"Are you ready?" I asked Matt. He and I have intermittent conversations about his life. I feel like he trusts me, or at least respects me enough to tell me what's going on in his life despite us only seeing each other one or two days a week at work. As jobs go, I am the girl who goes in super shy - like, this girl is creepy-quiet shy. I observe and perceive, pick out the people I feel are reliable, good people, no drama and only then do I open up and show my colors. The sass comes through, I'll bust out my moves to Michael Jackson's Thriller when it pipes through the speakers, because I know you'll laugh (you = my trusted people). I am pleasant to everyone, but to the handful that I see will give back to me in conversation, I try to communicate that I care about them and want to hear about their story. Matt tells me about his life. Or as much as you can tell in the ten minutes here or there while we're working beside each other in a given shift. He's told me that he found the "little lady" (his words) he'd like to spend his life with, and how he now needs to figure out how to buy a ring. We talked rings, he worried a bit when someone told him the cliche, "It should be four months of your income." I told him that doesn't mean anything. Because I'm a ring whisperer? No. Because it doesn't mean anything. All I asked was if he was ready. "What?! What do I need to be ready for?!" he panicked.
I don't know that anyone can warn you for how complicated and humbling and broken and outrageously fun and sometimes dark and sharpening marriage is. Our struggles are different than what Matt and the little ladys' will be, but there will be some. It's built to be that way, the refining of ourselves by exposing weakness, building the other up, being torn down and doing it again to become better, truer, finer versions of us. Like a knife against stone, friction that yields a better product. Iron sharpening iron. Being known and loved... is it my place to prompt him of this? So, I just asked if he was ready, because really, I haven't figured it all out, but being ready or not is all you need to know. You say yes to fighting for this person. Everyday. Not how many thousands of dollars you have for a ring, my friend.
I appreciate new people, new perspective, new stories. It makes me intentional and aware about the things going on in my own life that sometimes fly by in routine.
On a completely unrelated note, this was my first time with a galette. I don't love pie crust - as a treat or making it. It's a little stressy to me. Keep all the ingredients super cold! Don't touch it too much! But I have had this on the brain for other crust loving people in my life. And because I think they look rustically gorgeous. I like the cherry and almond pairing and tried to pull that through with the extract, but it is quite subtle. Even still, I wouldn't add more because too much extract doesn't really make it taste more almond-y, it just gets sort of bitter. The crust has a gentle yield to it from the bit of yogurt but there is still a nice crunch to the edge. The vanilla ice cream is not an optional ingredient here - I can't imagine this not a la mode, then again you're getting your report from an ice cream girl, not a crust girl so I'll leave that up to you.
CHERRY ALMOND GALETTE // Serves 6
A dough adaptation from Smitten Kitchen
I know the tool is only useful for a short season, but owning a cherry pitter for situations like this, fruit salad or cherry cocktails has been well worth it. I can't find the brand I own but this one has pretty good reviews.
- 3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup spelt flour
- 1 Tbsp. natural cane sugar
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 4 oz. / 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut in cubes
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. yogurt (I used goat yogurt, use what you have)
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 3 Tbsp. ice water
- 3 cups pitted cherries, about 1ish lbs.
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp. orange juice
- 1 Tbsp. unbleached all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
- 1/3 cup muscavado or natural cane sugar
- 1 egg
- splash of water
- turbinado sugar, optional
- 1 cup toasted almonds, chopped
- vanilla bean ice cream, for serving
In a chilled bowl, combine the all purpose flour, spelt flour, salt and sugar and stir to combine. Working quickly, work the cold butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or tips of your fingers. Smush it until the butter is the size of small peas. In a small ramekin, mix the lemon juice, yogurt, extract and water and give it a stir to combine. Add it to the flour-butter bowl with your hands or a wooden spoon until just combined, being careful not to overmix. Pat it into a bowl, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least one hour or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400'. Prepare a parchment lined baking sheet. Halve about three quarters of the cherries, leaving some whole. Put them in a mixing bowl with a pinch of salt, orange juice, flour, nutmeg and muscavado and stir to combine.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the galette dough to a roughly 12'' circle. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Pile the cherry mixture in the center leaving a 2'' border around the circle. Fold the border towards the center, don't be afraid to pull in tight, it will settle. Pleating the dough to make it stick to each other. You don't want thick folds of dough, think more pinching. If it starts to feel room temperature, pop it back in the fridge or freezer for ten minutes.
Mix the egg and water together and brush it on the outer edges of the dough. Sprinkle it with turbinado sugar, if using. Bake the galette on the middle rack for 40-45 minutes until the edges are nice and brown. Time may vary depending on oven. Remove the galette (and parchment too if need be) to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving. Sprinkle half of the almonds on top of the cherries. Serve each wedge with a scoop of ice cream and another sprinkle of the almonds on top.