Celebrations–don’t you love them? Birthdays, yes, but also seasons, babies, raises, whatever gets you cake. Today I felt a celebration coming on, but of a different kind. Hannah’s written before about the job of being a writer and how some days are good and some not so good. And I know she’d agree with me that we artists shouldn’t complain because we get to make art and that’s, well, kind of frivolous. (I’m not saying the arts aren’t important–believe you me, I’m a big supporter of the Humanities on all levels. But as this wise lady says, making art is mostly not the same as doing open heart surgery on someone.  It’s necessary, but it’s not a defibrillator.)




Which is to say (whew!) that while I won’t whinge about the difficulty of making art, the celebrations–the real, relief-filled, soul-satisfying ones–can be kind of few and far between. So when they actually happen, it feels like a big deal (to us, in our little writing spaces, with likely no one around to hear our little cheers).

Maybe I’ve worked this into too much anticipatory lather–no, I didn’t get a six figure book deal (anytime, universe!). But I had one of those days. I’ll call it a YES day. It wasn’t even the day I handed something in or finished a big story. It was just one of those rare days when I wrote my ass off and got somewhere and felt like I might even be able to keep 40% of the words. It felt like YES when so many other writing days feel like MEH, or NO WAY or UGH or SNORE.

Huzzah. Jam tarts were in order.


DSC_1580 flipped


The thing about jam tarts (my jam tarts, anyway) is they are such easy, un-pretty, childhood-memory-filled morsels, yet they give just as much celebratory pleasure as a big slice of chocolate cake. [Damn. Now I want chocolate cake.] There’s the miniature factor and the cute factor and the jamminess factor. They’re just pastry and jam, for goodness sake. Isn’t it a bigger feat for two lowly ingredients to achieve that nostalgic power than the ten that go into fussy old chocolate cake (love you!)? All hail the jam tart, I say. Strawberry or apricot or plum or what have you. And all hail YES days.








I often use Smitten Kitchen’s pastry recipe to great success and pair it with homemade strawberry-rhubarb or apricot jam. And this time I paired it with this perfection in a cup.