I confess, this past week was not my finest. In fact, my moods have ranged from rotten to frustrated to simply bored. Maybe it’s just me, but finding yourself in a rut and not knowing what to do to get yourself out of it is more annoying than realizing that you are in a rut. I told myself that surely a day spent out in a park with a new good book would revive me, but I just felt slightly twitchy and anxious. Not even the promise of the long anticipated Sex & The City movie which I finally saw over the weekend could slap me awake. (I plan to post a little diddy on that film too, just you wait.)
From ridiculous gas prices to toasty temperatures, I’ve been trying to keep myself busy doing stuff but I just keep going through the motions. Sad to say, I ain’t got no heart. (Yes, saying it grammatically incorrect is completely necessary.) My bad mood baffles me too, as I just recently found a new job that I love. Seriously, I actually enjoy spending my time at my new place. Go figure, right?
With the promise of new adventures on the horizon, I keep trying to tell myself to look at the glass, half full, not half empty. I have a new baking book waiting in the wings and yet I have no urge to crack it open. The only thing that has kept me afloat is the plethora of books sitting on my nightstand. I should be friends with the staff at my bookstore because I have seriously kept them in business. Day after day, book after book, I lay on my sofa with a big glass of iced tea and read. I’d like to say that the books have kept my imagination going, but I think that my new reading spurt has more to do with me mentally checking out.I suckered myself into thinking that this weeks Tuesday’s With Dorie pick, a gorgeous and simple tart from A Year in Oak Cottage, would lift my moods. All of a sudden, my frown would turn upside down and the hills would come alive with the sound of music.
Well, the hills are still silent, and my frown has turned more into a grimace. There is nothing wrong with this tart, per say. It just left me hanging, kind of like dating a really attractive guy that sets off ZERO fireworks. You so badly want to like him, but that little zing is missing. All the individual components were tasty, but the end result just fell flat.
Tarts and I have a rather shaky bond. The ones that I’ve attempted, specifically from this book, haven’t really delivered. I chalk it up to my inexperience with pastry dough, but I keep trying, figuring that I’d get it right eventually. Well, this time around, I think I got the tart shell down. It browned up beautifully and it’s rich buttery aroma made me smile, despite my foul mood.
Now, this tart is all about being simple. A spread of jam with a pile of fresh fruit and a dollop of cream. I like the idea, but I need more. Maybe I’m just a glutton, but I need a little va-va-voom with my pounds of butter. But if you are looking for a fast and fresh fruit dessert, this is your meal ticket.
Since my bank balance is currently in the negative, I used whatever resources I had. That meant no strawberries and whatever jelly I could round up. I picked up a small box of blueberries last week and tossed those in with a little sugar. They were sweet and ripe, with a little crunch from their skin. I grabbed my favorite jar of organic strawberry preserves and slathered that on top of the crust.
The jam with the fruit went well with the buttery crust. My mom loved it, and I am sure her co-workers will die from happiness, but as for me, I am still on the fence. The crust was too crumbly (I think I’ve said this every time) and I don’t like the way it just falls apart when you take a knife to it. Maybe I am handling it too much, I don’t know. Next time, I will use fresh strawberries (when they don’t cost an arm and a leg) and maybe add another crunchy component like toasted almonds. Go ahead, give it a try and tell me what you think. I’ve made the sweet tart shell before, and the filling is just jam and fruit. Check out what everyone else has done with this pick.
Now, if you don’t mind, the new Coldplay cd and The Daily Show are calling my name.