This past Saturday, I got to visit my friend's family farm out in Shenandoah. It was a mini reunion of sorts, since she invited some of my best girls from VT. We were all thrown together at Shanks Hall freshman year, and have remained best buds ever since. We've come a long way from the awkward, overly eager freshman girls we once were...priceless memories. The farm was the perfect setting for our gathering. This isn't your typical farm. It's the wonderland of farms complete with fun farm animals, pumpkin patch, fire pits, an absolutely gorgeous house (w/ my DREAM kitchen), and random nooks/crannies throughout the land. The addition of fall foliage to the inherent beauty, made it all surreal. My description doesn't do it justice. We had a wonderful lunch out there, and walked over to the firepit for smores, petting the goats and donkeys along the way. I told Neil I want to retire on a farm until he reminded this "city girl" of farm duties. I suppose I'm better suited as a guest :)
To thank them for being invited, I made my holiday tart that I posted last year. Consisting of butternut squash, turnips, and parsnips, I thought it was perfect for this event and time of year. Well, making this tart turned into a bit of a fiasco. My oven died on me!!! I mean, it's completely shot...dead. I was able to bake my crust, and right after I pulled it out, it was over. The oven has been doing this periodically the last few weeks, so I knew something was wrong, but it usually turns right back on after 10 minutes. Well, it's Monday now, and it's still dead. Neil's desperately trying to do whatever he can to get it fixed. He knows that if we have to replace the oven, I'm going to coerce him into replacing other old appliances in the kitchen too....I've been dying for a 5 top burner. Hey, you always get a better deal if you buy more, right? That's what I'm trying to tell Neil :)
Anyways, I improvised and cooked the vegetables for the tart in a dutch oven versus roasting them in the oven. Then, I drove over to my mother in law's house to bake the assembled tart. I finally made it to the farm, tart in hand, only an hour late.
I had some leftover crust, so on Sunday, I made mini onion tarts in my toaster oven of all things! This tart, as pictured, consisted of a thick layer of caramelized onions, gruyere, and prosciutto. The recipe is very similar to the holiday tart, so if you follow those instructions, swap out the vegetables for more caramelized onions, and add prosciutto, you'll be set. If you're vegetarian, leave out the prosciutto and you won't miss a thing.
Ugh...I can't even make Halloween cupcakes without an oven. All of a sudden everything I want to make involves an oven :(