Recently I cooked a birthday dinner for two GFs. Dessert was one of my specialties, a simple and sublime plum cake, right in season. I brought it to the table to slice and serve.
GF #1: "Oh, just a tiny piece for me. But I'll take a piece to take home and one for my mother, too. (Her mother lives in this city but not with GF #1.)
GF #2: "A little piece for me, too. And I'll take a slice home for later. Normally I don't even like fruit."
Girlfriends, this is graceless behaviour. Just because you indulged when enjoying the other courses, your satiety does not entitle you to demand your dessert, plus additional servings, for later. Your host may offer it: "Please take a piece to your mother", but it is at her discretion. A dinner cooked for you is not owned by you, nor is your host running a takeout counter. Where did this 'taking it for later' behaviour come from?
I fulfilled their requests. But those women are not getting a hot meal here for a good while.
When I told Le Duc (who is visiting his family in Quebec) he said, "Mal élevé" which translates to "badly brought up" or as my mother would say, "raised in a barn".
Anyway, here is the plum cake recipe. It's from Craig Claiborne, published in the New York Times at least 25 years ago, and it is incredibly easy. I've also made it with apples or peaches- any fall fruit is good, but the little prune plums, with their intense flavour, give a slice of heaven. I use cultured unsalted butter. Whether you package portions "to go" is your decision.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sweet butter
1 cup unbleached flour, sifted
1 tsp. baking powder
14 plums, pitted and halved (Italian prune plums)
Sugar, fresh lemon juice, cinnamon
1. Cream butter and sugar; add flour, baking powder, salt, eggs, Beat well.
2. Spoon batter into 9" springform pan. Place plum halves skin side up on top of batter. Sprinkle plums with sugar and lemon juice depending on sweetness of fruit. (Usually about 1 Tbsp of sugar.) Sprinkle with about 1 tsp. of cinnamon.
3. Bake at 350F for one hour. Remove and cool.
Serve warm or at room temperature, as is or with whipped or ice cream. If you freeze it, defrost and reheat briefly at 300F.