Sunday, February 5, 2012

Happy Memories To Keep Me Warm

I miss going to the local farmers' markets in summer. To me, they are the epitome of community living, where even jaded city folk can feel like they are part of a small-town foodie family. It's good for you and good for the vendors, which in turn makes it great for the entire community.

I don't miss pushing Baby B around in his stroller in the farmers markets though, because he always hated it, and was not shy about articulating his displeasure. My solution was to keep popping blueberries into this mouth to keep him distracted. Ah yes, the mommy art of distraction, a noble skill.

Today I am reminiscing only about the good times. Of me and Baby B soaking up the summer sunshine as we meandered through stalls of gorgeous produce. Speaking of blueberries, let me share some these memories with you ...

When I'm wandering around a farmers' market, I feel like a geek. I feel giggly. I feel accepted and an outcast all at the same time. Accepted because, look! I'm one with my neighbors, my community! And yet, an outcast, because I don't go as often as the rest of these people walking around and chatting it up with the vendors. Instead of simply buying those insanely gorgeous gourds, I'm taking discreet pictures of them from every angle. Like I said, geek.

But I do get adventurous sometimes with my market purchases. Like these peculiar zucchini that were too pretty to pass up ...

... And these red-green zebra-striped tomatoes, which were also an endless source of fascination for Baby B.
The zucchini and tomatoes met their oh-so-delicious demise in my Zucchini & Tomato Tart. But then, because one tart is never enough in my house (and isn't it more satisfying to use the entire package of puff pastry than just half??), I broke my healthy-ish streak and dove into the bacon.

Ok, so it was turkey bacon, which I think makes it healthier, but I wouldn't bet on it. Could anything healthy taste so rich and cheesy and buttery and flaky. Go on, send me hate-mail, but I think not. All I ask, is that you give this tart a chance. In the dead of winter, it's food like this that warms you to your toes.
French Onion Tart

1 puff pastry sheet
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
6 oz turkey bacon, cut into strips
2 oz gruyere cheese, grated
Salt n pepper to taste
1. Crisp up the turkey bacon, drain then set aside. In the same pan, saute the onions till soft and just starting to turn golden. Set aside.

2. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and milk, then add in the salt n pepper.

3. Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease a tart pan and fit the puff pastry into it.

4. Add the onions and bacon to the tart, then sprinkle the gruyere all over. Pour in the egg-milk concoction.

5. Bake for 25-30 mins till puffed and golden. Let it sit for 10 mins before you take it out of the tart pan and serve.
Verdict: Oh mama, it tastes so gooooooood, you sassy tart you! Sweet from the onions, but savory from everything else, this is simple food that delivers a punch of satisfying flavor. I can have it any time of day, but then I have problems and I need to get on an elliptical. Tomorrow. Tonight, it's tart time. Come hither.

The little man is serious about tomatoes. I guess he's a geek like his mom. Awww!