the sting of saying goodbye, but we'd had it for lunch (how's this for weird - making a dish your mother taught you and having her ask you when it's time to throw in the basil). What I wanted and needed was something swift and simple and there's nothing like Chinese (pseudo or not) to cheer you up when things are threatening to look stormy.  So a pot of boiled rice came together easily enough, and sauteeing shrimp with beaten eggs and soy sauce wasn't much harder.

It was a good dinner, nothing spectacular, but it was interesting and warmed our bellies, slipped a comforting arm around my shoulder and squeezed. It was a relief to have Ben home at the table with me finally, filling up the apartment. We ate our little dinner, alone for the first time in a week, and laughed about our mothers and our families. A good night, unexpectedly.


(It's funny how eggs become a conduit for all things - good and bad. The flavors of earthy truffles or delicate chives are amplified in a pile of beaten eggs. So, too, the faintly saline quality of tender little shrimp. Make sure your soy sauce and sesame oil are good and fresh, otherwise you risk eating eggs that have an edge of unpleasantness to them. And don't let your eyes be bigger than your stomach. This dish will serve four and no more - not because of ample portions, but because the richness will fill you up before you know it.)

Scrambled Eggs with Shrimp
Serves 4

3/4 cup raw shrimp, peeled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons peanut oil, corn oil or butter
8 eggs
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 cup chopped scallions
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish, optional

1. Devein shrimp if you like; if large, cut into bite-size pieces. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2. Put oil or butter in a large skillet, preferably nonstick or cast iron, and turn heat to medium. When hot, add shrimp. Cook, stirring, until shrimp is somewhat pink. Beat eggs in a bowl with soy sauce and sesame oil.

3. Turn heat to medium high and add eggs and scallions. Cook, scraping pan with a rubber spatula. Fold eggs over themselves, breaking up curds. If mixture clumps, remove it from heat and stir, then return to heat.

4. When eggs are creamy, adjust seasoning, garnish if you like and serve immediately.

My Kitchen, At Last

It's been 58 days since we moved. And though the kitchen was largely unpacked for the past 54 of those days, I've felt strange about showing it to you. Maybe because it still felt so new and unfamiliar, or maybe because it hasn't felt entirely ready. But with my mother here this week, rearranging cabinets (unbidden, but much appreciated), attaching hooks left and right (my oven mitts will lie flat no more!), getting stains out of things (my favorite tablecloth) and generally being a star by cooing over everything, from the view out of our balcony to the choice of painting in the kitchen, I think it's time for me and my kitchen to get over our stage fright. Here goes nothing.


The stove, a terrifying thing that spits fire and brimstone whenever you turn it on. Ben's knuckle hairs got burned clean off the first time he used it. I secretly adore it; it reminds me of the fire power in a restaurant kitchen. Except it's not entirely level, which seriously annoys me. Don't you hate it when oil pools in the corner of one pan and doesn't level out? (As for the towel under the drying rack, ugh and double ugh. I'm on the hunt for a pretty tray to go underneath it, but haven't found anything cute and affordable yet. Hence the towel. Oh, it's so gross you have no idea.)

The tea kettle - there's a story there. We each came to the apartment with our own kettles: mine an 8-year old Alessi thing that's been with me since I lived in Paris in 1999, Ben's a gift from his sister. Though we compromised (stop snickering, Ben) on most of the things in the kitchen (getting rid of duplicate forks, say, or stockpots because how many stockpots does one couple actually need?), we both dug our heels in when it came to the pots and so they occupied the back two burners for close to a month. I'd use mine in the morning for my tea, he'd use his for his coffee. When I realized, though, that fighting for my tea kettle would involve admitting that it was a birthday gift from an old boyfriend and that my attachment to it was, now, somewhat untenable, I decided to let go. Washed and dried, it sits in one of our cupboards. I peek at it every now and again. But I'm getting used to the red one.


