The past two weeks have been an absolute whirlwind. The first in France and the next in Canada, both spent rushing around, packing and unpacking, squeezing in visits with friends and family and worrying just a little bit whether we’ve made the right decision to once again pick up our lives and move across the ocean.
We made it to Canada. Our entire belongings a mess in my parents garage, everyday facing those oh so grown up things like apartment hunting and health insurance. We’ve jumped in feet first with this move back, it was time to take a little space to breathe.
My parents picked me up at the airport, as they always do every time I come home for a visit. We packed my suitcase, my skis, my bike and the million other things I managed to cram onto the plane into the car and headed towards home. Up until this moment, things felt just like normal. I’ve come home for a few visits in last years, so the airport reunion/heavy suitcase/journey home was something that was familiar to us. Always sitting in the car, knowing that in just a few short weeks we would be doing it all over again in the opposite direction. But this time was different now. There would be no re-packing, no return flight, no airport goodbye tears. We were here. To stay. And it feels like a pretty damn good place to be.
I am slowly making my way through the many photos from our trip this summer, right now it all feels like an entirely different lifetime ago. It’s slowly sinking in, Matt has always said that you continue to live your travels long after they are over, and I am beginning to understand that more and more. A few bad days on the road can make for some good stories to tell, and once they are over you realize just how happy you were to live that moment. So the wind, the rain and the challenges are now something that I cherish, and I am so glad to have made those memories with him. It can all be a little overwhelming, the heart can only handle so much goodness at once and the last few days have been chock full of it. I have never felt so loved or humbled by the friendship I have made here, and I could have never imagined such a warm welcome home by a few inspiring ladies I consider myself lucky to call friends. To Shelley, Jessie, Kathryn, Amy, Gen + Katrina, you made my homecoming that much sweeter and reminding me to take a little time out of our busy schedule to realize that we’ve made it home. A crumble and some quiet moments with family. I am so grateful to be back here with you all, thank you for sticking around.
Ginger + Almond Mixed Plum Crumble
We made it back to France just in time for my favorite market season. There are figs and muscadine grapes and so many varieties of plums to choose from. The tomatoes are big and juicy and colors of everything together reflect to slow change of seasons.
I like to opt for a liquid sweetener when making crumbles – honey, maple syrup or brown rice syrup are my go to’s. I like brown rice syrup since it has a very mild flavor and subtle sweetness, and here it really lets the plums, ginger and almonds come through.
I made this crumble for our French family picnic before we left, and I’ve made it here again for our family on this side of the pond. 2 families, 2 crumbles, I consider us pretty lucky.
Serves 6. Vegan + Gluten Free.
- 6 cups mixed plums of choice, pitted and sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
- 1 1/2 cup small oat flakes (certified gluten free is necessary)
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 1 cup ground almonds
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, room temperature
- 1/4 cup brown rice syrup
What to do
Preheat the oven to 350 F / 175 C
Place the sliced plums in a baking dish, top with ground ginger and brown rice syrup and mix everything together with your hands or a wooden spoon. Spread evenly on the bottom of the dish.
In a large bowl, mix together oats, slivered almonds and ground almonds. Check your coconut oil, at room temperature it should be soft and easy to work with, if it is still quite solid you can melt it completely in a small pot and let it cool before making the crumble. Add coconut oil and brown rice syrup and thoroughly mix together with your fingertips until well combined. The mixture should stick together when squeezed into the palm of your hand. Crumble to mixture over the plums, I like to leave just a little space around the edges for the fruit juices to escape and for the color to come through.
Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the plum juices are bubbling. Continue to bake for another 5-10 minutes until the top it set and golden brown. Reduce heat if necessary to prevent burning at the end.
Let cool before serving. I always like a crumble better the next day at room temperature once the juices and flavor have had time to set. So a rest time of at least an hour can make a big difference. But if you prefer a warm crumble with a big scoop of ice cream, by all means, be my guest.