Friday, July 4, 2014

Corn Down and a Chard Tart

More rain and stormy weather is predicted for today, but last night at 11:30 the first of the thunderstorms hit. They didn't last long, but they were intense.

A branch from our maple tree fell on one of my townhouse mate's car. Luckily there doesn't seem to be any damage. Hopefully the blueberry bushes under there survived too.

I surveyed the damage to the garden and as is typical when we get strong winds, the corn was flattened. I'm hoping it will right itself in the next couple of days. If not I'll help out with some stakes and twine.

I have corn in lots of spots now. All but one is down. The one that stayed upright was on the other side of the row cover above. The winds were such that the row cover protected it from the worst of it. Sadly two of the three white row covers didn't survive unscathed. I hold the edges down with rebar and rocks at the corners. This is usually enough to keep it in place, but not in a real wind storm. So many of the edges were up. Luckily not the zucchini as I'm sure any borers around would have taken advantage of that. Then I took advantage of the open covers myself. The newly germinated carrots were up so I took the time to weed and thin them out. Now I can probably ignore them for a while.

Now on to the tart. I was reading on Cold Hands Warm Earth that she had the BEST TART EVER. And since it uses chard I had to try it. Chard is just so prolific that if you can find a good recipe to use it up, life is good.

I used my frozen chard which made my life easier because I didn't have to wash and cook it. But it was also a problem as the recipe calls for a certain amount of raw chard. How much should I use? The recipe called for 3/4 of a pound. But cooked and frozen chard is not the same weight as fresh. Oh well I used up five packets for two tarts. I think it was a bit too much. Next time a tart will get two packets. I think that would be about right. That isn't to say more was bad, but it does make the tart heavy and hard to pick up for a party. And for me this is party food. The richness of puff pastry is not something I eat on a daily basis. Even with all that chard.

Though there seemed a bit much filling it wasn't too bad. And the filling tasted so good. The chard and chives came from the garden. But only half the onions did. I used up the last of the store bought onions and the garden ones are starting to size up. They aren't full sized yet, but good enough.

My biggest problem came with the puff pastry and the weather. I had the puff pastry defrosting in the fridge. It was well defrosted, but it was still cold. And inside the house was swimmingly humid. The pastry must have picked up the humidity from the air instantly. When I put it down on the cookie sheet, it stuck. I had to scrape it off to get it up and over the tart.

I think next time I make it I'm going to cut the puff pastry in half and do a long thin tarts. I think it will cut better that way. I had trouble cutting these small enough for a party. Sixteen smaller pieces for a tart would be better than the eight larger pieces I cut. Party food is always better small. Then more people can have some, and the people eating it don't have to commit to such a big portion. Not that I minded eating a big portion. I had three slices for lunch. Yummy!


  1. Oh dear - that poor corn. Hopefully it straightens up ok. When it comes to storms, the wind always seems to be what gets you (and your garden) most of the time. I think I will be putting some puff pastry on my grocery list...I'd say that tart came out beautifully, even with the pastry "incident" ;)

  2. oh my gosh! I realize how hard it is to write recipes without cookbook editors to help you test and clarify. I used 3/4 pound fresh then cooked it .. a great learning lesson for me in writing recipes! But thanks for trying it. I always cook puff pastry recipes (rich, so not that often) on parchment paper as it comes away easy from the pan. So sorry and better luck next time!

    1. I don't think it was the fault of the recipe. I knew I was using frozen instead of fresh, so had to make adjustments there. And the puff pastry was troublesome because the dough sucked up the moisture from the air. It was cold and the house was hot and sticky.

  3. The tart does look tasty, bursting with all that chard goodness. It must have been quite windy, Your poor corn looks flattened. I suppose it's better that it got hit now rather than when it was more mature, it seems it will have a better chance of recovering when it's not so tall.