This is something I call my German corner: three milk glass containers for cocoa, tea and coffee, a wooden shelf, that onion basket - all transported over from Berlin, piece by piece, year by year. I didn't really expect them to all end up together, but they did. Sage and rosemary from my CSA dry on the left and right shelf hooks. (Full disclosure: the "Kaffee" jar holds all my cookie cutters (more fleamarket finds), while the other two jars are currently still empty.)


What, your kitchen doesn't come with a Terminator bobble-head doll that has half its face blown off? Why on earth not? He's there keeping Mr. Peanut company. That thing is one of Ben's prized possessions and to be honest, though I mock him for it, I kind of get a kick of out Ah-nold in the kitchen. It's just so ridiculous. The freezer door displays some of the house-warming cards we got. (Ben's mother's, on the left, was definitely the most creative - she gave us a set of sheets and crafted a whole house on the wrapping paper, complete with a New Yorker cartoon of a dancing couple. We can never, ever, recycle this.)


This Bekvam cart from Ikea is swiftly shaping up to be one of my favorite things in the apartment. I've hung my cake plate on the right side, and oven mitts on the other. My trusty RobotCoupe sits on the first shelf, along with our place mats (salvaged from a life in the gutter). Wine and olive oil stand at attention on top, along with two thrifted Alessi bread baskets, and a mini pumpkin from the CSA.

The painting in the kitchen, a watercolor of a cut lemon and a glass, was left to me by my ex-stepfather, a convoluted and not entirely accurate label for a man who I miss terribly every day. He would have turned 63 two weeks ago and has been dead for more than three years now. This still seems entirely impossible. I so much wish he could see where I live now and come over for a glass of wine with me on the balcony at dusk. If I close my eyes and think very hard, I can imagine him sitting next to me now, rubbing his forefinger along his brow, flashing his funny little dimple when he smiles and lisping raspily. But when I open my eyes he's gone. So I pass this painting, and others, every day and think about him instead. It's not enough. It never will be.

Weds Chef in the House


Yes, it's true, dear readers. I was on The Martha Stewart Show, along with Sarah and Sebastian, Deb, and these charming folks. It was a surreal experience, as you might well imagine, but a lovely one, too. And even though Martha thinks my blog is called Weds Chef (as might many of her viewers now, too, due to a teleprompting snafu), I was so glad to be there.

Notes from The Show:

-During one of the commercial breaks, one of the crew members goes around answering a popular question from the audience: naming the paint colors of the walls and trim of the studio (Benjamin Moore something-or-other).

-I have to get myself to Macy's - stat - to get a bowl or two from Martha's new line. Maybe a cake stand, too. They're all gorgeous.

-On and off camera, Martha is sharp and funny. Very smart (as if anyone still thinks otherwise). And wearing killer shoes.

Claudia Fleming's Maple Baked Apples


In the blink of an eye, my melancholy about the end of summer evaporated - poof! - like the puff of steam rising off a cup of coffee in the cold. I think it might have something to do with our Sunday - the day that started out with cozy, chocolate-studded rolls on the couch, the lazy morning that was too cold for my flimsy summer nightgown and called for my beloved 12-year old high school sweatshirt to be donned (much to Ben's chagrin, I'm sure).

In the crisp afternoon air (is there anything better than a September afternoon in New York City? Anything better at all, seriously? I don't know how there can be), we hopped on our bicycles for our first (we've been unpacking for a looong time, I suppose) real exploration of our neighborhood. Down one street, then another, past the archetypal Forest Hills high school, over a flimsy overpass, down a set of crumbling stairs, we emerged triumphant near Meadow Lake - a pretty little body of water situated conveniently between two highways (aaaah, New York, so pretty, so peaceful - does there need to be a highway everywhere? Apparently, yes.).

