Remember when you were 13 and the last person on earth you wanted to confide in was your mom? According to my adolescent logic, my mom had no idea what kind of life I had to live or what sort of choices I had to make. She was put on this earth to irritate me and meddle in my very important business. There was no advice, no insight, no knowledge she could offer me that I didn’t already know, after all, I knew everything.
It wasn’t until I became an adult that I began to realize the humanity of my mother. I imagine the vast majority of us, even my own mom, have gone or will go through this very process. As I began to live on my own, do my own dishes, pay my own bills and make real life altering decisions, I realized, I needed my mom. I needed that advice I never took as a teenager and I needed her learned perspective. Finally understanding that she had lived through all of these things years before (not too many years mom, I know) helped me see what a resource she could be in my life, and that maybe we would begin to see each other not on different teams, but on the same one, together.
My husband lost his mom when he was 18, years before we met. I’m not sure if he ever made it to the stage where he appreciated her point of view and began to see her as a friend, but I know that if she were here now, he most certainly would. As we are now on the path to starting a family of our own, I think he would really love to sit down with her and ask what it was like for her to try to get pregnant, and how it felt when she finally did. I’m certain he would like to know if the feelings I have are in fact normal and what ways are best for showing his support of me.
This rolling pin belonged to her. As I was rolling out these small pastry shells I was wondering what it was like for her to feel a similar butter speckled piece of dough under her hands, rolling them out into petit circles. I wondered if we would bake together and if we did, what we might say to one another to pass the time. I’d love to ask her what Jon was like as a small boy, maybe gaining some insight into what our kids might be like one day. Most of all, I would have liked to find in her a friend, a confidant, just like I have in my own mother. From what others have told me, our personalities would have matched perfectly.
I believe every mom looks forward to the day when their children cherish them and their opinions. Though it’s a hard road traveled, I’m sure the destination is a great reward. If you’re a mom, thank you for fighting the good fight and when you’re in the thick of it, remember your children will grow up and one day they will call on you for your advice and will, I hope, find in you a faithful friend.
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup cold water
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
- 1 cup plus 5 tablespoons butter, very cold
- 2 lbs mixed cherries, pitted and chopped
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 egg, beaten
- turbinado (coarse) sugar for dusting
- Dissolve the salt in the water and keep very cold until ready to use. Add the flour and butter to the work bowl of a food processor and pulse to break up the butter until the chunks are about the size of large pebbles (only a few 1 second pulses). Add the water and continue to pulse until the mixture starts to bind together and is looking like coarse sand. Be sure to not over mix this, or your dough will not be flaky. You want to see butter chunks dispersed throughout.
- Dump out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, pat it all together and divide in half. Make two 4 inch disks, about an inch or so thick, wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least two hours or overnight.
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Beginning with the cherries, combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
- Roll out dough to a 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface and with a wide mouth pint jar, cut out circles of dough. In the middle of each circle, place about a tablespoon of cherries and bring up the sides of the dough around them. Brush lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Place into a mini cupcake tin (see first image). During this process, keep the tin in the freezer as you fill it to keep the pastry cold, this will help to create a flaky crust.
- Once the tin is filled, bake the tartlets until bubbly and golden about 18-22 minutes. Serve warm.