In two days our bodies will depart from this comfortable nook of the Earth and collide with Europe. London, England, to be exact. From there we will carry heavy backpacks while roaming across the continent, and watch as our lives become a continuity of long train rides and conversations we only half understand. Up until a few days ago, I didn’t know if I was ready. Ready to reduce my belongings to only the necessities, stuff them into a 60L backpack, and set out on a four month journey that includes nothing familiar or convenient or even remotely routine. But it’s here and my bag is mostly packed (maybe with more skirts than one will require on such a trip), and in this moment I’ve never felt more ready to do anything in the entire 25 years I’ve existed on this planet.
And so, as we’re soaking up our last 48 hours in the Mile High City and trying to wrap our minds around the enormous adventure that’s on our horizon, my advice to you is this: Devise a dream. One that ignites a fire in your belly and makes your heart feel so full you fear it might actually burst. Devise a dream so magnificent that it will enrich your life beyond belief, now and until your earthly journey comes to an end. And when you’re finished – when you’ve filled it to maximum capacity with the wildest of ideas and your version of happy – you need to live it. Because there is nothing more fulfilling than watching a dream – one that you’ve carefully and thoughtfully constructed – come to life right in front of your very eyes.
Dream big, friends. To the moon and back.
Notes: You can use any flavor/extract you want for the cream filling. And top it with any other seasonal fruit. If you’re not a fan of graham cracker crusts, this recipe for pâte brisée would work perfectly – it was originally going to be the crust until I realized a no bake variety would be best for the hot summer months. You can use coconut oil in place of the butter, but it makes the tartlets suuuuuuupa crumbly (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing) and the shells need to be frozen instead of refrigerated (which is kind of a bad thing). You can find a raw version here.
NO BAKE ORANGE CREAM TARTLETS WITH MIXED BERRIES
15 plain graham crackers
2 tbsp cane sugar
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
10 tbsp vegan butter, room temperature
2 cans full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
1/4 cup powdered cane sugar
4 tsp orange flavor
Zest from one orange, optional
1/2 pint raspberries
1/2 pint blueberries
In a food processor fitted with the S blade, blend the graham crackers, sugar, and salt into a super fine meal. Add the butter, in pieces, and pulse until a crumbly dough forms. Divide the dough between four well-greased, deep dish tartlet pans with removable bottoms (or ramekins, mason jars – you name it) and press dough up/into the sides. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Scoop the white layer of milk fat off the top of each can and into a large mixing bowl; discard the water (or save it for use in smoothies). Cream the milk fat, sugar, orange flavor and zest, using a hand mixer on high speed, just until light and fluffy; about 30-45 seconds. Divide the cream between the tartlet shells and refrigerate until ready to use (will keep for up to three days). Just before serving, top with berries.
Yield: 4 tartlets