From there, where we saw a little turtle sunning himself insouciantly on a water pipe and wild geese getting their webbed feet wet, we cycled over to Flushing Meadows Corona Park where we saw cricket matches and soccer games, heard the crowd roaring for the Mets at Shea, and felt our bicycle tires whooshing through the very first little yellowed leaves, fallen and crisping along the walkways. Back home, we kept our balcony door closed, and cooked up our gateway meal into the colder season - the perennially delicious lemon chicken. And all the while I was thinking, practically humming: fall is here and it is glorious.

I am fickle, aren't I?

The next few months stretch ahead deliciously - with tickets to The New Yorker Festival (finally, after years of spending that week at a convention center in western Germany), a blustery weekend for walking on the beach, reveling in the cloudless blue skies on near-constant repeat, and apple-picking galore. The apples now are so good - hard and crisp, snowy-white, glossy-skinned. I know I was just mourning the passing of those mounds of warm summer tomatoes, but if I can have a counter top filled with new apples, bursting with juice and crunch, I can be happy indeed.

The truth is that these first apples of fall are best eaten raw, really, polished to a high sheen on the lapel of your jacket (ooh, jackets, appealing again after so long) and munched on an outdoor walk, or quartered and coupled with a piece of cheese, beads of apple juice pooling at the bottom of the plate. But if you've got your mother, say, coming to town and need to serve a wholesome dessert after dinner that can be eaten with a spoon (is there anything more soothing after a transatlantic flight or at the close of the kind of day that makes your hair stand on end?), you'd be well-served to bake a few of your apples in an inch of fragrant apple cider, stuffed with a chunky mixture of dried fruits and nuts.

Basted with the cider and a spoonful or two of syrup, the apples soften and swell, turning cloud-like in the heat. Firm apples are the ones to choose, but even those might not be immune to an explosion here or there, snow-white flesh spilling out of its red-jacket casing like a Victorian bosom. You could pour a thin line of heavy cream around the apples, creating a caramel-cream sauce, but that almost goes too far - we ate these warm and plain and found them divine.

Oh, fall

Maple Baked Apples
Serves 6

1/3  cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons roughly chopped dried cherries
3 tablespoons chopped dried figs
2 tablespoons roughly chopped toasted sliced almonds
2 tablespoons roughly chopped toasted pecans
6 large firm baking apples, cored but not peeled
3 tablespoons butter, cut into 6 pieces
1/2  cup apple cider
2 tablespoons maple syrup

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cherries, figs, almonds and pecans.

2. Place the apples in a baking pan or casserole dish and stuff their cavities with the fruit and nut mixture. Place a piece of butter on top of the stuffing.

3. Pour the apple cider and maple syrup into the bottom of the baking pan and bake the apples, basting every 5 to 7 minutes, until they are tender, 25 to 35 minutes.

4. When the apples are tender, transfer them to a serving platter and cover with foil to keep them warm. Strain the pan juices into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture until it becomes syrupy and reduces to a sauce, about 5 to 10 minutes. Spoon over the apples and serve immediately.

Nigella Lawson's Chocolate-Almond Whirligig Buns


Sometimes - do you know those mornings? - all you want is a truly trashy breakfast. No ascetic shreds of wheat in a bowl with thin, blue milk, no virtuous globes of fruit cut up into a stern puddle of white yogurt, no hard-boiled egg eaten, hurriedly, on the way to the train. Some mornings, the ones when you wake up languidly, stretching like a cat, with sun streaming through the blinds and a blissful sense of purposelessness enveloping you, the perfect breakfast is puffy and sweet, threaded with butter and sugar and pockets of melting chocolate, and best eaten on the couch. Absolutely no balance is needed when you're starting the day off with something like that, well, other than a cup of something hot and steaming.

Ben was still asleep on Sunday morning when I snuck into the kitchen. Doing my best not to wake him with my kitchen clangings, I stealthily shook flour into a bowl, heated milk and butter on the stove, and came to a screeching halt when I read, then re-read, Nigella's amounts of instant yeast. Three packets? As in Three Entire Packets? As in 6 and three-quarter teaspoons of instant yeast? I went online in an attempt to figure out if this was a misprint, then found my answer in Nigella's How to Be a Domestic Goddess on my bookshelf: yes, she really does mean three whole packets, which will seem like a positively obscene amount of yeast, but just go with it, it'll be fine, I promise. Because what you'll end up with will be a riotous tangle of fragrant dough baking up into burnished perfection just in time for when your sweetheart shuffles into the kitchen, eyes growing wider by the second when he spies what awaits him on the kitchen counter.

