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RachelSeveral years ago, in a misguided attempt to prove myself desirable, talented, and domestically capable to my boyfriend at the time, I set out to make a savory tart. Why I thought a tart would demonstrate the embodiment of these characteristics, I can’t recall exactly, but I think it had something to do with what I perceived as a vaguely Parisian quality. I had also never made a pastry dough from scratch; I found it intimidating, and I was up for the challenge. Albeit for all the wrong reasons.

Predictably, the boyfriend canceled on me, as he was wont to do. I was of course sad in that way that a single 25-year-old woman can get when she doesn’t know any better. But my tart had come out of the oven, and I was pretty impressed that it actually looked like the tart I had imagined myself eating at some hypothetical French café. So I plated a slice, poured myself a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, and, as I sat at my table alone, became acutely aware of how much more enjoyable those bites and sips were about to be without that boyfriend sitting across from me. As I took the first bite of that tart, I closed my eyes and knew two things: I could be okay alone, and I could cook.

Having successfully tamed the tart, I felt the confidence to tackle whatever recipe appealed to me from then on. I have destroyed skillets and shattered glass, burned garlic and broken sauces, scarred my hands and calloused my fingers. I’ve been through a few more boyfriends and finally found the good one. But that tart did more than give me the confidence to try recipes; it gave me the confidence to set out to impress myself, and so began my process of taming the tart within.

Taming the Tart is a blog about my nutritiously indulgent life in Baltimore with my boyfriend and three cats. I am currently in graduate school at Tai Sophia Institute studying for an M.S. in Nutrition and Integrative Health.

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