as wacky as it sounds…

by Michelle

I am renovating – again. Not hard-core renovating. More of a ‘paint and reposition the furniture’ type of renovation.

When the girls left home, I was totally devastated. Three daughters, the same age, leaving home caused the empty nest syndrome to hit like a tsunami.

The deafening echo bouncing off of the walls of our house made being there miserable.

A lump developed, in my throat, every time that I looked at their empty chairs when we were having dinner. So I did what any, crazed with separation anxiety, mother would do. I re-organized the furniture. I turned the diningroom into a den, moved our seven piece dining set into the livingroom; which was easy given that the girls had taken most of the livingroom furniture and turned one of their bedrooms into my office.

Three years later, I no longer feel that throat clenching sadness when it’s just Ralph and me at the dinner table.

Changing the color of my kitchen excites me. The diningroom has it’s furniture back and the livingroom is a livingroom again. I love my office so it stays!

Changing the ‘stuff’ around me kept me a little off-balance. I was distracted enough to cope with the huge resented changes that were happening.

I allowed myself to do whatever it took to grieve the end of that piece of my mothering life. As wacky as it sounds, it worked. I am not sure when the house started to feel whole again. It just does…

Having the kitchen turned upside down requires quick cooking. This Springtime tart is perfect for a yummy and fast meal.

Asparagus and Portobello Mushroom Tart

serves 4

preheat oven 400*F

1 package best quality puff pastry, rolled into a 10 x 10 square 1/4″ thick. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Score a 1/4 ” frame around the inside of the puff pastry square, careful not to cut through the dough and put in the refrigerator until needed.

1/4 cup butter

12 ounces Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Melt butter until frothy in a large skillet. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper. Saute until browned then set aside to cool completely

1 lb. young asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 ” pieces

1 teaspoon dried thyme

zest of 1 lemon

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup brie, cut into 1″ pieces

Combine with cooled mushroom mixture, cover and chill for 1 hour

Mound the mushroom and asparagus mixture on the puff pastry using all the filling

Bake for 25 minutes – make sure pastry is flaky.

I served my tart with some pan-fried scallops – deelish!

Thanks for reading