September 23, 2010

Chocolate Tart and Frank Zappa

Say cheese, Frank.


"I remember it like it were now."
— Francesco Luciani


It was last Thursday. Just one week ago. Like it were now. I was wondering if Rachel would ever post again. I'll just pop over for some inspiration. Eureka! A chocolate tart.

What if my conversions are incorrect?


“How you get there is between you and the dough. This is a case in which the journey is not as important as the destination.”
— Dorie Greenspan
Diner's Journal/The Baker's Apprentice: Galette


My conversions were correct.

I threw away my fear of working with dough that day.

The crust, sweet. The chocolate, dense. Pure pleasure. Yes, I will be making this again.


"I think that's Dweezil." I said.

"That's not him." He said.

"I think it is." I said.


We were just finishing our morning walk when I suggested walking a few blocks more. "Let's see if they have anything set up."

A proud group of Lithuanian's (the Lithuanian's LOVE Frank Zappa) were in town. They had brought with them a bust of Frank Zappa. Yes, Baltimore is Frank Zappa's birthplace. I did not know this. But, it makes sense.

While I'm not a Zappa fan, I do adore the Valley Girl song. I truly do. It's a guilty pleasure, I admit.

It would be hours before the dedication and concert, but a small crowd was gathered. A band was on stage. A sound check was in progress. A scruffy man, dressed in all black was bent over his guitar.

The band serenaded us along with an adoring crowd of ponytailed middle-age men and hippi mothers wearing floppy hats and long flowing skirts twirling with their babies. "Hey...What's new in Baltimore...What's new in Baltimore."

We stood. We watched. We burned under the blazing sun.

"We'll come back later." He said.

"Okay." I said.


The crowd had grown. The dedication was starting. The Zappa's, the Lithuanians, Baltimore's mayor, they all took their seats on stage.

I looked at Roberto and pointed towards the stage. "That WAS him! We were watching Dweezil this morning." I said grinning.


  1. The first photo is especially great. I always fret over tart dough, whether it'll be too dry or crumble to pieces but your tart looks perfect and I'm sure it was a hit. I'm not much of a Zappa fan, especially as my ex-boyfriend was crazy about 200 motels which I can't stand but nice how you captured the excitement.

  2. Oh Zappa... My father once had a girlfriend with a Mothers of Invention album. I loved this part:

    Male voice: Suzy?
    Female voice: Yes?
    Male voice: Suzy Creamcheese?
    Female voice: Yes?
    Male voice: This is the voice of your conscience baby ... uh, I just want to check one thing out with you ... you don't mind, do ya?
    Female voice: What?
    Male voice: Suzy Creamcheese, honey, what's got into ya?

  3. So glad that the fear of working with dough is history! Tart is gorgeous. Any sighting of Moon Unit?

  4. I love this! I especially love the pic of everyone else taking photos and not a zappa in sight - Frank, Dweezil or indeed Moon Unit. The best photos though are of that chocolate tart. It looks like the perfect marriage of pastry and chocolate to me.

  5. Vanessa - It was a lesson in keeping one's cool. It paid off. Best tart I ever made.

    Denise - Thank you for that. It's been running in my head since I read your comment. I love how quirky :)

    Michele - No sign of Moon, but Diva and Ahmet were there along with the widow Zappa.

    Elizabeth - It was the kind of day our little neighborhood needed.

    Kath - That is my favorite shot as well. So glad I captured it. Really funny that everyone was in sync with their cameras and phones. If you strain, in the first Zappa photo (using the guy in the blue plaid shirt as your visual guide), straight ahead you'll see tiny tiny people. One man in green with a man in black to the right. That's Ahmet and Dweezil. My camera doesn't have great zooming capabilities, so only tiny Zappa's were possible that day.

  6. I have to say though that I wouldn't know a Zappa if I fell over one!

  7. I could totally go for a nice slice of that tart right about now (and yes, I know it's just about 9:30 AM). Love the Zappa story--I had no clue he was from Baltimore.

  8. The photos are great and I would join all in a little little piece!
    Thanks for your visit! I am honored. You blog is great, very inspiring, very real. I like that.

  9. First, color me impressed. I've never made a chocolate tart, but nothing looks more elegant and absolutely inspiring as this tart. It's gorgeous! And, Frank Zappa too? I love it. Who knew about the Lithuanians? Ha. xo

  10. what a great day you two had, and the special treat-yummy chocolate tart :)

  11. I think that was probably the day I was wondering if I would ever post again too. Same today. What a handsome tart, glad you made it, it is one of my favourites (my supper party classic) and you have done it proud. I love valley girls (and catholic girls) too


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