This One’s for Nana {CtBF} #EverydayDorie

Over the past four (!!!) months, my physical world has gotten quite small.  I’ve only been in a store twice.  Howard and I take a daily walk around the neighborhood, varying the route, but we seldom run into anyone.  I do go to the farm to pick up my weekly CSA share and have been invited to do a few sessions of socially-distant outdoor volunteering there, but otherwise, my life is home-based.

Fortunately, the wider world, courtesy of the internet, has remained accessible.  I exercise from home with my boot camp friends on our usual mornings.  I continue to practice with my favorite teachers at the yoga studio.  My book group still “gathers”.  I still participate in programs “at” the library.  I’ve had virtual happy hours and other visits with family and friends.  Life is certainly not lonely.

Over the past decade, I’ve experienced the wonder of what the connections forged over the internet can be.  When I joined the on-line cooking group French Fridays with Dorie, I had no expectations, mostly just relying on the weekly recipe as a prompt for my blog.  What developed was a group of friends comprised of enthusiastic home cooks from around the world.

One of my new friends was Nana.  Nana (aka Ro) and her daughter Tricia blogged about the weekly recipe, sometimes cooking separately, sometimes together, and shared their insights on their blog.  Through these weekly reviews, I was drawn into their closeness, their enthusiasm, and their love of cooking.  When French Fridays ended, Nana created her own blog and continued with the subset of us that moved on to cooking through a different cookbook.

Over time, I had the good fortune to meet Nana and Tricia in person several times.  In person, I became even fonder of Nana.  She was such a wonderful role model for aging gracefully, maintaining her joy in new experiences, sharing her wisdom, and keeping her sense of humor.  I feel lucky to have known her as our paths would never have crossed without this cyber-experience.  I will miss her posts, her stories, and her warm comments.  I hope our group brought her the same pleasure that we feel about her being an integral part of it.

Doristas after dinner at the CIA in Hyde Park, NY. (L-R) Cher, Diane, Nana, Mary, Betsy (me), Tricia

As a tribute to Nana, our little cadre of cooks in Cook the Book Fridays is making a recipe from Everyday Dorie that she often nominated for our schedule but the group hadn’t yet been chosen.  So, this week I made a Lower East Side Brunch Tart.  Nana, thank you for your friendship!  This one’s for you…

Bagel Fixings?

It should come as no surprise that I LOVE TARTS.  I make one almost every week, sometimes savory, sometimes sweet.  A pastry crust is my favorite base for any set of flavors.  The Lower East Side Brunch Tart is the cover photo on Everyday Dorie, so it’s bee on my radar for a while now.  When I sat down to look at the recipe, I was intrigued with the combination of ingredients.  Cream cheese, smoked salmon, capers, red onion, dill, tomatoes.  An intentional combination of the makings of a “dress-your-own bagel” buffet.  The crust stood in for the bagel, and the flavors were locked in place with a simple custard.

Wow!  This is my favorite recipe so far from Everyday Dorie.  The lox was particularly smoky so there was an undertone of bacon.  The little pieces of cream cheese gave bursts of richness.  We ate it over three days for lunch or dinner.  When it’s safe to have company again, this is the perfect centerpiece for a brunch gathering as the name implies.   You can find the recipe here.

I hope that Nana had a chance to make this tart on her own schedule because it is so delicious!  Certainly whenever I make this again, I will think of it as “Nana’s Bagels-and-Lox Tart”.

Reviews from other members of Cook the Book Fridays about the Lower East Side Brunch Tart can be found here.

My heartfelt sympathies go out to Tricia and the rest of Nana’s family for the loss of a special woman. xo





Posted on 11 July 2020, in Cook The Book Fridays, Everyday Dorie and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Nana’s embrace of the new was a lesson to cherish I think. I knew I liked her before I met her but when I met her it was clear she was special. And her sense of humor really tickled me. Very fitting to choose a quiche-y tart, this tart, as I feel that they have punctuated all your projects together. And this one truly looks amazing.

  2. Oh Betsy, this is all so, so touching. Nana just adored you and she would be beyond honored to read this post. I still vividly remember that road trip she and I made for the photo you shared – the Dorista meetup at the CIA in Hyde Park !! And then we had breakfast with you and Mary where you surprised us with the insanely perfect specialty cookies as a treat. We were so lucky to have so many memories and now your associating this recipe with her is yet another foundation for more wonderful memories. Big hugs and thank you for this amazing tribute.

  3. Oh Betsy, what a wonderful tribute to Nana (and, Tricia). Their relationship was a joy to watch over the past ten years. That they became close personal as well as virtual friends is even better. Of course I knew you would love baking another tart and this one was delicious, wasn’t it. I’m glad to know that you and Howard are safe and healthy. Your sheltering-in-place routine is much like mine although I don’t do as many on line activities as you do. I do benefit from living in the mountains and have the opportunity to be outside for 2-3 hours everyday. It’s beautiful and I look forward to introducing you both to Aspen when you visit next year. Just as an aside, one of the bonuses of joining FFWD was meeting and getting to know you and Howard. We’ve come a long ways since tasting and learning to bake cupcakes with tomato soup!

  4. Helvyn Benjamin

    Hi. Beautiful tribute. I have made this also. Very good. Miss you. Xoxoxo

    Sent from my iPad


  5. Such a wonderful tribute to a very inspirational lady.

  6. yes– this is now Nana’s Bagels-and-Lox Tart! it’s been so great to read these posts and see how many members she got a chance to meet in person. even though i only “knew” her through the blogs, i could always tell what a kind and sharp lady she was. she touched us all.

  7. I am glad that you are staying safer at home. I loved seeing the photo and reading the story. We enjoyed this tart too.

  8. Thanks you for filling us with the memories of Nana/ Ro in her real persona and up-close. It’s the special people like her, Tricia and many others, like yourself, in the group who make this cooking group more than a virtual experience — beyond just making a nice dish.

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