Tart Meditations

Good morning lovely reader.

How was your weekend? Did you sit in Madison Square Park, rip off pieces of a crusty vanilla pear baguette and sip pomegranate Pellegrino? Did you make failure pancakes which sounded like all your worst gym-volleyball nightmares when you tapped them in their dense centers? Did you throw open your shutters and let the watermelon breeze of spring saturate your bedroom?

Me, I made a tart. I want to say it was the potent April perfume in my kitchen, cause that just sounds so romantic, but it was more the overripe, out-of-season nectarines on my counter, rotting in that demure, erotic way fruit that you never should have purchased in the first place does. It’s that point in the semester where I identify probably too much with overripe, out-of-season fruit. I bruise easily, I’m soft in all the wrong places, and I’m uniformly bitter. I can’t stand to witness my own suffering so lucidly, and so I made a tart! I just feel like tart as a word begs to be followed by an exclamation point, and it evokes this image of me in an apron, with my ingredients in neat little mason jars beside me, mandolining these fragile white nectarines over my mahogany cutting board. What a juxtaposition to reality – me, in a dirty sweatshirt, rolling the tart crust out with a half-empty wine bottle because I misplaced my rolling pin, ugly-crying about my overripe-nectarine life while trying to keep my tears from getting on the crust so as not to over-hydrate it. Since this is greetings and I’m supposed to impart onto you some opportunities and suggestions and maybe some wisdom or whatever, let me start with this one small proposal: make a tart. I know I sound like a lifestyle blogger, but hear me out on this. What is more meditative than beating (I think the technical term is kneading, but there’s no technicality needed for a tart, anyway) the shit out of some foolproof dough, then rolling the shit out of it with all your weight and energy and attention, then gently arranging the delicate slices of mushy nectarine to look like a beach rose? Once that’s done, pour yourself a glass of that low-grade rosé and turn the oven light on. Sit cross-legged on your cool kitchen floor, and steep your lungs with the sultry scent of butter and sugar making a caramel lovechild on the edges of your crust. Forget not your hands’ capacity to create, allow the episode its incandescence, and remember for a moment that if that trash fruit can be repurposed into something so lovely, then there must be hope for you, too.

Then, when your tart(!) is cool, pour yourself a fat cup of nutty coffee. Drink it slow while you read about the things you can do this week:

  • Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings this week, The Black Lady Theatre is featuring the world premiere of LA FOLIE, by Heloise Wilson, who got her MFA in Playwriting from Brooklyn College.
  • Support the Brooklyn College music department and check out their BroCo MaSS: ConTEMPO night this Monday at 8:30, or their Brooklyn Electracoustic Ensemble Tuesday at 7:00, both of which are free if you remember your ID. There are a few other student concerts worth checking out this week, and you can read more about them here.
  • If you are trying to world travel on that student budget, it may be worth checking out the Study Abroad 1.0 Information Session this Tuesday at 1 pm in Boylan.
  • Tuesday is also the 25th Anniversary of the founding of Children Studies at the Social Justice for Children Lecture Series III: For the Children? Protecting Innocence in a Carceral State. Celebrate with guest speaker Erica Meiners, and probably food, though I can’t make any promises.
  • “Connect with your academic advisors in the spring air” – description for the CAASS ON THE QUAD event. Personally, I feel like “connect” is probably a strong word, but I’m also pretty sure they give out free ice-cream at this event so it’s still worth going if you’re on campus.
  • Friday is Brooklyn College Science Day! SUBO…Second floor.
  • Apparently the deadline to upload approved theses is this Friday, May 4th (Oh shit!).
  • CUNY Service Corps is offering a very cool service opportunity to travel to Puerto Rico this summer and work with non-profit organizations already rebuilding on the ground.
  • Be ambitious. Submit poetry to The New Yorker because, honestly, this life is too short to wait for the perfect poem.
  • PUT THE JUNCTION FUNCTION IN YOUR CALENDARS PEOPLE! MAY 14TH! BRING YOUR POETRY EVEN IF THE ELITES AT THE NEW YORKER REJECT IT! COME AS YOU ARE!
  • Last year, I walked into the English Majors’ Tea Time and everyone was already sitting at round tables talking excitedly with people they knew. I recognized no one, so I threw like five sandwiches on a paper plate and left. The sandwiches were really good, and my roommates were deeply grateful, but in retrospect, I really should have stayed and tried to be social or whatever, and I will this year, and you should also. It is scheduled for this Thursday during Common Hours in SUBO. You can sit with me if you don’t know anyone and we can talk, or, like, we can not and just eat the sandwiches in silence, too. I’m flexible.

And with that, I leave you with this tart recipe which is easily adaptable to whatever rotting fruit you have on your counter (apples not required!), and this tart crust recipe, which you can make even if you don’t have rotting fruit. Freeze it for when you eventually do have rotting fruit, and its staring at you with the accusations of an unsent love letter, begging to be given nouvelle vie.

Am I a lifestyle blogger yet? Is this where I add my Instagram handle and tell you to buy my self-help book about ten easy ways to avoid gluten and have better sex?

-NG

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