Thursday, August 9, 2012

Love of National Geographic & a Minty Tart Recipe

When I was about ten years old, I remember starring at a picture of a near naked woman in a National Geographic magazine and trying to fathom how one could have exposed breasts and be nonchalant. Eventually I got around to reading some of the stories. I found it reassuring when I noted that my in-laws had copies of National Geographic dating back to 1910 lining their attic. My husband told me of spending hot summer days in the attic flipping through old editions. At some point our children received a subscription to a version for children, nonetheless, they both enjoy, as we did, flipping through the current magazine. A love of history, maps, and weather appears to be a trait that threads through various family members. The Moose has the love of history and maps while the Mule has the love of weather and animals. It is not surprising that they both enjoy the magazine.

While we were off consulting with a lawyer in Columbus about business options this week, the Moose was deeply wounded by a horse camp activity-- assembling collages. Turns out the source material for the collage was old editions of National Geographic. It was more than the Moose could bare. The counselor, experienced as she is, was not prepared for the boy to weep as other students took their scissors to the magazine. In his mind, I'm sure it was sacrilegious. He told me, "He was just cutting them up Mama," referring to one of the boys making a collage.

Horse Camp collage and the paper streamers used to lead the horses

The county fair offered us a chance to eat funnel cake, go on a few rides, and tour the livestock barns. The people crowds drew my attention as well thanks to parents with children on leashes, the great variety of tattoos and flesh present, and all of the yelling parents were doing at their children. We recovered with a fresh squeezed lemonade and hand cut french fries. On our way home, my parents called to announce their impending arrival, a day earlier than expected. The Munsters held a vigil on the front porch rockers.

Athens Co. Fair Scenes

This week as horse camp continues, the Munsters groomed horses, played games, and went on a scavenger hunt on the farm. When I arrived to pick them up today, the Mule was happily tromping about the grounds while the Moose was grooming Ruby, the horse, with some of the other children. It was nice to watch the Moose grooming the horse, so much larger than himself, with comfort and ease. The Mule led us around to meet the horses. The Moose told us some of the stories of how the horses came to be there. There are police horses, race horses, abused horses, abandoned horses, but they have found homes now. Against my hopes, the Munsters  are still lobbying to continue the lessons even if it includes scooping poop; it has not turned them off one bit.

In the meantime this cookbook review about pie on Design Sponge inspired me to try Ashley English's Peach and Plum Tart with Mint Walnut Pesto recipe. It was too oily and sweet for me, but I tried a stripped down version tonight and I have to say this is a winning combination, a tart with a mint and walnut mixed with peaches and plums! I'm keen to read the whole cookbook, but after unpacking all of those boxes, I will probably just have to hope it shows up in the library at some point.

Here's my version based on a recipe from  A Year of Pies © 2012 by Ashley English, Lark Books, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Please note that the link above includes a recipe for the pesto, fruit topping, and pie dough as presented in the book.


A Minty Tart 
Peel and cut 3 peaches and 5 plums in 1/2 inch slices. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup of granulated sugar and 2 Tbsp of cornstarch. Add a pinch of salt, a 1/4 cup packed of chopped mint, and a 1/2 cup of finely chopped walnuts and set aside. Make the pie dough, roll it out. Fill one tart pan with pie crust, poke with a fork a few times, bake at 375ºF for 12 minutes with pie weights and allow to cool down. Add fruit filling and bake 375ºF for 30 minutes or until fruit is softened. Allow to cool down. The mint makes the fruit pop!

Ashley English's Peach and Plum Tart with Mint Walnut Pesto recipe