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Tart Meditations



Good morning lovely reader.

How was your weekend? Did you sit in Madison Square Park, rip off pieces of a crusty vanilla pear baguette and sip pomegranate Pellegrino? Did you make failure pancakes which sounded like all your worst gym-volleyball nightmares when you tapped them in their dense centers? Did you throw open your shutters and let the watermelon breeze of spring saturate your bedroom?

Me, I made a tart. I want to say it was the potent April perfume in my kitchen, cause that just sounds so romantic, but it was more the overripe, out-of-season nectarines on my counter, rotting in that demure, erotic way fruit that you never should have purchased in the first place does. It’s that point in the semester where I identify probably too much with overripe, out-of-season fruit. I bruise easily, I’m soft in all the wrong places, and I’m uniformly bitter. I can’t stand to witness my own suffering so lucidly, and so I made a tart! I just feel like tart as a word begs to be followed by an exclamation point, and it evokes this image of me in an apron, with my ingredients in neat little mason jars beside me, mandolining these fragile white nectarines over my mahogany cutting board. What a juxtaposition to reality – me, in a dirty sweatshirt, rolling the tart crust out with a half-empty wine bottle because I misplaced my rolling pin, ugly-crying about my overripe-nectarine life while trying to keep my tears from getting on the crust so as not to over-hydrate it. Since this is greetings and I’m supposed to impart onto you some opportunities and suggestions and maybe some wisdom or whatever, let me start with this one small proposal: make a tart. I know I sound like a lifestyle blogger, but hear me out on this. What is more meditative than beating (I think the technical term is kneading, but there’s no technicality needed for a tart, anyway) the shit out of some foolproof dough, then rolling the shit out of it with all your weight and energy and attention, then gently arranging the delicate slices of mushy nectarine to look like a beach rose? Once that’s done, pour yourself a glass of that low-grade rosé and turn the oven light on. Sit cross-legged on your cool kitchen floor, and steep your lungs with the sultry scent of butter and sugar making a caramel lovechild on the edges of your crust. Forget not your hands’ capacity to create, allow the episode its incandescence, and remember for a moment that if that trash fruit can be repurposed into something so lovely, then there must be hope for you, too.

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