I was forced to make this astounding tart, and you need not learn how!

First of all, this:

Secondly, to get the first thing, I needed this:

(He just goes on forever, doesn't he? He'll be nine in less than a week.) Not everyone has their own personal Huck Finn, I realize. I realize I am priviliged, and I will try to remember not to lord my privilidge over those without free food dangling from the tree outside their window, and also I don't know how to spell priveledge.

Recently it was Father's Day, a day when we at the Kennedy compound pay obeisance to our lord and master, the refrigerator. We larded ours up with beer and bagels and not too many weird cheeses, and because Jackson had been practicing the gathering arts of his most ancient ancestors, we had a bowl full of these:

Our plums did not suffer this particular fate. Things may be rough all over, but they're not yet so desperate that we're scraping food off the sidewalk that's been squished by children's bicycles "because it's fun, and remember when Boloni stomped on all those snails?"

At this point, readers new to the site may be thinking one or more of the following:

1. What kind of parent lets her child leave the ground without a helmet? 2. What kind of parent lets her child climb a tree without supervision of any kind, lest branches be broken, bird nests dislodged, or unripe fruit prematurely harvested? 3. Why didn't anyone stop this Boloni person from stomping on snails? 4. What kind of people name their child Boloni? 5. This blog is ridiculous, and I think those ads might be fake.

Yes, even though it is incredibly onerous for me to answer imaginary questions in order to bring new readers up to speed, I will do it because it is a bad idea to take your readers for granted. (I don't know why, it just is.) So listen: we live in a small housing development with lots of fruit trees that are treated as community property. Anyone interested in climbing these trees may do so, as long as the tree isn't harmed in any way. The careful climber enjoys the opportunity to pick whatever fruit they can reach and then huck it at whoever's in range. Not that you asked, since I hadn't mentioned that the fruit tree pictured above isn't actually ours and that I'm ignoring all your other questions, but technically I don't think my son was stealing from anyone, insofar as all neighbors have equal access to the plums and lemons and whatnot dangling around our ears night and day, and half the time the stuff just falls off and rots on the ground. If my LAZY neighbors, so bloated with their own privileage that they do not BOTHER to take advantage of easy pickings (either because they lacked the wherewithal, courage, and/or foresight to birth some tree-climbing monkey-spawn of their own, or because they lack arms, or aprons with which to carry nature's fruity bounty back to their kitchen), and so are deprived of pie, I am not actually sorry, because it just means more for me. However, anyone feeling fruit-deprived need only ask my son; he and a squad of excited children will have a bushel of plums and weird, deformed lemons on your doorstep in no time.

Anyway. I don't know whose idea it was, but between the two of them, my husband and my son agreed that a tart must be made featuring the many plums Jackson had recreationally harvested. Thus an instructional video arrived in my inbox Saturday evening, which I promptly ignored. Everything went black until Sunday afternoon, when I drove to the store and spent $12 on pre-made pie crust, raw sugar, and fig preserves. THEN I watched the video, and that is when I realized I should have bought a flat roll of pie dough, or just sucked it up and made my own, rather than getting a pie crust pre-pressed into a foil pan with fluted edges. Problem-solver that I am, I popped the dough out of the pan and smushed it flat (as a sidewalk snail) on a cookie sheet. Jackson was then recruited to spread fig preserves in the center of the dough (a chore which "made him sick" -- this from a boy who eats fried shrimp heads and raw fish eggs). I'd already pitted the hell out of the plums, so we piled them in the middle, pushed a rim of dough up around them, brushed a little egg wash on the dough, sprinkled a lots of of raw sugar all over the place, and baked it at 400° for 20 minutes.

And as you can see, it leaked all over the place because the stupid crust broke. Despite that, it was good and tasted all natural and wholesome and stuff, and I am not ashamed to admit that I ate half of it. HALF. OF. IT. Because, as you know, free food has no calories, so the only part that counts is the crust. But if you eat the crust in little broken pieces, it doesn't count, either! I actually lost weight eating this. It was a Father's Day miracle.