4 years

Posted on May 24, 2013

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I realized today when I was in the midst of this epic recipe (epic because of my life, not because it’s inherently difficult…) a few things.

I realized that I love cooking, as a way of marking out the time and place, of making something special, sacred if you will…remembered.

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I understood that recently I’ve been approaching this blog all wrong–from the place of concern about meeting posting deadlines I’d set for myself…certainly watching the drafts pile up can be concerning–I have so much I want to share…some of it more important than others…but in my haste to publish, I’ve been getting caught up in perfunctory recipes, or forgetting the important personalizations…it’s been about the goal rather than the process.

This weekend, slowing our pace to that of lovely country living; savoring the trip to the fresh Arethusa icecream store and laughing over cones; napping by the fire, just because; accepting even the slow traffic crawl back along Flatbush avenue to return home…I realized it’s time to return to complete enjoyment of the present. The process. The results may or may not be there for you to photograph and “ohhh” over…I’ve learned that all too well. Little ones and their sick days should be relished, not because they are fun, but because it’s such an important time to reset all priorities…

As we live our anniversary week, and think back on 4 years, I’m filled with wonder and gratitude. For where we’ve been, for the trials and joys we have behind us, and for what surely lies ahead–a mix of tears and smiles–maybe even at the same time…

With one little in the bed, and another banging in the belly, I happily finished this recipe and we ate at a time when we normally might already be sleeping…Our hearts are full of the early days of long, lingering evenings to ourselves, busy New York happenings, and then turn to the pitter-patter of feet and the ridiculous expressions (Fav of the day “We can’t play with my trains. They’re sick.”)…I smile thinking of those feet multiplied, the joys, messes and quiet moments all blown apart to form a new reality…4 years from now, for example…

It’s been a blessed 4 years of marriage, and I look forward to many many more.

Appropriately, this recipe is adapted from something we found in the Bride and Groom cookbook which I used to use for inspiration alot—when I still used cookbooks more than blogs or my own crazy ideas…

(My single sisters bemoaned the title, insisting that they could not wait for Mr. Right in order to have this sitting on their shelf…I pretty much agree).

It originally was…Caramelized Onion, Gruyere and Olive Tarts.

Now adapted to Maddy’s “hodgepodge of Veggie’s” tarts—my plant-focused diet meets my love for french food in all forms…as long as they are pastry….

Here’s the rough schedule for the recipe, to illustrate my early reference to epic, and accepting the process for what it is.

5pm–Think about what to make for dinner

6pm–Take all veggies out of the fridge. Wash and line up on a towel on the floor–so my little helper can help me and practice cutting…

No such helper…(maybe for the best), so I sat on the flour and chopped happily by myself, attempting to carry on a conversation with my hub in the other room at the same time…

7pm–Veggies are roasted, garlic is done. Store run with the munchkin for essentials…well it’s only 1.5 blocks away–I can’t complain.

815pm–During bath, the onions are chopped and left to caramelize while I fold laundry, cuddle, and sing with my sweetie…I remind Joel to turn them down at some point during this phase. Everything else is all over the counter…

9pm–Little one asleep. Now I quickly finish grating, assembling, etc, and cook them in time for a lovely 10:15 seating…adults only–so rare around here…

10:40–Abandon the kitchen sink for the blog instead…#willregretthat #whoops…

1 sheet frozen puff pastry–thawed

1 egg–lightly beaten with 1 tbsp water

2 tbsp (small pile) of grated gruyere cheese

1/4 tsp tsp chopped rosemary–or 1/8 tsp dried rosemary crumbled.

3 tbsp caramelized onions (essentially this just looks like chopping a bunch of onions, cooking in a saucepan on low in butter/garlic until soft, then adding red wine of choice–Is mine the only household that always has red wine bottles leftover on the counter? We must be lightweights…) cooking covered for 15 min, then uncovered continue cooking until the liquid has mostly dissolved. Suggestion is to add sugar and red wine vinegar but I honestly think these are non-essential–and judging from above schedule, non-essential means non-happening for this cook).

2 tsp creme fraiche or sour cream

Roasted veggies selection–in my case I did brussel sprouts, broccoli, peas, and tomatoes…

4 olives (Kalmata recommended, original recipe said nicoise…)

For carnivores–canadian bacon or ham diced up can be nice too.

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Preheat to 400.

Line baking sheet with foil, and butteroil lightly for best effect

Cut each pastry sheet into 4 squares–keep extra ones in fridge when not using (yes I forgot to follow this advice)…

Mix onions (and other veggies) and creme fraiche mixture together.

Pile the ingredients onto the squares.

Fold edges of pastry up around the ingredients to hold them up, and essentially create a little “boat”–you’ll probably have to adjust quantities until you’re happy with the final effect. Then top with olives.

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Bake until the crust is golden brown; 25-35 min.

These can be made ahead, and also refrigerate just fine to be warmed the following day.

Bon Appetit!

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