A Valentine-Strawberry Hazelnut Shortbread Tart or He Let His People Go, but "my" Church is in Trouble

In the background, the blare of MSNBC

“Egypt IS free.”

Gives new meaning to, actually puts on the other foot… “Let my people go,” doesn’t it?

The long term fallout and where the sparks thrown by the revolution will land are questions to which we have no answer.  But the far-reaching waves are now on the way.

Think of other revolutions and their impact and the trail they left.   Think China.  Think France.  Think The United States.  I can’t fathom the legacy of this…

At the same time, my denomination, PCUSA (Presbyterian Church, USA), is on the verge of a long-coming crisis as a  letter, signed by 45 pastors (all male but one), pretty much proposes a number of our churches splitting off from the denomination.  There’s to be a meeting in August in Minneapolis and we’re invited to talk things over.  But, it also says our church is dying and other hard, cold part-truths. (I have to ask how much this pales compared to what’s happening in Egypt…)

While I’m familiar with the problems of my church (a treacherous phrase), one of which is a disagreement over ordination standards ( mostly homosexual ordination), there are some other points of difficulty, one of which is a disagreement over the denomination owning buildings and properties.   This makes me wonder what is the critical point here.

You can read a well-thought out and well-written response…

Here is Rev. Margaret Aymer’s response...http://mayog.posterous.com/about-your-invitation-an-exegetical-rsvp-to-t.

As Christians, we are already so split up all over the world.   I think there are more than 30,000 denominations.   If we keep splintering off, we’ll just be left with splinters.

Church of the Beloved’s “Hope for a Tree Cut Down,” contains a song (“Peace”)  with the lyrics:

We need each other more than we need to agree.

I also freely admit I’ve worshiped with the UCC for the past two years, with the exception of several months in an ecumenical church where I worked as a choir director.

 Did you come for food?!!! 

It’s just about Valentine’s Day and this is the perfect, simple dessert for your sweetie.  I can never figure out what to give Dave for any gift-giving occasion, but he’s always thrilled with a dessert; that’s his gift every year.  Sometimes I ask him what he wants and he tells me.  Other times, he says, “Surprise me.”  This was a surprise.  I let him cut a piece after lunch; it’s his tart.  Ok, this could go a few ways; let’s not go there.

If you’re interested in what kind of wine to have for Valentine’s Day, read this from the Wall Street Journal.

Add a little raspberry sorbet

Strawberry Hazelnut Shortbread Tart serves 6-8

Original Recipe from THE SPLENDID TABLE’S HOW TO EAT SUPPER by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift; I’ve changed several things to suit my pantry.

  • Zest of 1 Cutie (clementine) or 1/2 an orange
  • 1/4 whole or chopped hazelnuts
  • 3/4 c unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 6 T cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 chunks
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 2t fresh lemon juice 
  • 3/4 c strawberry jam 
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Add cutie zest and hazelnuts to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.  Pulse several times until ground finely.  Add flour, sugar, salt, butter, egg yolk and vanilla extract.
  3. Pulse until the pastry dough comes together.  Turn out into a buttered 9″ cake or tart pan. (I used a Corning Ware quiche pan; you need to lower heat to 375 F for glass or Corning Ware.) 
  4. Press pastry dough evenly into pan, pushing it up the sides about 1/2″.  Don’t worry if it looks ragged.
  5. Place in preheated oven for 12 minutes or so until it just begins to brown.
  6. Meantime, mix well the lemon juice and jam.
  7. Remove the browned tart shell from the oven and spread jam mixture evenly over the crust.  Increase oven heat to 500F and put tart back in the oven for 4-6 minutes until jam is bubbling.   Do not wait until the oven has reached 500; put it right in. Careful, jam (high sugar content) burns easily.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool a bit on a rack.
  9. Don’t slice hot, but warm (or cold) is fine.   Slice into wedges or squares.
Tucker just a year ago. 

Happy Valentine’s Day,