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Cooking with Myra: Reconnecting with old friends

July 26, 2011 at 2:26 a.m.

Glow Lemon and Lavender Tart

GLOW LEMON AND LAVENDER TART

CRUST

2 tsp. finely chopped lavender blossoms

1/2 cup sugar

14 Tbsp. butter

2 1/4 cups flour

A pinch of maldon salt

LEMON FILLING

3 cups sugar

2 cups fresh lemon juice

12 oz. cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces

8 large eggs

8 large egg yolks

For crust: Mix lavender with sugar then lightly cream it with butter. Sift flour with salt and mix together with butter and sugar to make a soft dough. Chill for at least one hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter and flour a 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and refrigerate it while oven preheats. Remove tart pan from refrigerator. Use your fingertips to press the chilled dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim off any excess dough.

Line pastry with greaseproof/parchment paper and baking beans (or use dried pinto/kidney/etc. beans - even rice), and bake blind until golden, which takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove beans and paper and return to oven for an extra five minutes. Remove crust from oven and let cool while you make filling.

For the filling: Mix lemon juice, sugar and butter in a metal bowl placed over a pan of simmering water (make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water). Keep on a low heat until the butter has melted. Whisk eggs and yolks together, and add to bowl, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir over medium heat until it thickens to a lemon curd consistency. Still stirring, pour into the prepared tart shell. Let chill for 2 hours. Serve at room temperature or cold with seasonal berries.

IF YOU GO

Glow

1815 Broadway, Rockport, TX 78382

361-727-2644

glowrockport. com

By Myra Starkey

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art ... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.

- C.S. Lewis

Jeanette is an old college friend. She and I were in the same sorority and hung out together at Baylor University.

Back then, we were both young and in love, and many of our memories of those days center on our boyfriends and parties. It seemed simple then. Our only goal was to graduate and then get a job.

Jeanette married Bert, and I married Taylor, and we both moved off to different places and lost touch. Five years later, Taylor and I moved back to Waco for his medical residency, and by this time Jeanette and Bert were also living there. We had a strong renewal of our friendship.

We were at that stage in life when we were full of energy and ideas. The guys were in the early parts of their careers. Bert sold out a franchise hamburger kiosk business and then started a new concept discount funeral home. Taylor was learning all the doctor stuff.

Meanwhile, the two wives did what young wives often do, and that is get pregnant. Our son, Miles, and their son, Little Bert, were both born about the same time. They were baby friends and actually even roomed together in the dorm during their freshman year at Baylor.

We left Waco in 1988, moved to Victoria and have only seen them infrequently since. New towns usually mean new friends, and we have made many deep and meaningful relationships in our 23 years here. But there is still a place in one's heart for an old, dear friend that remains empty and can never be filled, except when that person returns to reclaim it. It requires no maneuvering or adjustments because it feels "just right" the minute that soul steps back into your life, and that is the way it is for me with Jeanette.

Jeanette called me unexpectedly to see if we wanted to meet her in Rockport for the weekend. Of course, we did, and she said she would meet us at the bay house around noon Saturday. We ate a light lunch, while catching up on the current news in our lives. We took her on the usual tour of the beautiful houses, the sweeping views across the bay waters, our favorite shops and art galleries and, finally, stopped at Sonic for an afternoon cherry-lime slush.

There was a new restaurant that caught our eye, named simply Glow. It is just off the beach road in an old sailboat repair shop. There is still a large sailboat out front. It was about two in the afternoon, and no one was inside, as I peered through the front window. It appeared to be simply, but well decorated with crisp, white table cloths on its 10 tables. None of the locals we talked to had ever eaten there, so we were unable to get a recommendation. We swung back by at 5 p.m. after shopping and made reservations for 7:30 that evening.

We arrived comfortably late at 7:40 p.m., and still had to wait 15 minutes because the place was packed. Even though it has only been open for two months, it apparently is not undiscovered. Our waiter was attentive and started us with small rolls of freshly baked wheat bread with a side of butter. After perusing the menu, I ordered the grilled tuna, Taylor requested the roasted salmon, and Jeanette got the shrimp baked in cream. Each plate had sides of vegetables, such as potatoes, squash or spinach. It was simple food, all cooked to perfection and only lightly spiced.

As we were one of the last tables of the night, the chef/owner came out to talk and ask about our meal. Karey Johnson was a delightful, beautiful, young lady who had spent the last five or 10 years in London, where she had a catering business that specialized in Tex-Mex food.

By the time she had one son, and then twins on the way, she and her husband decided it was time to move back to the states, so they ended up in Rockport, where his parents lived. They bought the old sailboat shop, which was filled to the rafters with dusty nautical parts, cleaned it out, remodeled it and finally opened this intimate dining venue in May of this year. She told us they attempt to rotate the menu each week, so that there will always be something new to try. I know that we'll be back.

She asked if we had tried the dessert, and we told her no, that we were fairly full. She exclaimed that we couldn't leave until we tasted the warm dark chocolate pudding with fresh whipped cream and raspberries and then the lemon lavender tart. We could hardly refuse the offer, and both creations were simply incredible.

Until you have the chance to try out Glow for yourself, Karey shared her recipe for the lemon tart.

Myra Starkey lives in Victoria. Write her in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77901, or email myra@vicad.com.

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