Have you all bought and packed your Christmas presents yet? Just 10 days till the big day, you know.
This whole week we have been getting deliveries from various sources bringing boxes of diverse items and with each new delivery the excitement intensifies. Keeping it all a secret is the most interesting part.
I hope I am forgiven for all the fibs I have told the past few days. See my 9-year old son still believes in Santa and I have no heart to break the news to him yet. He not only firmly believes that somewhere up in northern Scandinavia, a large man dressed in red with a thick, bushy white beard is in charge of single handedly delivering Christmas presents to millions of children around the world each year, but he is so steadfast in his faith that he will argue with anyone who denies the existence of ole Santa.
Earlier this week I eavesdropped on a discussion he was having with two of his girlfriends, who were trying to convince him that Santa does not exist. Instead of being intimidated by the girls he resolutely argued his case, bringing forward facts and stringing the stories in such a perfect manner, I swear, I saw the girls waver in their own faith.
I admit there is a large grey zone in the Santa theory and when Soeren was younger I often tried to evade the many discussions about Santa, I believed that a child of 3 or 4 years old did not need to be concerned about omnipotent mythical figures like Santa making judgments about behavior issues.
On the flip side however, pretending to call Santa to spill the beans has often stopped many a tantrums in mid-stride. Essentially, we have tried to convey the true spirit of Christmas: good will, peace and love towards fellow human beings and that it is a time to celebrate with family and friends. And, of course we had no desire to withhold all the magic associated with the holiday season from him. Christmas trees, Advent calendars, baubles and sparkly lights, Wham’s Last Christmas, Santa’s cookie and milk tray and the colorful wrapped presents are all part of the magic. What’s more, hand on heart, I will admit that I love that magic surrounding this time of year.
So, yes I have fibbed these past few days, but I am hoping to keep the magic of Christmas alive for just a little longer and Santa is most definitely a part of Christmas magic
The paradox in this story however is that while he keeps his boyish faith in a make believe figure, at school they are taking leaps towards maturity. With the current topic in school being puberty and sexuality his interest has taken a new path. While we write letters to Santa, sending him our thanks, appreciation for all he does and the gift list, we are revising for a test, about topics like pregnancy, sex and menstruation – keeping the balance for the real and make believe has probably never been so challenging!
In comparison, this tart is perfect in its simplicity, it has all the magic needed to be a divine Christmas dessert and the best part – it tastes incredible. The idea for the tart is not new; I used the famous Bakewell tart for the basic concept jazzing it up to be fit for the Christmas table. Instead of a preserve or jam, I used last week’s recipe of Buttery Quince Hazelnut and Cognac Mincemeat, which is spread over flaky shortcrust pastry and topping this, is a rich frangipane made of hazelnuts. Magical! Wouldn’t you say?
I think I will lean out the window far enough to say that this tart will make a believer out of you. It is delicate and offers an incredible blend of flavors. You can use any mincemeat for this but the buttery flavored quince adds a distinct and special highlight to the tart. Homemade shortcrust pastry might sound tedious but trust me the recipe above is easy and can be made in the food processor, you will find true pleasures in a flaky, buttery pastry for this tart. Think of it a bit like beautiful gift wrapping paper, keeping ones anticipation of what is inside to maximum level.
I know a few of you have made the mincemeat from last week. Thank you for the emails and I hope I have not disappointed you with this elegant, Christmas tart using mincemeat somewhat differently than in mince pies.
Registrations to the third From Plate to Page are open we have a few spots free, so come on over and check out our incredible programme, take in the beauty of our venue and register here. It makes an awesome Christmas present, especially if you have always wanted to hone your skills in food writing and photography, From Plate to Page is the only intensive workshop that provides you with both. Read what past participants have said about our workshop!
More Christmas dessert ideas from WFLH:
|Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting||The Opera Cake||Quark Vanilla Panna Cotta with Star Anise Cranberry Compote and Spiced Pecan Brittle|
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