Life is not a Turner Classic Movie New Year's Eve, with champagne tulips clinking and orchestral music swelling. It is a beautiful image to conjure, however, I'm less of a December 31st celebrant and more of a January girl. I celebrate New Year's Eve vicariously through my college aged twenty-somethings who no longer live under my roof. By the time barricades are in place and confetti is poised to rain over Times Square, I've grown weary of the holiday hoopla. In the baking world, holidays commence around Halloween and run hell bent through Thanksgiving, crashing into Christmas, finally coming to a screeching halt on December 31st. And now that it's no longer Dick Clark at the helm, there's even less incentive to stay awake until the ball drops from One Times Square.
The other day I was stumbling my way through my neighborhood Trader Joes trying to think of something to prepare for our holiday staff party. Toting a baked good to a party of pastryphiles is a bit like bringing a box of chocolates to an Oompa Loompa. So I settled on a savory recipe. But on my way to the kale aisle (bakers are big on kale), I happened to notice some raspberries in their scarlet best, pining to be baked into something. So I scooped them up, envisioning them as a New Year's Eve-worthy dessert. I must add that a week earlier, I had purchased some beautiful Meyer Lemons. I made a mental note to team the lemons with the raspberries, but in the two days prior to New Year's Rockin' Eve, work got in the way. Sugar cookies exclaiming, TWOTHOUSANDFOURTEEN, brunch breads, tarts and a few dozen Auld Lang Pies.
Yesterday I returned home, opened the fridge and caught sight of the raspberries and the Meyer lemons. "What's it gonna be?" they seemed to ask. (When you start having conversations with citrus fruit and a half-pint of berries, you know you're overtired.) What, indeed. So I decided on a Meyer Lemon Raspberry Tart. I took a short cut and tossed the lemon and the sugar in the food processor, instead of painstakingly slicing them paper-thin by hand. The end result was just as tasty and I was confident that I would kick off 2014 with all ten digits in place. An important attribute for one who works with their hands.
Only time will tell if I am able to soldier on and ring out the old this evening. If I manage to stay awake, a slice of this lemony tart will be perfect with a glass of bubbly. And if not, it will be just as festive in the morning, ringing in the new. And the sweetest news of January 1st? The next baking holiday is in February. That in itself is worthy of a champagne toast. Happy New Year.
Professional Pie-isms & Seasonal Sarcasm