Oh, it’s summer, green and wet and if not exactly sunny, then still with beautiful days for the beach and camping and adventure seeking. The boys are covered with dirt and mosquito bites and scraped knees, whirling around in a perpetual cloud of brotherly violence/love, worlds of pirates and griffin-hunting and trucks and dinosaurs, pleas for more ice cream, for just five more minutes at the beach, in the water, under a tree.
“Be here,” I keep telling myself. Just be here with them, in the streams of light through pine trees while we’re camping. With the smells of leaves and the sounds of their laughs as they run to the far side of the pond to capture a frog or tackle a friend.
And I’m trying, I’m trying. To be here, to breathe deep of this beautiful life, my wild and wonderful boys. To keep the joy in balance with all the worry, my fears about taking a brave plunge, about money, work, how I’m going to deal with fixing my bathroom floor, all of it.
In the midst of it, it was still my turn to make a cohousing community dinner last week. And what else is there to do but use the what we have at hand to celebrate, even sanctify these full moments? So though I was packing to go camping, and in a full-scale anxiety attack over the rest of it, we grabbed vegetables from the garden, and Vermont cheeses and cream and eggs from our co-op and off we went to cook and feast together on this beautiful, thrifty, simple and custard-y Vermont Bastille Day meal.
4 – 6 servings
Preheat oven to 375.
Gather and prepare ingredients:
- Your favorite 9 1/2″ flaky piecrust, pre-baked until lightly golden (I made Cook’s Illustrated’s Foolproof crust)
- 3/4 c. sauteed or steamed vegetables, well-drained. (This amount is the yield you want after it’s cooked, so make sure to start with more!) We made two combinations: 1. Broccoli, mushroom, basil and sage. 2. Swiss chard, lacinata kale, zucchini, garlic scapes. We sauteed each combo in a large pan with butter and olive oil.
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups cream, whole milk, or creme fraiche
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch freshly ground nutmeg
Arrange vegetables on bottom of crust, then sprinkle over them:
- 2 oz. grated cheese (we used Vermont’s Cabot cheddar)
Pour the egg mixture over the top. Bake until the filling is browned and well set, 25 – 35 minutes.
Nectarine & Strawberry Clafouti
Preheat oven to 375. Butter a 10-inch deep-dish pie pan.
Beat until very frothy:
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 c. sugar
Add and beat until smooth:
- 1 c. milk
- 1 T. cognac or rum (optional), or
- 2 t. vanilla
- 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
Arrange evenly over bottom of pie pan:
- 1 lb. mixed nectarines, cut into 1″ cubes, and halved strawberries, rinsed and dried
Pour batter over the fruit and place the pie pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 and bake until puffy and well-set, about 35 minutes. Cool on a rack for about 20 minutes, then dust with:
- Powdered sugar.
Serve in wedges, or sloppy scoops, whatever seems to come out of the pan.