I went for a walk over the weekend and along the way I met a really sweet lady. She had beautiful platinum hair, eyes that could see right through you and a smile that was big and bright and a little bit crooked.
She stopped to pat Charlie and she began talking to me about what it was like to be 84.
“When you’re old, people don’t see you as human, just part of the furniture. They expect us to be old and forgetful so they don’t engage with us,” she said. Then she talked with Charlie, although I didn’t hear him say much. You could tell there was an instant friendship becaused his tail was wagging from his shoulders to the end of his tail.
Have you given much thought to being over 80? I haven’t and I’m not that far away from it (closer to 80 than to 20, relatively speaking). Her words keep repeating in my head. Maybe the baby boomer age will change all that and old people will just be considered old, not old and stupid.
After we came home from our walk I made these mushroom tarts and after I finished the photographs, I yelled up the stairs, “John, want a mushroom tart?”
“No thanks, I’m right.” That’s Australian for no thanks.
I took one bite and swooned, “OMG these are SO good!” I heard him get up from his desk and head down the stairs. He said after that comment he had to try one. I made 10 small tarts and I’d eaten one so there were 9 left.
He ate one and said, “Oh, these ARE good.” I went to the kitchen to make us some coffee and when I went back into the living room he was gone. And so were my tarts. All of them.
I dashed up the stairs and said, “You ate them all that fast?” No, he lined them up along his arm and hand and went back upstairs and ate them all. This recipe’s a winner.
- 5 medium button mushrooms, chopped
- ¼ small onion chopped finely
- 1-2 ounces white wine
- 1 large egg yolk
- ¼ cup cream
- 1 tsp truffle oil - with truffle oil, less is more. I used less than a tsp.
- 10 5mm or ¼ inch cubes of your favourite cheese (Fontina, Havarti, Gruyere, Feta or Blue)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- A few chives chopped
- 10 small tart shells
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F
- Sauté mushrooms and onions in a little bit of butter and then add a splash of white wine. Cook until no liquid remains.
- Distribute mushroom duxelle into tart shells leaving enough room for cheese and custard.
- Add one cube of cheese to each tart shell
- Whisk egg yolk, cream, chives and truffle oil together. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour over mushrooms and cheese. Do not overfill as it makes a mess if you do.
- Bake for about 10 minutes until custard rises and sets.