Does anyone else feel that they have multiple personalities that are nearly always fighting inside their heads? No? Just me? Hm. Oh no I see a hand up near the back of the room. Hi there. You too huh? How damn annoying is that?
Part of me is a strong, intelligent feminist sort of woman. Jokes about sexism or patriarchy or privilege send me off the deep end in an instant. My family knows this. My friends know this. Hell even coworkers and acquaintances know this. Without a doubt I will always react, and it’s something they count on for entertainment. The word “princess” is never used in our house because of all the baggage and societal obligations it carries, and I don’t want my daughter carrying the burden of that word. My parents think I’m crazy and over reacting, but I know these are the sort of things I have to stay vigilant about. That and introducing the joy of reading and STEM subjects to her before the world tries to stamp out her intelligence in favor of selfies. Thank God my husband agrees.
But. I really like Mariah Carey. She’s my go to karaoke-slash-blasting-it-in-the-car-and-screaming-my-heart-out singer. And Taylor Swift. God. What is wrong with me? Yes Taylor Swift. As in I own every one of her albums. At least I can blame Mariah Carey on the fact that I have an emotional connection from my early teenage years, but Taylor Swift? I’m 33 for goodness sakes. The sparkle teenage me (as I refer to her) lifts her chin defiantly when I argue with her, and just stares me down. “So? The music is FUN! Don’t think about it too much! You’re allowed to just. Have. FUN. You’re a teenager!” (I’m really not I try to explain to her. That’s part of the problem.)
The thing is, that teenage me still lives in my head too. As in the real teenage me from when I was actually 16. And she’s a sarcastic bitch. When I was younger, I had no filter. Some argue I still don’t but you should hear what goes on in my head when I’m having a conversation with some people, or scrolling through social media, or even just sitting there. “DSLRs have become the new point and shoot. Point. Shoot. No editing, no composition, no thinking. Oh but yea, you are totally a fantastic photographer. I mean I’d never think of taking a photo of that flower in your garden just straight on like that. Who needs angles? Artist. Pure Genius.” Some of the stuff is just plain mean. This 90s Lilith Fair loving me looks at sparkle me, squints her eyes and shakes her head in disgust.
Life is difficult enough as is without having to juggle these three voices. Yes there are other personalities floating around in there, but these are my three dominant ones. As I started reading Enlightened Sexism: The Seductive Message that Feminism’s Work Is Done by Susan Douglas (my current read) I realized all these conflicting views aren’t necessarily truly my fault. I’m a product of Feminism mixed with fake girl power media from the 90s / early 2000s (think WB / CW, Spice Girls, and the rise / fall of a truly empowered front woman singer / bands) and my wires have subconsciously crossed. I’m sure the internal conflicts will be a life long struggle, but here’s to smoothing over the transitions a little better. Hear hear!
Speaking of transitions, Summer is coming to an end so I wanted to share this recipe for a Peach Tart with you all. It’s funny how no matter what sort of personality a peach has – ripe and juicy peak season, or something more subdued from the late Summer / early Fall – it always works. The layer of sugar melts and bubbles away, melding with the peaches that only enhances their flavor. It’s also brilliant that this recipe calls for olive oil in the crust rather than butter. It came together in an instant, and I have to say, this recipe is even simpler than my most basic chocolate chip cookie recipe. Try it out and let me know what you think.
PS – So there are a bunch of photos in this post because I am just SO happy and proud of these shots. The colors were just working, and the light was behaving beautifully. I barely edited these because everything just clicked in the originals. What do you guys think?
- 1 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3/4 cups plus 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1/4 cup mild olive oil
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
- 3 to 5 small ripe peaches, pitted and thickly sliced (about 1/2-inch wide)
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees. In a mixing bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the oils, milk and almond extract. Pour this mixture into the flour mixture and mix gently with a fork, just enough to dampen; do not over work it. Then, transfer the dough to a tart pan, and use your hands to pat out the dough so it covers the bottom of the pan, pushing it up the sides to meet the edge. Trim and discard excess dough.
- In a bowl, combine 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the butter. (If your peaches are especially juicy, add 1 tablespoon additional flour. I definitely did this for my peak summer peaches) Using your fingers, pinch the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly (sort of like cornmeal consistency).
- Starting on the outside, arrange the peaches overlapping in a concentric circle over the pastry; fill in the center in whatever pattern makes sense. The peaches should fit snugly. Sprinkle the crumbly sugar / butter mixture over top (it will seem like a lot).
- Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until shiny, thick bubbles begin enveloping the fruit and the crust is slightly brown. Cool on a rack. Serve warm or room temperature, with vanilla bean ice cream or whipped cream