13. Troublesome Tartlets

Pecan-TartletThe situation with Burton was just a minor emotional setback; I bounced back with the prospect of a date with the bearded boy who had a penchant for pork and all things fleshy and roasted. I killed time before my date by going to a showroom opening for organic rugs with Lena. Lena was trying to build her surface design business and the opening was a fact finding project.

The rugs were lively with color and intricate designs — turtles swimming through waves of maroon paisley, black elephants playing on a bed of ochre poppies. They were beautiful with ungodly prices. Everything in there was imported from India and the whole show was kind of a real life slide show of the owner’s buying trip to the subcontinent. There was a sitar duo, a henna tattoo artist and the food was all curry except for the dessert — pecan tartlets. They were an awkward fit next to samosas and tandoori chicken.  I loved both curry and pecan tartlets, albeit not together. I hated sitars. I didn’t know where I stood on henna tattoos.


Lena and I each had a glass of wine and I parked myself next to the buffet while she talked to the man responsible for the rugs. He was nice and welcomed discourse over artwork with  Lena, but he got all of his artwork done in India and he had no use for what she proposed. Though it was a lovely gathering, our work there was done.  We downed our wine and left.

Being that we never left our neighborhood, we got a drink downtown since we weren’t likely to return anytime soon. Lena didn’t question my decision to have another drink, and neither did I. It felt like I finally had a handle on how much to consume and when it was time to call it a night.


With each sip, it got harder to convince myself I was was over the Burton situation. I still felt bad about it. I confided to Lena that I had been excited about it, but it was probably for the best.

“His reaction to my email was really angry. It seems like he has a temper. I can’t handle a temper. I’ve learned that lesson and I refuse to repeat it, but it still feels awful.”

“Yeah, that’s not worth pursuing. Consider yourself lucky it only lasted two days,” she offered.

Pecan-Tartlet“Also, he didn’t remember anything he had told me. I had no idea that he was completely wasted,” I said, trying to make myself he was at fault and I had no part in it.

Lena supported me, “Right, well, I don’t think you need to be around someone who’s drinking that much. And he sounds like he misrepresented himself.”

“I dunno. Maybe I’m bummed about it. It’s so rare that I get that excited about anyone and it was over in 48 hours. Also, it was nice to have a social connection.”

“Oh absolutely. It makes everything so easy. You don’t have to go through all those introductions. It’s great. But you’re really better off. He sounds like he wasn’t on the same page as you.”

Pecan-TartletWith the second cocktail the mild mourning turned to anger and I got an uncontrollable urge to send a “fuck you” email to Burton.

When I got home I opened facebook to send the email. I had deleted all of Burton’s information the day before so Facebook was my only digital link to him. Should I have been embarrassed about this? Probably:

“Dear Burton,

I am only writing this because you were unnecessarily mean. I deserve a little more respect. Anyone deserves more respect than you showed me.

Pecan-TartletI do regret shouldering guilt for not *explicitly* asking you for open dialogue. I did ask you to be direct. From the start. I was very clear to you about wanting to protect myself, whether you remember it or not. I shouldn’t have been chastised for that.  I have never reacted angrily when someone asked me directly if I was willing to move forward or not; even when I didn’t want to. Your response was rude. In the twenty+ years that I’ve been dating, no one’s treated me that way.

Pecan-TartletYou were really horrible and I understand (NOW) that you don’t understand under what context I was mentioning being “damaged.” Damage is something we *did* talk about. At the Twisted Spoke. It is not *my* fault that you don’t remember how flip you were about it. *I* didn’t know that you were that drunk. Nor was I privy to how difficult your weekend was because, from what I saw, you were extremely happy. I didn’t know that you were happy because you were drunk.

I’m sorry that I got caught up in a misguided affair. I really enjoyed your company, albeit drunk. But drunk isn’t a reason to mistreat people.

I really don’t care if you think I’m an asshole after this because you were an asshole first. TAKE CARE.”

Pecan-TartletI wasn’t expecting a response and I didn’t get one. The situation made me uneasy. I didn’t know what the purpose of the email was other than to take back my confidence and rid myself of the uneasiness. I pretended the email was a way to wash my hands of the situation and move on but I knew it was wrong. I was a pecan tartlet wedging my way into a curry buffet and there was nothing I could do to make it right.


Pecan Tartlets


  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ⅓ tsp salt
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • 3 tb buttermilk

Pecan-TartletWith a fork, mix the dry ingredients together. Add the butter and, with your hands, squeeze the butter and flour mixture together to distribute the butter. Keep working the mixture until you have what looks like lumpy cornmeal. Make a well in the flour. Pour the cold milk into the well. Using a fork, gently bring the wet and dry ingredients together until it’s just combined. Bring it all together to form a loose ball. Cover it in plastic and refrigerate it for one hour.

Divide the dough into five equal balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball of dough to ⅛”. Press the dough into 4” tart pans and trim the excess dough. Pierce the bottom of the dough with a fork. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400℉.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • pinch salt
  • 2/3 cups chopped pecans
  • 2/3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Combine the ingredients and mix well. Pour into dough-lined tart pans. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Let cool completely. Serves five. Pecan tartlets go well with whipped cream or ice cream and black coffee.



2 Comments Add yours

  1. utahrob says:

    I’m going to try these for the holidays.

    Liked by 1 person

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