The no-frills vacation did not entail putting up a tent by the car. No, for one of these thrill-packed adventures I got to strap on a pack as big as myself and trudge for endless hours to get to some remote, mosquito-infested site to pitch our tent.
Are you getting the sense that I'm not a big nature gal? And quite a whiner?
My parents revel in the great out-of-doors and tried patiently and persistently to woo me with the spectacular vistas and fresh, pine scented air. All I got out of it was blistered heels, sore shoulders, and a propensity for bad puns. As we hiked along the endless trails we played word games to pass the time. I Spy got old quickly. I spy something brown - dirt; something blue- sky; something green - scrubby trees. Then you'd worked through every available landscape feature.
My favorite was a game called Hink Stinks. Trudging along you could have your brain engaged in thinking up a story and when you had it perfected you announced to the others that you had a Hink Stink. You told your story and it had to end with, "and the next day the newspaper headlines read...." And the others had to guess the headline that you'd dreamed up for you story, and, this is the challenging bit, all the words had to rhyme. There were bonus points for the more words you incorporated into your headline. 2 words was easy peasy, 9 words was really hard to make up and even harder to guess.
For example, you could tell a story about an amazing scientific study proving that howler monkeys living in close proximity to peach trees adversely affected the fruit's color. The headline would read (in 3 words) "Screeches Bleaches Peaches."
I was horrible at playing Hink Stinks and my family hated my stories because I was so focused on nobody guessing my headline that my stories were convoluted and stuffed with more red herrings than a fish market. When I finally revealed my headline, everyone would get angry. "What about the puffin? What did the carpet bag have to do with it? Why did you put in a albino, long-maned female horse? (fair, hair, mare)"
So now that I'm an adult in charge of my own life I no longer go camping or back-packing. Life is too short to torture yourself with things you hate. But the word games are irretrievably stuck in my head. When I made this lovely clafouti, I couldn't help myself. It just happened. From the warped recesses of my brain came:
Tooti Fruity Clafouti Beauty
Only four words, but extra bonus points because it tastes fabulous and it's low-fat, too!
adapted from Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too by Susan Purdy
Use a generous pie dish or a 10-inch tart pan.
6 Tbsp, plus 1 tsp granulated sugar, divided
1 cup thinly sliced peeled fresh or frozen unsweetened peaches
1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and patted dry, or frozen, unsweetened blueberries
1 cup fresh raspberries or frozen unsweetened whole raspberries
3 Tbsp dark rum or fruit-flavored liqueur (optional) - I used Chambord
1 cup 1% milk
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg white
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsifted all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 350 deg. F. Coat the pie plate with cooking spray, then sprinkle it with 1 tsp sugar.
2- Peel peaches. I used a vegetable peeler, but you can blanch the peaches for about 2 minutes in boiling water then place them in cold water. Then the skins will slip off easily.
3- In a large bowl, combine the fruit, 3 Tbsp sugar, and the rum or liqueur, if using. Toss to blend. Set aside while you prepare the batter.
4- In a food processor or blender, combine the milk, eggs and egg white, vanilla, the remaining 3 Tbsp sugar, the flour, salt, and nutmeg. Process until smooth.
5- Spread the fruit mixture in the prepared plate, and pour the batter over the top. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the top is puffed up and golden brown. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, then sift on some confectioners' sugar and serve warm. Or set aside at room temperature and reheat before serving.
This recipe serves 8 and has 150 calories, 4 g. protein, and 2 g fat per serving. Unless you put whipped cream on top or vanilla ice cream with it. Like I did.