Awhile back I read this article about how Gwyneth Paltrow spends her days. No – I’m not going to bash on Ol’Gwyn here (too much) as is so fashionable to do but I was curious about it because we obviously have like mad things in common*. I mean she’s balancing being an international fashion icon, movie star, proud mother of children with unique names and lifestyle guru and I’m a professional activist turned cookbook author with a dashing husband and 2 cats that I’m pretty sure think I’m a cat too**. But seriously – what I really wanted to know is how much structure she has in her life. Structure is something I struggle with now that my days and deadlines are somewhat my own. Looking past sentences that are (sorry Gwyn) kinda obnoxious like:
I went up to arouse the little man from slumber and he quite happily got up and crawled into my arms.
I sadly only saw a less than subtle post about Gwyn’s aspiring music career. Her day was full of voice lessons, something about the Country Music Awards and stylist appointments. So I decided to map out one of my days to compare. So I picked September 4th. Let’s begin…
The day didn’t start with a merry band of bluebirds and talking mice dressing me while I sang about dreams. I start my day with a grumpy elderly Siamese cat an inch from my face – watching me sleep. He smells like a hot dog cart. How is that possible? I do some half-hearted yoga stretching, while our cats circle me like sharks and I drink a green smoothie my dashing husband made me. Dan goes to work in Manhattan and I answer emails while I move on to coffee. I’m still in boxer shorts and a hoodie. I treat myself to a few episodes of Doctor Who (the David Tennant years) playing in the background. I don’t even make a dent in the 215 emails that came in over the night but I try. I write up our post for Carrot & Cauliflower Mac & Cheese and post it. I spend about an hour answering FB messages and catching up on social networking stuff and have to cut myself off because I need to go shopping for today’s post and if I put it off anymore I won’t be done cooking before the sun goes down and I won’t be able to take good pictures. I’m now fully aware that time is against me. I get dressed and various other things society demands of someone being in public***. I talk to our literary agent about the contract for Book II on the walk to the store. I plan on getting apples to bake a tart but instead find peaches and plums are the real ‘gems of the season’ today and decide to go that route instead. I mean – why not get a little crazy and be spontaneous right?!
I load up on vegetables to make Soup au Pistou and some Spanish green olives to bake some bread. I go home to bake and make soup and answer more emails while our crust and dough is chilling and rising. I wash dishes, mixing bowls and all types of kitchen tools while I do this in a glamourous and exciting way not unlike a Rita Hayworth/Princess Leia hybrid. When the food is ready, I take pictures. This involves teetering on a ladder while fending off my back-seat-driving-food-stylist cats – who I’m sure are only interested in helping when they aggressively try to touch (perhaps steal) everything I try to photograph. This will take hours and by the time Dan gets home, we have a huge pot of soup, 2 loaves of bread and a tart cooling in a mildly messy kitchen and I’ve answered 7 of the 48 emails that came in while I shopped and baked. Dan comes home and we eat dinner and this tart. Afterwards we have a MTS brainstorming meeting to work on Book II and then watch 2 episodes of Mad Men while I chat about the clothes and plot lines the whole time and answer more emails. Dan sips a little bourbon and works. Then we go to bed. I stay up later than I mean to reading.
There’s no life lesson here about finding balance while pursuing your dreams like Gwyn’s day or pivotal plot twist to our lives. There might be something in here about cats. Que Sera… this is a pretty great tart. Maybe tomorrow I’ll have a Gwynnie type of day but I bet I’m just making tacos and watching the season premiere of Sons of Anarchy.
Maybe there is a lesson – Bake this tart while peach and plums are perfect and in season.
Brown Sugar Peach & Plum Tart
We used the crust we used for the Végétalien Tarte aux Fruits Frais (The Vegan French Fresh Fruit Tart) – just click here to get that recipe
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
Pinch of Cardamon
Pinch of Nutmeg
3 large Peaches, pitted and sliced
2 Plums, pitted and sliced
1 teaspoon Lemon Zest
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
3 Tablespoon Whole Wheat Flour
Prepare your crust using the recipe for the Végétalien Tarte aux Fruits Frais (The Vegan French Fresh Fruit Tart) – just click here to get that recipe. Don’t bake yet though – stop when you have the dough but before you press it into a tart dish. Form a disk with your dough, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Slice your fruit while your dough is chilling. In a large bowl mix all your filling ingredients with a large wooden spoon until your fruit is coated and any brown sugar clumps are dissolved.
Heat oven to 425.
Once your dough has finished chilling, roll it out on a floured surface a little larger than your tart dish. Then move your dough over and press it into your tart dish. Fold over any extra dough that is hanging over to create a thicker crust along the edges and use wet fingers to smooth out any cracks.
Fill your tart crust with the filling - making sure to make an even layer.
Put your tart in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until your dough is golden brown, your fruit is tender and your brown sugar is syrupy.
Serve warm with some vegan vanilla ice cream and a few episodes of your favorite TV because damn it – you’re worth it!
*Please know that this is to be read in a sarcastic tone.
** Seriously they don’t even hit me up for food most of the time and get really upset when I take too long getting the mail. I think they think I ‘got out’ and are worried because I don’t have tags. Which is sweet.
***Psssh – Puritains.