Fork Spoon Knife is the personal blog of Asha where she chronicles her journeys in food through stories, recipes and photographs. She can also be found doodling and sharing her experiences as below.



Lines on the Palm and Rhubarb & Cherry Frangipane Tartelettes

Rhubarb & Cherry Frangipane Tartelettes

I was musing today, as I am prone to when my mind flits idly over various topics, about fear, the Fear of Uncertainty. I don't think we fear life's up and downs; we treat that as inevitable. What we can't come to terms with, and hence worry about, is the uncertainty of events in life.

I am not one who believes in psychics and clairvoyants. My contention being, how can a person who has never set eyes on me, let alone exchanged a few words, be capable of predicting what lay ahead in my life which I really choose to lead?! But, I come from a country that does believe, to the point of entrusting faith and major life decisions, in these "life-readers".

I have wondered on and off about the reasons that drive people to such belief. One theory I came up was to find a scapegoat, a reason outside of self for failure. Calling a misfortune, destiny, feels like applying a balm to a wounded soul. There is a sense of control being elsewhere and hence how is one to blame for his misfortune.

Rhubarb & Cherry Frangipane Tartelettes 1

Life has cruised reasonably well enough for me to mock such belief as tenuous in the face of rationality. There is no such thing as fate and pre-destined course of life. I still believe that, but, now, I think, I do empathise with those who seek outside help and relief for their "downs" in life. Life doesn't happen in equations. 2 + 2 isn't always 4; you can rant and rave all you want but if it wants to be 5 one day and 0 another, there is, sometimes, simply nothing you can do about it...

But then, I countered, people believe even in good times. So my theory definitely had a flaw. I pondered more and deeper. My bathrooms breaks became longer. Recently, I settled upon another theory, viz. the fear of unertainty; the uncertainty of not knowing how long until dawn breaks and how long the day will last.

In other words, the lack of control on when my suffering ends and how long I will be able to enjoy my good fortune? In a perpetual quest for these answers and a semblence of control, belief in palm-reader, crystal gazers, palmists, numerology "experts", josiers etc. has exponentially increased to the point of these practices being professionally lucrative.

Rhubarb & Cherry Frangipane Tartelettes served copy

Sometime back, Alessio mentioned reading up about palmistry. Curious, as I ever am, I decided to take the bait and googled up palm reading and the various lines that criss cross a human palm. Navigating through the head, life, heart, career and other lines and the mounds of many significances, I realised, there was little clarity or unanimity on the subject between the various sources and I even got conflicting reads of my hand. One could argue that it was an error of my inexperience but I figure there is something funny if the way your life supposedly turns out is markedly varied in different interpretations.

Anyway, I realised much of what we do and seek is to mitigate that irrational fear of the uncertain. Retirement accounts are much in the same vein but in just a more rational domain. At this point, I can't help but question, how putting one's trust in a fund manager of a large multi-billion dollar mutual fund is considered rational but playing the same gamble with life is considered superstitious and silly...

I don't know, but it offers much food for ponder. If you have thoughts on this, I would love to hear...

Rhubarb & Cherry Frangipane Tartelettes in plate1

In the meantime, I leave you with a tart there is nothing uncertain about. Rhubarb, cherries, touch of summer savory, almonds and home made crust. Where is the irrationality in that?! :)

For more ideas on cooking fresh, seasonal produce, please click on the "Farm to Table Series" tab above.

Rhubarb and Cherry Frangipane Tartelettes

Fruit mixture:

1 cup of rhubarb, diced to 1/4 inch
1 cup of cherries, pitted and halved
2 T summer savory, minced
1 T Kirsch
2 T sugar

Mix all of them together and refrigerate overnight.

Pate Sucree

1-1/2 cups flour, sifted
1-2 T sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 T cold butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 egg yolk
3 - 4 T ice cold water

Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the yolk and trickle in the water to make a rough dough. Flatten the dough to a disc and refrigerate for atleast 30 minutes.


2 oz almond paste
1 tsp sugar
1 egg yolk
3 T butter
1/2 tsp almond extract

Whip all the ingredients into a paste. Refrigerate for a few minutes.

