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A Sweet Little Thank-You: Strawberry Tartelettes with Muscovado Sugar

I am not a desperate housewife. This is something that I tell myself frequently and with a certain insistence of tone. Particularly on Mondays like this one, when I wake up to a basket of clean laundry containing no fewer than three instantiations of my desperate housewife summer uniform, the classically cut feminine sundress with the wily and disobedient built-in slip. At such times, I often wish that I had earned and discarded a structural engineering PhD rather than a law degree. Ninety minutes later, when I have detangled and folded all three sundresses while mentally crafting a carefully worded complaint to the dress manufacturer, I am once again thankful that it’s a JD I use to wipe the kitchen countertops. I amortize that sucker every way I know how. Except by actually practicing law.

Exhibit B submitted into evidence to support the contention that I am not a desperate housewife: When I handmade those little tartelettes with the strawberries and muscovado sugar for the teachers at the end of the school year, boxed them individually and tied the grosgrain ribbon around the tiny boxes, I really had to rush to get it all done, because I am super busy with my work all the time. See what I mean?

The point of this post, let’s say, is to gently remind you of a few key tenets of a busy working person’s life such as your own. First, berry season will not last forever. Don’t fritter it away in your cubicle, studio, mountain climbing harness, or toddler’s room. Second, you, too, can make, box, and even adorn with ribbon, individual tartelettes. They make terrific hostess or thank-you gifts that are just the right size to say, “I value your hard work,” “No need to share this with your family,” and “I care enough to nudge you in the direction of sweetness but not all the way to diabetes.” All that, and they really don’t take much longer than shopping for something less handmade and personal.

Still have strawberries left over? Try these other Umami Girl recipes:


Hi there, I'm Carolyn, and I'm delighted you're here. I'm a NYC-area food, travel, yoga, coffee, wine, running, music making and book obsessive with a great family and a love for sharing it all with you. Grab a drink and come on in. Learn more.

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