It’s hard to believe that it’s already June. It doesn’t feel possible given how slow summer has been to arrive in earnest. But in a few short weeks school will be out for the summer and parents will be coming up with creative ways to keep their kids occupied.
I’m an only child and my parents found an impressive array of day camps to keep me out of their hair in July and August.
Bowling camp is probably a standout as one of the most obscure day camps. You can get in a lot of rounds of 5-pin over the span of an eight-hour day. Much pizza and pop was consumed that week too, as bowling alleys aren’t known for their kale salads.
Bowling camp gets a lot of airtime amongst my friend group but let’s not forget about the drama camp I did in Waterloo that also featured instruction in reiki.
For the uninitiated, reiki is a kind of alternative medicine that facilitates “energy healing.” On every afternoon of this drama camp, the rehearsal space would transform into a reiki studio and we would partner off.
One partner would lie on the floor and close their eyes. The other would rub their palms together and then hover their open palms three inches above their partner. Passing our hands over our partner, we would probe their auric field for any areas of unusual heat, cold, tingling sensation, or dense energy where their qi was imbalanced.
So in the morning, this group of 10-12 year olds are writing their own play and running through rehearsal for production at the end of the week and in the afternoon, we would be crouched on a wood floor in our Northern Getaway t-shirts and shorts, practicing auric massage.
Now that I think about it, that whole scene is just ripe for someone to walk in and say, “May the force be with you.” God, I hate when a good joke goes to waste.
At the end of the week, we even got certificates declaring our proficiency in reiki. I also got to stage a play where I was the villain, wore a red sequinned dress, and made a grand entrance from the back of the audience onto the stage to the tune of “Bad to the Bone.” So if you need someone to balance out your qi or you just want a diva, you know who to call.
Tomato, Goat Cheese & Caramelized Shallot Tart
- 12 ounces assorted tomatoes preferably heirloom, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for brushing the tomatoes
- 3 shallots thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry defrosted overnight in the refrigerator
- 6 oz soft goat cheese at room temperature
- 2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese shaved
- 2 tbsp julienned basil leaves
Line a large baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels. Lay tomato slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle tomato slices with salt. Flip the tomatoes over and sprinkle second side with salt. Allow the tomatoes to sit for 30 minutes. While tomatoes are draining, prepare the onions. Also, set out the goat cheese to soften if you haven’t already.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté them briefly until they are evenly coated with oil. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Let the onions steam for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover the onions, add white wine, thyme, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Continue to cook the onions until they are nicely browned and there is almost no moisture in the pan, about 10-20 minutes more.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Unfold one sheet of puff pastry and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. With the tip of a sharp paring knife, lightly score a border ¾ inch from edges (being careful not to cut all the way through the puff pastry). Spread the goat cheese on the pastry sheet up to the scored border line. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the goat cheese. Spread onion mixture on top of the goat cheese and Parmesan cheese, again staying within the scored border. Pat the tomato slices dry and lay them on top of the onions, overlapping as necessary. Brush the tomatoes lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Scatter shaved Parmesan over tart. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Sprinkle baked tart with julienned basil leaves and serve.
Recipe adapted from: “Tomato, Goat Cheese, and Caramelized Onion Tart.” Taming of the Spoon. June 2015.