The other night, I decided to try out a recipe for the first time in the newly remodeled kitchen (we are still waiting for the tile to come or else I would show you more pictures). Since I had a platter full of homegrown tomatoes on the counter that desperately needed to be made into something, I decided on the Tomato Tart out of the Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook.
Yes, it’s the rather distressed looking book on the top shelf. Or should I say dog-eared? That would be because Emma P. Buttercup decided it was good enough to eat one evening. I know the cover looks scrumptious, but really, Emma?
My copy is particularly precious to me because it was a gift from Brent and Josh, the so-called Fabulous Beekman Boys, founders of Beekman 1802. In case you have forgotten, I met them in 2011 at the Country Living Fair in Atlanta when they admired my wreaths. Last year, I was thrilled to be asked to make special wreaths for their holiday website and they have graciously asked me to do it again this year.
Anyway, Josh wrote me a lovely inscription and I almost died when Emma got ahold of my book. Mercifully, she did not eat that very important page. Whew.But now, on to cooking! The Tomato Tart is so incredibly yummy that I have to share it with you.
First up is making the pastry crust. I am not a Cordon Bleu quality chef by any stretch of the imagination (that would be the husband) but even I was able to tackle this.All you do is roll out a thawed (but still cold) puff pastry sheet to about 10 x 15 inches. Put it on a parchment covered baking sheet.
Got it so far?
Next, get your ingredients together:
1 cup whole-milk ricotta, drained
4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup of chopped fresh basil
plus 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper.
Spread your mixture over the center of the puff pastry sheet.
and top your pastry with them. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over it and voila!Bake your tart in a preheated 425 degree oven for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the good stuff in the filling is set.
This is how mine looked when I took it out. Gorgeous!And the taste? Holy cow was it ever good. Here is what the husband thought, “It tasted like a beautiful cloud that floated around in my mouth, full of joy.” I swear, that’s exactly what he said. It really made me laugh.
Don’t worry, I have no intention of suddenly turning this into a cooking blog but since I had not surfaced in a while, I thought it might be nice to share this one yummy thing with all of you.
We are still plugging along, trying to keep husband on an even keel and out of the hospital. It’s pretty much a full-time job between dialysis and doctor’s appointments. We are getting very, very close, though, to officially being listed with the University of Virginia for his double transplant. When I spoke with them yesterday, they felt that something would happen quite soon. It is a pretty darn scary prospect, that surgery and the recovery, but to continue on as he feels now is simply not an option. I’m trying to get all my ducks lined up in a row for when we get that phone call – we will have to be ready to go immediately.
I still have not been able to get back to work, the house is still under construction (but almost finished!), and I have had to withdraw from the Country Living Fair in Columbus this month. I am holding onto the slim hope that I will be able to make it to Atlanta in late October but time will tell. In the meantime, I expect to get back out to the workshop (hopefully) as early as next week – hurrah!
I have had such nice correspondence from some of you that I am very, very grateful for. I am keeping a list of who wants me to make them something this year. If you would like something, just send me a line. I appreciate everyone’s understanding that what happens is pretty much out of my control right now and that I will do my best to make whatever I can as I am able.
My mom is not doing well. At 93, she is starting to fail and because Patrick has been so ill this year, I have been unable to visit her since January. Last week, I managed to make a quick, one-day run up to see her. I surprised her and it was a lovely, if exhausting, day. I’m hoping to pull another one off soon. The clock is ticking; I can’t quite wrap my head around it. It all seems just too overwhelming right now.
But I took Emma with me for company and we got out for a nice long walk down the lane while Mom had a nap. It was an incredibly beautiful late summer day, with not an ounce of humidity in the air. I felt lucky indeed to be able to call this beautiful place home though I have not lived there for 40 years. And home, I think, is what it will always be.