(And remember, folks, instant yeast is also known as bread-machine yeast or rapid-rise yeast. It's not the same as active dry yeast, which needs to be proofed in liquid before being added to the flour. Instant yeast goes directly into the dry ingredients.)


So, yes, the dough - it was easy-peasy. It comes together in a matter of seconds, then all you have to do is knead it to a smooth, elastic state. This takes a few minutes, if you're doing it by hand, but on a lazy Sunday morning, there's no better way to ease your way into wakefulness. And, while I didn't exactly miss baking with yeast during the summer, there's no better way to welcome our cooler temperatures than by slapping around a yielding piece of dough. The dough, buoyed by the ridiculous quantity of yeast, practically exploded out of the bowl - billowing puffily upwards with what looked like almost unrestrained glee.

I punched down the dough, spread it with a paste of sugar and butter, scattered chopped almonds (in place of the splintered pistachios called for in the original recipe) and fat chocolate chips over the dough, then rolled it up into a plump, nay, corpulent sausage of doughy, sweet goodness. Nigella also has you roll one reserved piece of dough into a rectangle to form the bottom of the rolls, but I'm not exactly sure why. If you make these, I'd suggest skipping this step. After another quick rise, the pan went into the oven and the dough practically shot skywards, growing and twisting and glowing in the heat of the oven.

The recipe says to bake the buns at 450 degrees Fahrenheit, but after only 20 minutes, that bottom rectangle was scorched into a flat, black plank. So, my suggestion to those of you itching to make these right now is to bake the buns at 400, without that bottom sheet of dough, for 25-30 minutes. Keep an eye on them, maybe they'll have to go for a few minutes longer, but something tells me that will be just right.


Oh, you're meant to wait until these puppies have cooled a bit before tearing them apart and eating them, but to that I just say good luck. The scent of them baking will wake up even the deepest sleeper in your house and, before you know it, pleading eyes and beseeching hands will push your careful self aside to reach for the hot pan. In a blink, you'll be on the couch, popping sweet, plump strands of fluffy dough studded with chocolate chips and crispy almonds into your mouth, thinking it was sensible indeed to throw caution to the wind. Who cares about burned mouths when there are more buns to be eaten?

Chocolate-Almond Whirligig Buns
Makes 20-30 buns

5 to 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 packets instant yeast (6 3/4 teaspoons)
7 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 2/3 cup milk
2 large eggs
Vegetable oil

8 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
3/4 cup slivered or sliced almonds
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 large egg, beaten

1. To prepare the dough, combine 5 cups of flour, sugar, salt and yeast. In a small saucepan, combine butter and milk and heat to lukewarm. Beat the eggs lightly, then whisk them into the milk mixture. Sitr the liquid ingredients into the dry ones.

2. Using a mixer with a dough hook, or by hand, knead dough until smooth and springy, adding more flour if necessary. Form into a ball and place in a clean, oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 30 minutes.

3. Punch down dough. Line a 13 x 10-inch baking pan with parchment paper. On a floured surface, roll out one-third of the dough and place in pan (I skipped this step and think you should, too). Roll out remaining dough to a rectangle about 20 to 10 inches.

4. For the filling, mix together the butter and sugar to a paste. Spread the paste over large rectangle of dough. Sprinkle almonds evenly over the dough, then top with chocolate chips. Starting from longest side, carefully roll up dough so it looks like a long sausage. Cut dough into 20 slices, about 3/4 inch thick, and arrange with a cut side up on top of the dough in the pan.

