Do people you don't know ever do things that drive you crazy?
This week, while walking on the beach, a man let his huge muddy dog jump on me (and my new coat). He didn't apologize. Later the same day, a mother and daughter fought "across" he gym locker room. They yelled swears and insults at each other for everyone to hear. And last night, while having dinner, an entire restaurant couldn't help but overhear every detail of one man's personal issues because he was incredibly loud and boisterous while using his cell phone.
You've been in situations like this before, right? What is it? Is it an etiquette issue? A need for attention?
Today I visited the post office.
The line was long, there was only one window open and you could hear every detail of every conversation with the cashier. The tone was generally rude, grumpy and occasionally angry.
Then, a distinguished looking man with a fitted coat and gray hair approached the window. He started with a pleasant "Good morning and how are you today?" There was a brief exchange. We could hear laughter between the man and the postal clerk. He ended with, "It's been a pleasure to speak with you. I hope you have a wonderful day."
The cashier who just minutes earlier looked tired and annoyed was now smiling and energetic.
On his way out, the man held the door for several people who were entering. He smiled at them.
The energy of the entire room palpably changed from negative to positive.
For some reason these scenarios stuck with me. I had the day off so I spent time at the beach, stopped by a cafe and visited a country ski area. I came home and made a lemon creme tart.
Personally, I think manners and etiquette matter. They matter not because I'm worried about what others think, but because having consideration for others makes the world a better place in which to live.
That's what I think anyway. What are your thoughts?
By the way, this tart is delicious. I made it with Meyer lemons and a tiny bit of juice from a Bergamot Orange (it's beautiful and strong). I happened to find the oranges at a local shop and wanted to try them out in the new recipe I was working on. I've only used the Bergamot orange but I suspect that you could substitute any citrus, including additional Meyer lemon juice. If you use a substitution, let me know how it works.
Creamy Meyer Lemon, Bergamot Orange and Fresh Ricotta Tart
215 g. all purpose flour
35 g. powdered sugar
110 g. cold butter, diced
6-8 tbs. cold water
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (190 c.)
In the bowl of a standing mixer, mix flour with powdered sugar and butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. While mixing, gradually add water until the dough holds together. Do not over mix. Flatten the ball into a disc and chill at least 20 minutes.
Roll dough out to about 1/8" thick and line one 8" tart pan. Dock the dough with a fork. Line with foil, then pie weights. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Remove and set on wire rack.
300 g fresh ricotta cheese
150 g sugar
10 g vanilla extract
2 Meyer lemon rinds, grated
25 g Myer lemon juice
5 g Bergamot orange juice
50 g sour cream
50 g heavy cream
50 g almond powder, sifted
2 drops yellow food coloring
a handful of sliced almonds
Powdered sugar for garnishing
Preheat over to 350 degrees (177 c)
In the bowl of a standing mixer, mix ricotta and sugar until well blended, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing and scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla, lemon rind and citrus juices. Blend in the heavy cream and sour cream. Add the almond powder and mix. To give the tart some color, I mixed in a couple of drops of yellow food coloring.
Pour the filling into the tart shell. Sprinkle sliced almonds on top. Bake until the center of the tart is set, about 35-40 minutes.