Cheryl Nicholl

Cheryl Nicholl

The other day I was feeling, shall we say, “silly?”

You know, like when you make elaborate s-p-a-r-k-l-y girlish plans because it’s a sunny day, you’re feeling adventurous, and everything seems possible now that the kids are grown?

You’ve decided having a “muffin-top” is a middle-aged aphrodisiac, chipped teeth are a medical opportunity for full-body cosmetic surgery, traffic laws are optional, crime doesn’t happen in your neighborhood, the Middle East might as well be another planet, and you think the world is your oyster? In fact, it might be caviar on toast points?

Like that.

Then, your mother becomes elderly. Overnight, it seems, and you thought she’d be young forever.

“Who do I talk to about this?”

You see a young woman in a playground, baby on hip. You are wider. One of her children asks you to play, and hide-n-seek is suddenly the most brilliant game you haven’t played in years.

“Why didn’t I enjoy this more?”

You giddily curse an elderly gentlemen turning at a snails pace in a fifty-foot Eldorado, which is just too damn big on these narrow roads (and a bit crass if you ask me) and it seems reasonable. Even your civic duty, until you realize that red lights mean EVERYONE is supposed to stop.
“What’s the problem officer? Did you see him? I mean, come on!”

Your house security system is temporarily off-line, due to an addition that you just HAD TO HAVE, and suddenly you’re watching the local Evening News with profound interest–and a shotgun under the bed.
“The shells are in the bedstand, next to the Ambien, right?”

And, the temperature in New Orleans would make Satan feel at home (in fact, I think he lives in Central City, or Cairo).
“Since when did Brotherly Love become Brotherhoods?”

My garden is fried.

My brain is fried.

So I did what any self-respecting mid-life, crusty, over-confident, Goddess would do, when confounded by the Sweet & Sour of life.

I baked IT.
And IT was good.
And the world was righted…
Strawberry Rhubarb Tartlets
8 prepared tart shells
2c. diced rhubarb stalks (The red tops. Discard the rest.)
2c. diced strawberries
4Tbsp. cornstarch
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. salt
1 c. sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Prick the bottom of the tartlets and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven. Increase temperature to 425 degrees.
Prepare remaining ingredients and combine.
Using a slotted spoon, ladle the mixture into each tart shell, filling each to the top. (Filling will settle down as it bakes.)
Brush the exposed crust of each tart with a light egg yolk wash.
Bake in a a 425-degree oven for 30 minutes, then reduce temperature to 325 degrees and continue baking for 15 minutes.
Allow to cool and serve at room temperature.

Did I say, “Pie?” Oops, I mean “Tarts!”

In the oven.

And plated with sliced strawberries and chocolate covered raisins. Yummy!

Cheryl Nicholl

Cheryl Nicholl

The Peace Of A Sweet and Sour Life was last modified: by

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