5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (original recipe says 450). Brush buns with beaten egg and let them sit in a warm place until puffed up and snugly fitting pan, about 15-20 minutes. Bake until buns have risen and are golden-brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from baking pan to cool on a rack. Serve warm.

Amanda Hesser's Zucchini Soup


Hello, hello, it's me, I'm back; though, of course, I wasn't really gone, just swept up in a whirlwind of work, dinners out every night, and get-togethers with out-of-town friends in for their biannual visits to this city of ours. The company was, every night, more memorable than the meal, except for a plate of spaghetti with baby clams at a hidden gem on 13th Street, Trattoria Maurizio, that tasted as good as the stuff does when I'm in Italy (also of note, an appetizer of braised artichokes with delicate, quenelle-shaped mozzarelline). But for the most part, what kept me fed were the stories and laughs from my friends.

After a week of restaurant meals, there's nothing I love better than getting back into the kitchen. Last night, we roasted a baking sheet full of tomatoes, peppers, leeks and garlic into a sweet, stewy mess and sauced a tangle of spaghetti with it. Afterwards, we sank into the soft couch and ate squares of bitter chocolate while watching six-year-old episodes of 24 (we've just gotten started and I'm both totally hooked and completely annoyed). Dolce far niente, for sure.

Today a fierce wind buffeted the puffy clouds encircling the sky here and swept one of my Danish placemats clean off the balcony table just before lunch. Ben, ever the hero, zipped downstairs and found the placemat, improbably blowing down the street straight towards him. We moved our lunch operations indoors after that - two bowls of hot, green soup, both sweet and peppery, brightened with a squeeze of lime juice. We dragged crusty bread through the dregs of the soup at the bottom of our bowls, the crispy crust softening just a bit.


Amanda calls this zucchini soup, but it almost reminded me of a stronger-flavored potage St-Germain, that sweet, Gallic lettuce-and-pea soup that tastes so perfect when spring is just emerging and you see life exploding greenly out of every corner. The lemon juice (or lime, if that's what you've got) is essential, of course, in elevating this soup from muddiness to sprightliness. It would help, too, if you didn't make this in a food processor, because a blender's the only thing that can actually liquefy all that cellulose into something creamy and smooth. If you don't have a choice because, like us, you don't own a blender (ridiculous, I know, but I'll remedy it soon, which reminds me, readers, to ask for your recommendations ), just know that your soup will be a little...grainy and textured. It's not awful, not at all, but it's not how it's supposed to be.

An ascetic, little, home-cooked lunch was just what we needed to prepare us for tonight - our first excursion to Sripraphai, a trip at least five years overdue and not to be put off now that we live within minutes of the place. And in a few days, my mother arrives, coming to bless the place with her presence, at least for me, to teach me just exactly how to get stains out of the tablecloth, help us explore the neighborhood, and sit on the couch in all her mamma-ness, smelling just like she always does. I can't wait.

Zucchini Soup
Serves 4 to 6

1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 small dried chile de arbol, finely sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound zucchini, in 1/2-inch slices
2 cups hot chicken broth
1 cup frozen peas (or, an entire package, if you're me)
6 to 8 ounces watercress, stems trimmed
Juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste
10 basil leaves, torn into small pieces
Freshly ground black pepper or grains of paradise

1. In a large pan, combine the garlic, onion, chile and olive oil. Place over medium heat and saute until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini, broth and 2 cups hot water. Bring to a simmer, and cook until zucchini is almost soft. Add peas, simmer for 1 minute, add watercress and remove from heat. Season with salt to taste.

2. Allow soup to cool slightly. Working in batches, transfer soup to a blender (do not fill container more than halfway) and, holding onto lid tightly with a dish towel, puree until very smooth; begin at low speed and gradually increase to high.

3. Season soup with lemon juice and adjust salt to taste. Stir in basil and ladle into soup bowls. Sprinkle with pepper or grains of paradise and olive oil to taste, and serve.