To assemble, roll out the sugar dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out 4 inch rounds off the dough. Spread a generous teaspoon of frangipane mixture on each round, leaving a 1/2 inch border. In the centre place a tablespoon of the rhubarb cherry mixture.

Bake at 375 F for 20 minutes, until the crust is brown and the frangipane puffed. Cool and serve with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and tea.


  1. As cliched as it sounds, uncertainity is the only certainty. Sometimes its best to listen Doris Day and think Que Sera Sera (what will be will be) rather than think of a reason why or who to blame. Worse things happen at sea.
    Atleast the menu is cheery! I recognise those plates! (",)

  2. I am a big fan of rhubarb. Really feel that it is an underused ingredient in most kitchens. Wonderful presentation.

    Be well

  3. Your post got me thinking too..yes life is uncertain and when we want things to work out the most, they don't. But, of late, I've come to terms with the fact that life happens at its own pace and whatever happens, happens for good. That keeps me going. I still remember this incident a few years ago, a fortune teller with a parrot came to our doorstep and I was just amused. I gave him some money and he asked his parrot to pick a card for me. It did and I heard all good things about me and my wonderful life and then, the finale statement, the fortune teller said "madam, there is grave danger in future for you. You want to know, pay me Rs. 100 and I will tell you" Ha!! Can you believe that!!! As you say fortune telling is quite a successful commercial business and I'm just not up to it...

  4. I couldn't agree with you more. I don't think many people want to recognize how much power they have within themselves because then they'd need to be responsible for their own actions- easier to relegate to outsiders and outside forces. In so far as "bad things happening for a reason"- maybe we "attribute" reasons to events to reduce internal discomfort. That said, I finished the documentary on Jackie Kennedy. After living through her incredibly difficult life, enormous suffering, depression, cancer diagnosis, etc. she had this to say (in essence) "Life is difficult. Bad things happen to good people. Once you accept that bad things happen - that they are part of life, it's easier to live."

  5. Ambika: Love how they dole out the good for nominal and charge more for the "grave danger" .. LOL.. fear tactics.. works in all fields!!

  6. Wow, those are some deep thoughts. Nothing to contribute, but those tartelettes look delicious. Gorgeous pics!

    P.S - Who did your blog redesign?

  7. I think when you are uncertain one believes everything. One of my family memeber is going througha bad patch in his marriage and he even went to one of these ppl to know if they are going to get divorced isn't that crazy and i don't want to know how much he payed for the person he went to see.
    I just think one makes one luck etc.... ther is not use in visiting ppl to tell what is going to happen to you, how would they know. But then lot of elders back at home will not agree with me.
    Oh then another thing my eldest sis had a friend from school and she only got marrie dhwne she was 40 because the astrologer told if she marry her husband will die and so she was so afraid to get married before she got 40,
    Maybe there is something with my computer as i coudn't see the pics.

  8. Going to a fortune teller or palm reader or even just reading your horoscope isn't something I'm prone to do. I actually like uncertainty. Weird right? For me it means that there is something new to learn. Love the first pic Asha!

  9. Pretty looking dessert. loved reading your post!

  10. I find it best if I focus on things that I can control. I'd love to focus on one of these scrumptious tartlettes!

  11. Love your props.. they are really pretty and adds a character to the picture. Beautifully composed shot. Love those cute tarts too.

  12. These tartelettes are so pretty:)And an interesting read...Love the pics too:)

  13. What a thoughtful post. Those tartelettes (and the photos) are so pretty.

  14. Hey Avanika... I did my own design :)

  15. Interesting post. My sister dabbles in tarot a little. i.e. certified to give readings. From her perspective, it's a tool to prompt people to think for themselves. Not to be told what's ahead. In certain situations, some people certainly need to seek guidance, others can guide themselves. I'm not sure there is a single answer. I have fallen into both of the previous categories depending on the severity of what I'm facing. But your post does make you think ....

    Separately, gorgeous tarts. I love the combination of cherries and rhubarb. That's the next combo I just do! :)

  16. Beautiful! I love the china you used here.

  17. lovely!
    I am new to your blog: enjoying your photos and ideas. Looking forward to reading more.


Hi there! Thanks for stopping by my space. Love to hear your thoughts.