A year ago this time, I had just lost my job at 103.7 The Mountain here in Seattle. The country was in the throes of recession and my industry was constricting faster than Alec Baldwin’s waistline. And as a woman who is, shall we say, older than Brittany but younger than Madonna, I worried that I might never work again.
Yet within a few days of my sacking, I started baking and writing The Shawnologue. I baked through Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and New Year’s, and The Superbowl, and by the time early February arrived, I was deep in talks with the fine folks at Jet City Stream. I started working there full-time in April. In July, I was invited to do fill in work at the monster talk radio station, KIRO FM, and just a few weeks ago, I sat in for a week, doing news on The Bob River Show.
Along the way, I went to The Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene and Doe Bay Fest on Orcas Island. I sang karaoke with Vikings in Iceland. I hiked all over The Cascades with The World’s Greatest Dog. And, I started a weekly podcast about eating, drinking, and laughing called The Pantry Raid Live.
I also flew down to Atlanta to spend Thanksgiving with my sister Robin, her family, and my mom. It was a great time to reflect on the last year and all that I am thankful for (see above!!) and, added bonus, I got to do my reflecting in everyone’s favorite time machine, The DeLorean. Even if I had seen a photograph of my career at The Mountain fading, I wouldn’t have changed a thing to get to this point. I’m happy.
Adding to my happiness? I’ve become a much better baker this past year. For my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner, I dared to make a recipe from Bon Appetit I’d never tried before, and ad lib on the decorating. Click the link below for the recipe.
My niece Jordan (future Ivy Leaguer!!), literally, lent a hand. Both hands: toasting, peeling, and crushing the cardomon. Someone’s getting a spice grinder for Christmas, just sayin’.
The crust for this tart was anything but traditional. You don’t roll it out at all; you just press it into the tart pan.
We found these fun themed cutouts at Williams/Sonoma. If you are going to use delicate cuters like these, I recommend freezing the dough before cutting. And after, too. Just a few minutes will do.
I rimmed the tart with the cutouts to create the tart’s edge and placed a few cutouts in the center of the tart, too.
The tart tasted amazing.
I have no idea what’s ahead for me in 2013 (although…I have some great news I can’t quite share yet) but I do know I’ll be making this tart for next Thanksgiving and on into the future. Cheers!