Housekeeping and Cornmeal Buckle


Many of you have written to ask about the archiving of past posts and recipes. Here's the deal: on the left-hand side of the site, right over there, that's it, are the monthly archives. If you click on the general archive link, it takes you a page where you not only can browse through all the months this blog has been in existence (do yourself a favor and don't go too far back, and if you do, don't say I didn't warn you) and below the monthly archives, you'll find the recipes grouped by categories (Soups, Desserts, New York Times, etc). I've done my best to be thorough, but if you can't find something you're desperately seeking, just drop me a line and I'll direct you to where you need to go.

I would love to have all the recipes indexed somewhere centrally, but as far as I can tell, it's not possible to do so on Typepad, so individual category pages it is, at least until I get struck by lightning and figure out how to code HTML and suddenly find myself whipping up fanciful weblogs with ingenious archiving at the drop of a hat.


As for the rest of this post, well, you know what it's like when everything just goes pear-shaped on some days? That's kind of what happened with this cake, Russ Parsons's Cornmeal Buckle with Plums (from a 2002 article and also excerpted in his new book, How to Pick a Peach, but more on that another day). It was a good enough weekend, you know, with two birthday parties, Don Giovanni at Lincoln Center, fried artichokes and Pinot Noir prosecco at Morandi and a driving excursion through our new borough into our old one (with me at the wheel, thankyouverymuch), but the cooking just seemed cursed.

Cursed really is just an excuse for the fact that I didn't buy more white sugar and tried substituting brown sugar in the topping and half of the cake (which I knew - knew! - wouldn't work, but it was late and I was frustrated and have I mentioned the fourteen zits currently residing on my face, making me look like a teenager all over again, except when I was a teenager I didn't have bad skin, so why-oh-why am I apparently going through puberty now, and then the thought - perish it! - that maybe, maybe, if I want my skin to start behaving again, I should stop baking plum cakes - wah - did I mention I was frustrated?), which made the topping sort of ooey-gooey, but in a bad way, and led me to believe the cake wasn't done when the recipe said it would be done, so I left it in for a little longer, leading to an overbaked cake with a dry crumb and a too-brown bottom, plus I didn't chop the plums and fold them into the batter like I was supposed to do, I sliced them into crescents and laid them over the batter and under the topping instead, which sounds just fine, but really wasn't and oh, phooey, there's no one to blame but myself.

Ben loved it, though, for what that's worth. (He's sweet. Though possibly also just feeling guilty because of the fact that his nightly fidgeting kept me awake at some seriously ungodly hours this weekend, making me wish for the sleeping set-up that Julia and Paul Child had (is there something wrong me with me that I like the idea?) and putting me in an absolutely foul mood by Sunday night.)

The rest of this week, I'll just get it out of the way right now, is kind of a personal minefield of sadness, so I'm stepping out of the kitchen to spend every possible minute out with friends (after I buy myself some Retin-A or Accutane or whatever the kids are using these days, unless my readers have any tips? And contemplate buying two twin beds to shove together so we can live like every day's a new day in a European youth hostel) at dinners and breakfasts and lunches galore. Distraction is sometimes the best medicine. Hopefully, by the time I resurface, I can look in the mirror without cringing (teenagers, I feel you) and have something a little more interesting to tell you about.


Cornmeal Buckle with Plums
Serves 6 to 8

1/2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces

1. In a food processor, pulse together the sugar, flour, salt and butter until the pieces are the size of coarse crumbs.

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for preparing the pan
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 pound of plums (about 4, though I only needed 3), cut up

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch glass pie plate and set aside.

2. In another large bowl, beat the 1/4 cup butter with the sugar and egg until it is fairly light and fluffy. Add half the milk and beat until smooth. Gradually add the remaining milk while beating.

3. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until well-moistened. Fold in the plum pieces. Pour the batter into the pie plate and spread evenly. Scatter the topping mixture evenly over the top. Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

4. Remove the buckle from the oven and let stand 20 minutes before serving.