Oh, this tart. I have eaten this for breakfast every morning and dessert every evening since making it on Monday. Basically I’m almost wholly subsisting on it. This recipe is almost not even a recipe. It goes something like this: make a crust, mix some mascarpone with honey, spread it on the crust, top with fruit. Pretty simple. Almost not even warranting a post. So I’ll keep this one short.
Suddenly it’s Wednesday! How did that happen? I’m so busy this week I barely noticed the days slide by. Also, after I started drinking coffee again (all the saints be praised), it was all I wanted to talk about. And, well, that’s not exactly original fodder for a blog. We all know that coffee is wonderful. Even the people at Harvard think so. IT’S SCIENCE.
Anyway, where was I? While writing about how I thought I would get distracted by coffee, I…got distracted by coffee. Ahem. This blog post is about our dinner last night, not about the steaming delicious cup of heaven in front of me right now.
Good morning, dear readership (I love using that word!). I’m up early working on a gougère recipe to bring to an Oscar party tonight (torn between beer & gruyere and paprika & parmesan, so I’m making them both!). These are the decisions that plague my life these days. Believe me, I know how lucky I am. I watch Ryan study for hours every day and think, that’s gonna be me in a few months. I found out I was accepted to grad school (a totally unbelievable thing) and I’ll start in the fall. So, my life will change again. I’m very excited, and also, you know, scared.
It’s a simple thing, sometimes, to be reminded of your hometown. We’re all susceptible to those waves of nostalgia: your favorite local band comes up on your iPod, the light angles in through the windows just so, and suddenly you’re closing your eyes and being transported, imagining the smell of fresh cherries on a summer day by the side of the Blue Star Highway. For me, food almost always does this, which is probably why I love making and eating it so much. There are so many senses to be engaged, and so much opportunity for reflection and joy.
Have veggies that are going a bit soft? Got half an hour? Want a meal that packs a ton of nutrition and flavor into every creamy (or chunky, or brothy…) mouthful? Do you like to make that slurpy noise every time you take a bite? It Ain’t. Even. A Question.
You know that phrase, “easy as pie?” Anyone who has ever tried to make piecrust from scratch knows that phrase is a bunch of malarkey. I’d like to submit a revision: easy as soup.
It’s been a warm week here, almost spring-like. Whenever I think of spring I always want easy, light, fruit-based desserts. I imagine myself on a porch somewhere in the south of France (a place I’ve never been, but bear with me), hanging crisp white linen on a line and reaching up to pluck a perfect little lemon from my lemon tree. I examine it, smile a secret smile to myself, and then drop it gently into my apron pocket, as a warm breeze floats through the backyard carrying the scent of lavender. Then Johnny Depp sneaks up behind me, enveloping me in his manly embrace. Then I, um, bake a tart. WIth Johnny. Let’s move on.
Life has taken such a monumental turn for me these past few months. I have seen another continent and moved out of my hometown. I am currently unemployed and get to spend my days cooking, reading, walking, and googling cats on the internet. Life is beautiful.
So let me just make it clear that when I say I miss Ann Arbor, I don’t mean I’m unhappy here. Quite the opposite. There are, of course, plenty of things that are different enough to notice and take issue with, like the traffic (oh, the traffic). Suffice it to say I’ve been honked at and wanted to honk back more times in the past month than I ever have in my life. But let’s not talk about the traffic. It’s not like I miss Ann Arbor’s traffic.
If you’re anything like me, you love winter mostly for the food. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I like the snow and even the cold (that’s the Michigander in me), but the food in winter just fills you up in a way that summer food doesn’t. It’s an excuse to eat for comfort. It’s too rich, too sweet, and too filling but somehow it’s better that way. The best dishes in winter have the capacity to warm you from the inside out, to satisfy your soul as well as your palate. And the colors are better. Warm oranges, rusty reds, deep evergreens. It’s like your favorite sweater, only you get to EAT IT.
I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I tend to overthink things. Well, as I’m sure was predicted by many, it took me ages to pick something to begin with on here. My first recipe! On my first food blog! I agonized over this decision. I’m big on tradition and celebrations, as anyone who has met me knows. I’m the girl who makes the same birthday cake every year for birthdays (because it’s the BIRTHDAY cake) and has an unflinching allegiance to the same Thanksgiving menu (cranberry sauce like THIS, not like that). In a world that changes and grows and zips along so merrily, so quickly, I do find it comforting to put stock in traditions. Gigo’s meatballs, Daddy’s scrambled eggs, Nonna’s plum pudding. These are recipes I cherish, brought into my life by people I cherish: and I definitely want to pass on some of my own recipes someday. Because I take all this cooking stuff so seriously, I knew I had to choose something for my FIRST recipe that was cherishable. Something I could look back on and be proud to say was my best work.