Oh the summertime is coming
And the trees are sweetly blooming
And the wild mountain thyme
Grows around the blooming heather
Mother’s Day has come and brought all the attendant columbines and dandelions of spring along with it. Bake your mom a batch of heart-shaped pies, pack a picnic lunch and share the day.
I awoke one morning, in our last winter together, to a heavy snow fall. I drank my coffee in the grey hush of dawn and headed outside to walk my mom to work. We had houses side by side with a shared garden between us. Standing by her back door I could see bootprints leading from her back stairs and out to the street. The snow was coming down hard and it looked by the indistinct state of her prints that she had left about 15 minutes earlier.
I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
Silly me, of course she left early because of the snow. I followed her trail up our steep hill. Even if her foot prints hadn’t been there I would have been able to find her because she always took the same route in case I decided to walk with her or offer her a ride.
So there I was walking up our street knowing that she had a head start but that if I put on the steam I could catch her. At the top of the hill I paused and scanned ahead. Still no sight of her. The world was silent except for the soft ploshes of wet snow. As I half slipped down the hill I saw that her footsteps had become more distinct and no longer softened with new snow.
Each person who ever was or is or will be has a song. It isn’t a song that anybody else wrote. It has its own melody, it has its own words. Very few people get to sing their song. Most of us fear that we cannot do it justice with our voices, or that our words are too foolish or too honest, or too odd. So people live their song instead.
I spotted her from half an block away. Walking behind her, watching her unaware and the anticipation of knowing that I was about to give her a warm surprise on a cold morning hurried my steps. I called out to her when I was about ten feet away so as not to startle her. She was delighted and we walked in companionable chit chat till we reached the boulevard.
All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does, and that is his.
We neared a bench, cleared it of snow and sat down. Each morning she stopped for 10-15 minutes on a bench to savor the morning and the natural beauty around her. We sat together and shared a cup or two of steaming coffee from her thermos. In the white world with her silver grey hair and blue blue eyes she looked like a fairytale queen. I held her hand and we gossiped and chit chatted till time ran out and then I walked her to work. Walking home I felt light like a girl in love. In love with my mother.
To touch her face was that always new experience of opening your window one December morning, early, and putting out your hand to the first white cool powdering of snow that had come, silently, with no announcement, in the night. And all of this, this breath-warmness and plum-tenderness was held forever in one miracle of photographic is chemistry which no clock winds could blow upon to change one hour or one second; this fine first cool white snow would never melt, but live a thousand summers.
– Ray Bradbury
Fruity blueberries encased in flaky rich pastry and drizzled with lemon glaze. I serve mine with one bowl whipped sweetened aquafaba fluff into which I fold shredded basil to add brightness and another bowl with berries.
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 cup cold vegan butter
- 1/4-1/3 cup ice water
- 2 cups frozen blueberries
- 2 tbs cornstarch
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 zest of one lemon
- 1 ounce aquafaba*
- 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
Into a wide bowl add your flour, lemon zest, salt and sugar.
Cut your cold butter into small chunks and work it quickly into the flour with your fingertips until your mixture resembles damp sand.
Pour 1/4 cup of the ice water into a cup and add 1 tsp vanilla extract.
Poor the 1/4 cup of ice water vanilla solution into your bowl and work your dough until it will clump together in your hand if you make a fist around it. Add as little water as possible to reach this point. If it is sticky, you are ruined and need start over. Once you get the hang of it you will find this part easy.
Add more ice water if necessary, but work quickly.
Knead your dough 2 minutes. Divide your dough in half and form into two balls which you then flatten into fat disks, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rest for one hour.
After an hour, remove one of your dough disks from the fridge.
Heat your oven to 400 Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment.
Toss your filling ingredients together in a bowl.
Roll your dough out into a 1/4 inch nebulous shape. I know I should write rectangle but honestly it makes no difference in this case what shape you start with.
Using your heart cutters, cut an equal amount of hearts. You could of course make rectangles. It is much simpler, but today is Mother's Day so let's put in a little extra effort, shall we?
Place a small amount of filling on each heart. Prick the pastry heart you will be using as the topper with a fork. Or do as I did and cut out a smaller heart. You need some sort of hole as a vent for when the steam builds up during baking.
Dip your finger in water and wet the edges of the bottom heart all the way around the circumference of the heart. Firmly place the top heart over the filling and press all around the edges to seal, using a fork to reinforce the seal and make a pretty pattern around the edges of the pastry.
If you are not making the glaze at this point you can paint the top of each pastry with soy milk and sprinkle with sugar.
Place all your filled heart on the parchment lined pan and bake for 18-20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool on rack.
Beat together all of the glaze ingredients until you have a glossy thick glaze. It will thicken after 10 minutes so resist the urge to add more sugar until you see how it sets up.
Glaze and eat.
*One small can of legumes usually renders me a bit over 3/4 of a cup. After 5 minutes in my microwave on high it has reduced to 1/2 cup and is perfect for most recipes. It will thicken as it cools. Of course you can reduce aquafaba on the stove in a sauce pan as well, I am a little absent minded and sometimes reduce my precious golden liquid until it is but a whisper in a burnt pan.
Aquafaba is the liquid left over from cooking legumes. Use canned or homemade. For my recipes I always mean fairly thick aquafaba. If you are using straight from a can just reduce it by 25%, about a 10 minute simmer on the stove. It will thicken as it cools.
It was first discovered a french tenor named Joël Roessel. An american (at least I think he is american) named Goose Wohlt picked up the torch and furthered investigations into this magical liquid. It is seriously magical, the holy grail for vegans as they could suddenly whip up meringues and macaroons and use it in all sorts of innovative ways. There is a marvelous Facebook Group called Aquafaba (Vegan Meringues Hits and Misses). They are an amazing inclusive helpful innovative bunch of people. I highly recommend you check them out.