Monday, July 02, 2007
Farm Fashion, Part 1
Friday was Farm in a Skirt Day, no exceptions, and everyone did it, even the farmboys from Texas and Arkansas. On Wednesday, a couple of the guys hit the thrift stores, and by Thursday breakfast a row of skirts was hanging from the ceiling with a note, "Skirts $4, boys take priority." I didn't have a regular skirt that I wanted to get farm-dirty, so instead I dug out this sparkly hippie caftan, property of the late PQ grand-mere. Note the belt, holding both my pruning shears and harvest knife, and yes, capri pants underneath, so I could tuck the ground-sweeping skirt up into my belt without wowing my fellow farmies with the sight of my undies.
Putting everyone in a skirt made the day just terribly festive, somehow. And nearly all the dudes commented on how free they felt. Okay, actually they talked about their balls, but we're about the pies here.
And yes, as mentioned earlier, apricot galettes were made in the up-garden chalet kitchen. Quite simple, really--2 1/2 cups flour, a tablespoon of sugar, a tsp of salt, 2 sticks (8 oz) butter, ice water with a splash of cider vinegar, mixed and cut in and tossed together the usual way. Then up the ladder to pick a bowl of sun-freckled little apriums, pitted and tossed with sugar, a little cornstarch, a pinch of nutmeg and allspice. I remembered too late that you have to roll out the dough and put it onto the baking pan before you start piling in the fruit. Thus getting the fruit-heavy, tippy thing off the counter without tearing wasn't easy, requiring an offset spatula and some muttered pirate-worthy language.
So roll your dough into a rough circle, slap it onto a baking sheet, then pile up your nicely sugared fruit. Lap the edges of the dough up over the filling, leaving an open space in the middle to show off the color. Bake at 375 or 400 degrees until the fruit is softened and giving up juice and the pastry is deep golden. Let cool as long you can stand; it's best warm rather than boiling hot.