I am warning you this is another loaded post but having a food blog makes you part of an awesome group of people worldwide and when this community reaches out for help...I just jump because they have given me so much already.
I never thought I’d say this but I am exciting to see June. I usually love May and all the promises that Spring carries. That lighter feel in your step, the days being longer and filled of beautiful sunsets, the trees in full blooms, produce getting a new skin at the store…But as much as the first half of May was filled with joyous and sweet moments such as Marcela’s visit or my birthday, the end of May turned quickly bitter-sweet as well as full and empty at the same time. Before I forget...I am having a bad case of what B. called "Gruyere Head": the lovely apron in the first picture was a handmade gift of Holly's mother-in-law and I have been starring at it for a couple of weeks now, unable to put it on, afraid I'd stain it...I know aprons are meant to be worn...give me some time, ok?!!
We lost a dear friend, another one got diagnosed with a very invasive form of cancer and while my uncle and aunt are here visiting, we got news that our beloved great aunt Marcelle passed away.We found comfort in just sitting there over a cup of coffee and a pastry discovering different perception on events and people. All throughout May, the “aaws” turned to “yikes” so June is a welcome sight indeed.
I know that things won’t get better just because it is a new month, but the wonderful human interactions I have had in May have given me the strength to make sense of it all. I guess getting one year older does have a purpose beside another …My heart and soul are filled to the rim and just want to explode. Since I am a big believer of paying it forward, I was thrilled when Bee of Jugalbandi asked if I wanted to put a prize for bids in the fundraiser she was organizing for Bri of Figs With Bri. As a long time reader of her blog, I have enjoyed her cooking journey and was touched by her letting us know about the hard truth behind the words. Bri, wonderful and funny Bri has cancer, breast cancer.
I can hear you " Hey, Tartelette, I thought you just said June was going to be better!"....Well they are...because one more time we can move our derrieres and help a friend, offer comfort and support and do something. I have seen throughout this month what a amazing and kick ass community food bloggers are and I know this fundraiser is going to be a success. I also know that there is nothing like food to bring people together so of course this post is not without a sweet recipe. For details on how to help Bri, read the end of this post where you will find all the info necessary.
These little blackberry tartlets with a crunch sweet short crust were a true "baume au coeur", medicine for the heart this past week. Sharing one of my favorite recipes with my aunt and uncle while talking about aunt Marcelle, my ailing grandfather and the family history, was a moment I won't be quick to forget. Picking the blackberries together under the scorching sun, mixing the ingredients for the dough while sipping lemonade and being rewarded with tasty little bites for dessert. We sat in silence, each thinking about the last time such a thing happened and how bizarre and crazy life can turn out to be. I sure feel better after a few bites of these!
Blackberry & Almond Shortcrust Tartelettes:
Makes 6-8, depending on your tart molds.
For the tart shells:
1 stick plus 1 Tb. butter, cut in small pieces
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup almonds
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
In a food processor, pulse all the dry ingredients. Add the butter and pulse again. Add the egg yolk and pulse until the mixture comes together in a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.Roll between sheets of plastic wrap and cut out circles larger than your tart shells, fit the dough into the molds and cut out the excess. Prick with a fork, cover with a sheet of parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes. Reroll the scraps and cut into strips to use as decorative patterns once the shells are filled and prior to their last baking time. Let cool to room temperature before filling with the blackberries.
1 pint fresh blackberries
zest and juice from one lemon
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tb. cornstarch
In a heavy saucepan, combine all the ingredients and heat over medium until the blueberries release their juices and the whole mix start to thicken, about 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
Divide the filling among the tart shells, lay strips of the remaining dough over the tartlets. Brush with a little milk and bake another 20 minutes at 350F. Let cool completely before removing them from the tart shells.
Bri is going through the expected rounds of chemo and other treatments as well as trying other healing alternatives such as holistic methods, which are unfortunately not covered by her health insurance. We thought we'd give them a break and a little boost with their medical bills. Hence, the team organising the JUNE edition of CLICK at Jugalbandi, "Yellow for Bri" has organised a fundraiser to help Bri and her family meet her out-of-pocket medical costs for ONE YEAR.
Yellow is the colour of hope. Through the work of the LiveStrong Foundation, it has also come to signify the fight against cancer. The entries can be viewed HERE. The deadline for entries is June 30, 2008. The fundraiser will extend until July 15, 2008. We appeal to our fellow bloggers and readers to help us achieve this. Bri deserves a chance to explore all options, even if her insurance company thinks otherwise. There’s a raffle with exciting prizes on offer.
After viewing the list, you may make your donation HERE or at the Chip-In button on any participating site. Your donation can be made securely goes directly to Bri’s account. This month’s photo contest also has some prizes. Details HERE. You can support this campaign by donating to the fundraiser, by participating in CLICK: the photo event, and by publicising this campaign.