Sometime in December, I received a package in the mail.
Packages are always exciting, but I’ve learned to check my enthusiasm when I arrive home and see a thick brown envelope or a slim brown box on the dining room table. You see, nine times out of ten, the package isn’t for me but for Dennis, who is continuously ordering obscure cd’s, weird audio-related electrical appliances, and the latest developments in computer technology. The last time a package was mine, it turned out to contain a new supply of contacts. What I’m saying is, a package, a personal package, a fun package just for me, is a rare and special occasion.
This brown box came from Silver City, which made my heart jump. We spent a blessed week there in October visiting Rob and Tyler of Kumquat/Blogquat fame. Rob is an amazingly original and creative (on other occasions I’ve used the word ‘weird’, which did not go over well, but really, if you look at the list of dishes for his most recent tasting menu, isn’t weird a word that comes to mind?) cook, and I had a feeling he’d sent me something home made - so naturally I was really excited about the contents of this package.
Here’s what I found: I was puzzled. I thought it might be some kind of flavored sugar he had made himself – but what to do with it? There was no note, no explanation. The wrapper smelled faintly of cinnamon. After a day or two (I did not want to mail him straight away, for fear of looking stupid in not recognizing the stuff) I emailed him: uhm, Rob, what is this, what you sent me?
Me: No they’re not, maybe they were cookies once, but they’re cookie crumbs, now. He then sent me a picture of what the cookies looked like in their previous life, as cookies. They looked delicious and I was sad, and then I stuck the vacuum wrapped crumbs in the freezer, not really knowing what to do with them.
Yesterday my friend Maarten came over for 3 episodes of Dynasty and because I was feeding him lasagna leftovers and a bowl of tired salad, I decided we needed dessert. But I did not have anything that could be dessert. Except.. maybe… those frozen disintegrated cookies?
So I cut up a wrinkly apple and a couple of even more wrinkly plums that were lying in the fruit bowl, waiting for a purpose. Crumbs on top, drizzled with melted butter, baked for half an hour, a scoop of thick Greek yoghurt on the side – dessert bliss. The cookie crumbs made for a very soft and deliciously sandy textured topping. Maarten picked up on the aniseed in the cookie right away (he has an amazing palate), and we ate almost the whole thing, leaving just a tiny little scrap for Dennis.
Unless you are friends with Rob, who sends you cookies, which turn into crumbs while traveling from New Mexico to Amsterdam, you won’t be able to reproduce this crumble. I know I won’t – unless Rob will share his cookie recipe, that is.