Pistachio tart with greens
“You’re probably a year old! You’re not a puppy anymore! Stop chewing up my reading glasses.” “You’re a big seven-year-old boy, stop crying over every little thing.” “You’re nearly eleven years old, learn how to share with your brother!” Yes, I’ve been resorting to the tired parental chestnut of “you’re too old to behave that way,” and this has been my constant refrain of late, generally said with a weary sigh. Of course I realize that my boys could easily answer back, “Well you’re a middle-aged old fool and you cry at stupid things, too.” And Clio could say, “Well, teach me how to read! I want to reeeeeaaad!!” And they would all be right. I read an article recently that examined our changing ideas of how we should all be comporting ourselves at a certain age. People in their twenties used to be considered adults, with jobs and houses and responsibilities and children, and now they’re just roustabouts clinging desperately to every shred of youthful irresponsibility. And by the time we’re fifty or sixty we’re pretending to be thirty or forty. It’s all just one life-long delusional muddle. And maybe they’re right, the writers of this article. They’re probably right. But it’s hard to move through life gracefully, acting as expected at every stage. It’s hard to respond with appropriate maturity to all of life’s frustrating situations. Sometimes it seems as though everybody
is constantly struggling not to act like a toddler, desperately trying not to pout or scream about not getting what they want. Some days it is
hard to keep from crying over every little thing. Many days I feel less mature than the boys: when I yell at them irrationally or say something petty and childish. They’re very patient with me. From time-to-time I feel that Malcolm is even taking care of me. He saw a biting fly in the car just before I drove off, and he tried to show it the door. When it wouldn’t leave he said, “Mom, don’t get scared and crash the car.” One day, he and I went for a walk and it started to thunder. I grabbed his arm. He said, “sometimes I feel as though I’m the parent and you’re the child.” I laughed until he added, “I hate that feeling.” Sob! Since then I’ve been more careful. I have a lot of fears, but I’m a strong person, and I understand why it’s important for him to know that. And I am a useless lout of a forty-four-year-old ne’er-do-well, and I do go into a sad panic at the thought of growing older. But part of what makes it less frightening and even hopeful is the thought of my boys growing big and strong and funny and wise, the thought of them meandering through life at whatever the going rate is when they’re twenty-year-olds and thirty-year-olds, the thought of them making sense of their own beautiful muddle of time passing.
Deep pistachio tart
David said this might be his new favorite! I’m very excited about it! For my birthday I got a lovely deep tart pan (thanks mom & dad!). I decided to make a high crust, with a layer of pistachio ricotta custard, and then to sautée some greens and pistachios to pile on top. It worked very well! A nice combination of flavors and textures. You could really taste the pistachios in the custard, which was a treat. The crust is half semolina flour, which makes it very crunchy. I used garlic scapes with the greens, because it’s that time of year, but you could use regular garlic. You could also add tomatoes or olives to the greens if you were feeling fancy. And you could absolutely make this in a normal-sized tart pan or even a cake tin.
pistachio tart with greens
Here’s I was Born, by Billy Bragg and Wilco, featuring Natalie Merchant. She doesn’t know how old she is!