Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Butter Tarts,
from my residence in Trenton

So much interesting news today in Trenton – Election Day – and while I'd love to weigh-in, I'd only be echoing what my fellow bloggers have written, so I'll leave it with this: I like change, and hope Trenton sees some soon; our leaders have tried (and probably will continue to try) to marginalize us into silence, and I'm hoping to see some improvements.

On a more personal note, on Sunday night, Glen whipped up 5 dozen Butter Tarts for his Monday Night Hockey Buddies. We decided to document the preparation process so we could share his Tarts with the community, if only in the smallest and/or most torturous way. They are all completely raisin-free! And the Hockey Buddies loved them, and who can blame them? (Note: click on any picture to enlarge to show texture; it will increase the Butter Tart Drool Factor, though.)

Canadian Tart Shells are ready for a fill.

Glen's vintage MixMaster has been busy!

Getting filled up...

An army of Butter Tarts awaits the oven.

How awesome does THAT look?

The feeding frenzy awaits...

I had hopes when I set out with this blog to keep a Trenton spin on things, and I realize sharing photos about Glen's Butter Tarts is a stretch, especially since not a single ingredient for these tarts came from Trenton: the shells were imported from Canada, and the other ingredients came from one of those big boxy warehouse stores. I'm not proud of that. But when one bakes tarts as often as Glen does, one can use a bulk bargain every now and then. He went through a bedroom pillow's worth of brown sugar in the matter of minutes, for crying out loud! But it's worth it. So, to maintain the Trenton angle, I want to remind you these were baked in our Trenton domicile, where we spend the bulk of our time, without any kind of ordinance mandating that we do so. Imagine that! Living in Trenton without legislation requiring it!

I like to write about food periodically because I like food a lot; and for awhile, we had the bounty of the summer, in which we were able to prepare and eat foodstuffs grown in our Trenton backyard, thus giving me something else about Trenton to blather on about: the soil here is some of the best in the county (do city officials think I'm a hater for praising our soil?). Now is a great time to split your perennials, fertilize your lawn (if you have one), plant new trees, and amend and correct the pH of your soil (have a soil test run through Rutgers/Mercer County Extension; it's cheap and helpful) by adding organic materials so you can grow great produce next year.
[Blogger's note to my fellow Trenton bloggers, and anyone else really: I have discovered in recent weeks that food content increases blog readership. It's certainly not why I do it, since I didn't even make the connection until yesterday. I just love food. And I love sitemeter, too. Don't you? I got a lot of hits on a cucumber soup recipe I posted when my garden was producing tons of cukes. I also get surprising traffic thanks to the Google search term "Mike-Holmes-Shirtless." You may recall, I droned on some weeks ago about how cool it would be if Canadian renovation man, Mike Holmes (who happens to look nice without a shirt), came to Trenton to help fix things up. By the way, I think Mike has gotten too big for his Carhartt overalls, though he still looks good in them, and even though his ego has grown, his heart is still in the right place (in that shirtless chest), and certainly couldn't hurt if he came to Trenton to renovate.]
Speaking of produce, we found one lone jalapeño growing in what's left of our garden, over the weekend. Glen picked it, and requested that we use it in a meal. Jalapeños are so versatile, but what does one do with ONE? I evaluated the contents of the fridge and kept focusing on a mostly intact, fresh head of celery, hating myself for buying celery and consuming only a few stalks before it turns into a smelly, slimy, blackish-brown glop. I couldn't let it happen again. It's finally getting cold, which gives me a legitimate excuse to make soup, so I did what I always do: I sautéed the vegetables, in this case, the celery, chopped up; added garlic, some salt and pepper, and the solitary jalapeño, and then puréed everything in the blender. I added chicken broth and milk until I liked the consistency, and put the mixture back on the stove to simmer. I didn't really know what to expect, since I didn't follow a recipe. But Glen really liked this off-the-cuff creamy celery soup – he's a vocal guy, and doesn't mince words when he doesn't like something (you may recall my post last week about Glen's assumptions and opinions about food). He liked it so much, that he's excited we'll be having some more with dinner tonight, along with some pot pie I made as well, which isn't really true pot pie; the qualities that make a pot pie officially a pot pie are discussed on my friend Bill's (formerly of Trenton) blog. But it's still pretty damn tasty, and was made right here in my kitchen in Trenton, NJ, a kitchen in which I happily spend a lot of time (without police protection!), unlike some other "residents" of Trenton who live, in say, Sterling, or Stockton, NJ.*

Current mood: : Annoyed with Angus, the cat who came with the house. He's grooming his genitalia while leaning against Glen's keyboard. My restored music is playing on Glen's computer, and the space button, which keeps getting pressed, pauses and starts the music. He is also randomly hitting the down arrow keys, which cause songs to skip. And then pause when he hits the space bar again.

* Not that there's anything wrong with owning multiple homes, or commuting to a different municipality to work. But isn't the whole point of being an elected official in a municipality about civic pride? You run for office in your own town, and if you win, you govern and help improve your own town, and you go home at night, to your own home in that town, content in knowing that you have done what you feel is best for your own town. Isn't that supposed to be how it works?


Irving Bertrand Clean said...

That gave me the urge to get re-TART-ed.

pbaman said...

Good blog. Doug and jj should read it and realize they could live in the city and have nice neighbors, like you, that would probable share good food with him.