For This, I Am Grateful No. 5
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Summer produce makes it such an easy season to cook in because little needs to be done to it. I know the best booth at the farmer’s market for tomatoes, the corn is always sweet and crunchy. Even a basic fruit dessert requires little fuss; fresh and juicy berries can more than hold their own
That evening, I served fresh fruit with a healthy scoop of homemade vanilla bean ice cream and a few crumbled gingersnaps over the top. It was the most basic of dishes, but the one every person finished. Certainly, it was the smallest of desserts, but it made me wonder.
How often am I overcomplicating things?
Fast forward a few weekends, and we were invited to an end of summer BBQ
A woman told me about a couple who had invited their family over for dinner. The hostess ordered pizza from a place on the corner and made a simple salad of greens from her garden. She talked about how much she respected her for it. How getting together, eating together, and a night of great conversation was more than enough
After they left, I wandered into the kitchen. I’d made everything from scratch: dressings, marinades, appetizers – the whole thing. We generally don’t cook complicated dishes, but what I do make, more often than not, does take a fair bit of time. Not to mention the time spent planning the menu
Where’s the sweet spot between making food for people that’s special, but still allows me to enjoy their company and the evening in front of us? How to channel this effortless effort? How to not overcomplicate things when the answer is really the proverbial pizza?
Much of the fruit for the tart came from a run to the Co-op on a day where everything looked too good to pass up. I was looking for something easy, yet stunning to come bearing for the BBQ. I remembered a crust I’d wanted to try and layered from there
It’s a new favorite. The perfect marriage of fresh fruit and healthy eating. It feels indulgent and expensive, although it is neither. It’s best served with a stunning glass of white wine. Along with a toast to the end of summer in all of its glory.
“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention” ~ Oscar Wilde
So applicable to cooking, creating, to feeding others. The act is often far less complicated than we make it out to be. And for today, I’m grateful for these simplest of things
A few other excerpts from my #ForThisIAmGrateful list this week
The bluest of skies, fall leaves on the trees, and a long walking trail
Salt and vinegar chips
Antique store treasures
Being someone else’s pillow
Knowing you’ve left your credit card, hurrying back to retrieve it, hoping an honest person found it – grateful they did
Road trips and a great book to listen to
Table for one with a side of lake air
Learning to go easy and keep it loose (ps: Yoga helps. Yoga breathing helps, if you’re not into triangle poses and down dogs)
What are you grateful for this week?
~ Adapted from Dr. Weil
End of Summer Fruit Tart
- Pastry Crust
- 1 cup oat flour
- 1 cup unbleached white flour
- ¼ cup skinned ground almonds
- 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- 4 Tbsp cold butter, diced
- 4 – 5 Tbsp cold water
- 2 cups Greek yogurt (I used vanilla, but any flavor works)
- assorted sliced fresh fruit
- Pastry Crust
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- To to the bowl of your food processor, add the pastry ingredients and 4 Tbsp cold water.
- Pulse briefly until just smooth, about 30 seconds
- (If the dough seems dry, add 1 - 2 more Tbsp water and pulse briefly again.
- Cut a piece of parchment paper that measures ~ 10 x 10 inches, roll the dough into a ball, wrap it in the paper, and chill it in the refrigerator for 10 -15 minutes.
- After the dough has chilled, unwrap it and roll it out on the parchment paper with a rolling pin, making a circle that stretches about 1.5 inches beyond the edges of a 9-inch pie pan.
- Flip the parchment paper over onto the pie pan and peel off the paper.
- Mold the dough to the bottom and sides of the pie pan by pressing down on the dough with your fingers. Trim the excess with a knife so it’s flush with the edge of the pan
- Cover and refrigerate for ~ 15 minutes
- Remove the pan from the refrigerator and bake for 15 minutes, or until the crust is dry in the center. (You can test for dryness by inserting a toothpick in the center; when the toothpick comes out dry, the crust is done)
- Let cool for 15-20 minutes
- Filling and Topping
- Spread the yogurt on top of the crust. Decorate with fresh fruit.
- Slice, serve, and enjoy