Sunday, August 3, 2008

Thoughts, Happenings and one Recipe

Benjamin has just started sailing lessons. We have just finished with day two, and – he hasn’t even officially sailed a boat yet – but so far, so good. He loves it. He has exhausted me of all of the knots I know, mastering all of them. Sailing School is action packed with a lot of “to do’s” and is out doors – this is why I think he is enjoying it so much. But, like I said, we are only on day two. Personally, I’m green with envy. I taught sailing for three summers while I was in college and loved every minute of it. Being outside all day, on the water, sailing boats teaching kids who are having the time of their lives. Fun stuff.
Ripley on the other hand is too young for most camps. At the age of three and a half, with an October birthday, he “feels” old enough, but has to wait. However, as of last night, he has “officially” become a swimmer. When it comes to athletics, Ripley will work at something until he gets it – undaunted by failures and setbacks. I wish he had the same drive when learning his numbers and letters … an acquaintance suggested pairing the numbers and letters with sports. I’ve tried a little of that – but generally Ripley looks at me like “Ma, would you just throw the ball?!” as I try to point out the numbers inside the foursquare game.
To get exercise in the summertime while the kids are with me 24/7 I get up a couple times a week at 5:30 am to go running. Victor needs to be at work by 7am, so I have a small window to get my run in. The joy of getting up early to exercise during the summer is that it’s light outside. This morning, just before I got going I was even able to see the remnants of a gorgeous sunrise. The real reason I bring up running is because I get to laughing to myself, wondering where Candid Camera is hiding when I go to take off my jog bra. Does anyone else feel like they are wrestling a straight jacket?! Seriously, I can hardly get the thing off. Of course I’m sweaty from my run and everything is sticking to me – which adds to the problem. Asking Victor for help seems just a little too over the top hilarious – so I stand there struggling to get the bloody thing off. Sometimes I seriously think I’m stuck – either that or my arms are going to rip out of their sockets. Am I the only one??
When checking up on my garden the other day, I realized that the embarrassing tangle of wild raspberries in our backyard is actually bearing fruit this year. And, lo-and-behold they are black raspberries. We always assumed they were red, but really never got to see any fruit, so we didn’t know for sure. And, they are really sweet! I picked as many as I could without looking as if I’d just wrested a team of four cats – and put them together with the small pile of blueberries that was ripe. With this small batch of homegrown fruit I decided to make a small tart for dessert. It was so quick to make that I whipped it up while putting dinner together. This is how I did it:
Summer Fruit Tart
Rinse fruit – put on towel to dry
Mix in small bowl approximately 3 T sugar and 3 T flour (blueberries need quite a bit of flour b/c they make a pie very runny)
Put the fruit in a bowl. Pour one capful of Cointreau over the berries and toss gently.
Pour the sugar / flour mixture over the berries and mix gently.
Make one oil pie crust
Roll out crust to 1/8” thick (in between wax paper) then flip onto cookie sheet covered with tin foil.
Put fruit and any sugar / flour at the bottom of the bowl into the center of the pie crust.
With a knife, lift up sections (one section at a time) of the crust up and over onto the berries working all the way around the circle --- there should be a 3to 4 inch opening on the top where you can see the berries.
Sprinkle top of tart and fruit showing through the top with a little more sugar.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
You can use this recipe for any type of fruit – just test for doneness by poking fruit with a knife to make sure it is tender.
Let me tell you, that tart was yumola. And that the fruit came from our yard – even better.Now I need to research growing wild black raspberries. I think if I trim them back a little – to give more energy to each individual plant – I think they may produce more fruit on a regular (annual) basis.

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