Remember how I was nesting? Yeah, so it turned out differently than I expected. It was more of an internal nesting (although I really do still need to clean out my closet). Does that happen to anyone else? Where you feel so full of thoughts and emotions and memories and lessons and experiences you need to deal with that you just feel dizzy with it all? And unless you sort though it piece by piece you find yourself unable to take anything more on, because you’re already stuffed to the brim?
Well that’s where I’ve been. And when I feel that way, I retreat until I am able to come up for air (hence the blogging hiatus). I think maybe it was the 6-month mark of being unemployed that hit me. Well that, and this other thing in my life that has forced me to look at my worries and fears and scars and insecurities left over from past experiences. And that combined with the reality that this business has to work (it has to), I found myself digging deep inside myself, sifting through the rubble created by the whirlwind I’ve lived in for the last few months.
I’ve felt consumed by the “business side” of this professional venture and when I’m in that mode, I find it hard to be creative. Which is a tricky thing when you “do” creative for a living. And yet, I’ve also found myself extraordinarily happy (also due in part, I’m pretty certain, to this other thing in my life), which makes me feel creative. So basically I’ve just been a mish-mash of right brain and left brain, cautious and hopeful, scared to death and ready to jump, blank with no ideas and overflowing with so many ideas I don’t know where to start.
Are you still with me? (I’m not sure I’m even still with me so don’t feel bad if you’re lost.)
So anyways, I’ve been cleaning out the clutter, or trying at least. Letting go of things that don’t matter anymore and framing in front of me the things I want most. I’ve been pre-occupied with a gallon of happy possibility that I can’t drink fast enough. And I’ve been diving into what I really want from this life I’ve chosen and committing to making its success a reality rather than treating it like a hobby.
But I’ve lacked words, which is weird for me. And I’ve not known where to start when it comes to creating again. So in an effort to just take a baby step forward, I made a tart. Yes. I made a tart. It was #29 on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days and I knew it was doable. And it was delicious.
So here’s to baby steps. Here’s to recommitting to the lives we want and are totally possible. And while you’re at it, go make a tart.
Makes 8 to 10 servings
- 1 1/2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Garnishes: fresh mint leaves, lemon and orange slices
Stir together first 4 ingredients. Press mixture evenly into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom; set aside.
Whisk together sweetened condensed milk, orange juice concentrate, lemon juice, and egg yolks until blended.
Beat egg whites at medium speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form; fold into condensed milk mixture. Pour into prepared crust.
Bake at 325° for 20 to 25 minutes or just until filling is set. Remove to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Cover and chill at least 4 hours. Remove tart from pan, and place on a serving dish.
Beat whipping cream and granulated sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Dollop around edges of tart; garnish, if desired.