Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Butter Tarts, Comfort and More
A good question indeed. From the day we were born, someone stuffed something in our mouths when we cried or were in emotional distress. We may not have always wanted food, but it was usually the first thing used to try and calm us down. There are other good biological reasons that explain why food provides comfort, but that discussion is not the purpose of this post.
Butter tarts are one of relatively few genuine Canadian recipes. A properly made tart consists of homemade pastry filled with a gooey, sweet filling made with butter, sugar, eggs and optional raisins, nuts, chocolate chips or other added ingredients. Wellington North is a township adjacent our region. They have published a Butter Tart Trail Map and Birding Map. While you are out birding, you can stop at featured local eateries to sample homemade butter tarts.
One locally famous vendor is Dee of Dee's Bakery and General Store. She located in the middle of nowhere but makes an average of 1000 tarts a day and has sold over 1,000,000 tarts since 1997. She states she has never eaten one as she does not like sweets. She does love animals and a couple of times a year donates a day's earnings to the Cambridge Humane Society. I have passed her store many times when I take the back roads to Hamilton. Last week I decided to stop in and purchase a dozen of some of her 12 featured varieties. Her tarts are large, cost $1.50 each, and are worth every penny. She has perfected the balance of flaky crust to soft filling, even though they are very, very sweet. The mother of one of my friends was a very brittle diabetic and butter tarts were her remedy of choice when her blood sugars dipped to dangerously low levels. They brought her sugars up quickly even though the doctor would have preferred she have cheese and crackers. She was very thin and followed her diabetic diet well otherwise.
Come Home For Supper blog here.
We still have six of Dee's tarts in the freezer and will break them out when we really need something sweet and comforting in this cold weather. Perhaps an hour of snow shovelling would be a good activity to start with before our indulgence.