Daily prompt: Maisie’s tarts


lemon chiffon - pinterest

lemon chiffon – pinterest

My Auntie Maisie was the consummate tart maker. Caramel, lemon, lemon chiffon, coconut (though not chocolate. That came later from my stepmother, who was an entirely different kettle of fish).

She probably had no choice, poor love. (Auntie Maisie, I mean.) Every Sunday, the family foregathered under the all-seeing (but not all-singing or -dancing) eye of my maternal grandmother to sit down to the traditional Sunday roast. This was cooked by my maiden aunt (Auntie Sell), and pudding was supplied by Maisie, wife of the son and heir, the golden child, my Uncle Mick (whose real name was Herbert, called Gavin by his mother and Mick by everyone else. And Maisie’s given name was Harriet, just btw.) (I should also point out, just btw, that Uncle Mick was gorgeous, totally unmoved by his favoured status, my mother’s idol, and the keeper, under his gruffness, of a great sense of humour.)

Anyway, there was poor Maisie, an incomer who was never going to measure up (my father never did either) burdened with a role in the sacred ceremony of Sunday Lunch. Furthermore, her contribution to this event had to survive (in pristine condition) a trip across the river in a rowing boat.

This is not necessarily as unnatural and antediluvian as it may sound. My grandmother lived in Woolwich on the Lane Cove River (part of Sydney Harbour) and Mick and Maisie lived in Longueville, directly across the river. Mick had been messing about in boats all his life (including yacht racing), and would have seen it as an unnecessary waste of time and petrol to take the long way round by road. Maisie loved life with a seemingly unquenchable enthusiasm, and would have embraced such lack of convention (at least most of the time).

But it wasn’t ideal for transporting delicate flummeries or a dozen individual crème brulées, and hence the tarts.

I have made Maisie’s tarts many times over the years, but no more. Goodness gracious no! All that lusciousness? I’d be struck down in an instant!


This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Daily prompt: Maisie’s tarts

  1. My aunts all got boy’s names as nicknames because my grandfather wanted more sons. I am completely at home with people not going by their given name. I even had a girl student once who insisted on being called Gavin. She just decided that one day in class. The tarts sound yummy…

    • One of my aunts (Millicent) was called Bill by everyone all her life because her father was expecting a boy. I think she was probably gay, although it would never have been acknowledged back then. Serendipitous rather than cause and effect though.

      • I have an Aunt Dick and sometimes I’ve referred to her without thinking about how that might sound to other people. Pretty interesting facial expressions in response. When I was first married, my mom’s neighbors let us use their house (they were going on vacation) to put up family. Suzanne, the neighbor, showed me around and we got to the bedroom — where they had a king-sized bed — I said, “Oh! Dick and Bob will love this!” She looked horrified and I had to tell her the whole story of my aunts with boy’s names… My mom was “Bill” but she married Bill so that was that. Otherwise, Pat, Kelly, Bill, Joe and Dick.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s