Memorial Day, a national federal holiday, is this coming Monday. For many families, having Monday off from work and school may mean a nice 3 day camping vacation or spending time together doing something fun. For others, Memorial Day is a day of remembrance to honor the brave women and men who died while serving in the US Armed Forces. However with all of the recent tragic events these last few months, from the Boston bombings to this week’s devastating tornado impacting the families in the state of Oklahoma, I would like to propose that we all take a moment to reach out to anyone you know of who is in need of a little encouragement.
I’ve always been deeply moved when I read stories of compassion and hope rising in the midst of darkness brought by devastation. It reminds me of how resilient the human spirit can be, especially when united for the common good of humanity. In an increasingly ‘me-first’ culture I believe we should take opportunities to put others needs before us, and try to be beacons of light when circumstances are darkened by tragic or unforeseeable events. It is well intended when we say, “our hearts and prayers are with you.” However, when we take these sentiments one step further and engage with active participation to help someone, we open ourselves up to potentially better someone’s life, even if just for a moment. When people are suffering moments of reprieve can become lifelines that can help people through the darkest moments of their lives. Everyday people suffer, but everyday can also be an opportunity to walk along someone who needs to know someone cares.
In the spirit of remembering those who sacrificed their lives for us, let us all be moved to serve others who could use some uplifting today.
Today I have a very simple recipe for Rustic Strawberry Rhubarb Tart. It is a free form open faced pie which requires no specific pan, just a baking sheet. Fruit filling is placed in the center of circular crust with the outside edges slightly folded in to hold the fruit in. Perfect by itself or served warm with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, this is a great dessert for kids to assemble and bake with the help of an adult.
For this recipe I call for pre-made refrigerated pie crust you can buy at your local grocery store. One box contains 2 preformed rolled pie crusts. Although this recipe is for one tart, you may want double the recipe and make two. In the spirit of kindness and compassion, why not give the second tart to someone who could use a bit of encouragement? You just never know how one random act of kindness can turn someone’s sorrow into moments of comfort and love.
Recipe: Rustic Strawberry Rhubarb Tart
A simple free form fruit tart made with fresh strawberries and rhubarb.
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- 3 cups strawberries, stems removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup rhubarb, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- One 9-inch unbaked refrigerated pie crust (store-bought or homemade)
- 1/4 cup crushed graham crackers
- In a medium bowl mix the sugar, flour, salt, and allspice.
- Add the strawberries and rhubarb to the bowl and gently mix the fruit with the dry ingredients.
- Add the lemon juice and vanilla and mix the fruit mixture until all the dry ingredients have been absorbed by the liquid and fruit.
- Set the bowl aside so the strawberries can macerate while the oven preheats.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lay the pie crust flat on top of the parchment paper. Spread the graham cracker crumbs over the center of the crust leaving a 2-inch border around the edges.
- Mound the fruit mixture over the graham cracker crumbs.
- Fold the edges of the crust over the fruit, pleating the dough as you go and leaving the center exposed.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes until the strawberries and rhubarb are fork tender and the crust is golden brown.