One of my favourite definitions of bliss is family harmony. I am in a family sort of mood this weekend as my sister Peggy and my favourite (and only—but that does not take away from him being my favourite) brother-in-law, Herb are visiting us from Ottawa which is about an eight hour drive away. I have not seen them for over a year and a half.
They arrived in our small town of Kingsville at suppertime last night, and are staying at my oldest brother Jim’s house. My kids came over, his kids came over and we had pizza and beer and Prosecco and a lot of hugs and laughs. I am feeling wrapped up in warmth this morning.
Today my sister and I are going to lunch and I am taking her to my favourite winery, showing her our new library, and just spending time with her. We email each other every day and talk several times a month, but having her here in person is such a treat.
The “boys” will be hanging out together today and talking cars and politics, and joking around a lot. Then we will all meet to go out to dinner tonight, using up a certificate my brother was given for Christmas at a nice restaurant up town. The only thing missing is my other brother John and my sister-in-law Starr, but they were here a few weeks ago—so the last few weeks have been rift with family moments that I just want to capture, put in a jar, and save.
So since John is not here, I am going to share one of his favourite treats that my Mom used to make and he devoured. In fact, he would line these tarts up on his arm and eat them one by one with a big glass of milk. It is an image I will never forget.
My mother, unlike her oldest daughter (me) baked up a storm, particularly at holidays. This recipe is for her famous raisin tarts, and though I have never made them, I can attest to the fact that they are the best ever.
So, on this Saturday in mid-January I share with you a little family bliss and a little piece of bliss from my childhood in the form of these tarts.
Raisin Butter Tarts
1 cup butter melted
2 cups brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups of raisins, nuts, or currants (Mom always used raisins and walnut pieces)
Beat eggs only until whites and yolks are mixed. Beat in sugar, vinegar and vanilla. Stir in melted butter and fruit and nuts. Half fill tart shells. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees for 20 minutes longer.
Enjoy a little bit of heavenly bliss!
This recipe was handwritten in a spiral notebook which is covered in splatters from many many sessions in the kitchen. I may not have lined up my arm with these tarts, but I always had more than my fair share.
Do you have a recipe that harkens back to your childhood days?