We grow grey in our spirit long before we grow grey in our hair.
– Charles Lamb
I’m defiant. Stuffing my ears to block out all the “we’re old” talk surrounding me. I refuse to accept that the best years of our lives are over. Rather than discussing our diminishing vitality and increasing waistlines, tell me about the latest art exhibition/ book/movie/speech that gave you goosebumps and, if you can’t remember, let’s go find one – or let’s create something ourselves. Rather than putting our dreams away on dusty shelves, let’s set lofty goals for our 50’s, our 60’s, our 70’s and beyond! Let’s not grow grey in spirit – (To quote the Olay ad) let’s fight it every step of the way.
To keep us inspired…
52: Sister Madonna Buder, the “Iron Nun,” competed in her first triathlon at age 52.
53: Nicola Griffin started modeling when she was 53 years young.
55: Ronald Reagan entered politics at age 55.
58: Marla Wynne Ginsburg started her own fashion line at 58.
61: Momofuku Ando Invented Ramen Cup Noodles at age 61.
64: Laura Ingalls Wilder didn’t publish her first book until she was 64.
65: Colonel Sanders started KFC at 65 years old.
65: Frank McCourt took up writing at the age of 65. His book Angela’s Ashes won both the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award.
68: At 68, Lillian Carter, President Carter’s mother, joins the Peace Corps and spends the next two years working as a nurse near Bombay, India.
73: Peter Roget invented the Thesaurus at age 73.
76: Grandma Moses didn’t begin to paint until the age of 76.
76: At 76, H. G. Wells, school drop-out at 14, completes his doctoral dissertation, earning a D.Sc.
86: Gladys Burrill ran her first marathon when she was 86 years old.
95: At 95, Nola Ochs became the oldest person to receive a college diploma.
102: At 102, Alice Pollock publishes her first book, Portrait of My Victorian Youth.
I created this Salted Chocolate Tart for a colleague’s 50th birthday celebration. Rather than lamenting his waning youth, I’m exalting his youthful spirit and his amazing accomplishments yet to come. No black balloons here!
Inspired by one of my favorite bar cookies.
Salted Chocolate Dulce de Leche Tart
Inspired by one of my favorite bar cookies, this creamy caramel-chocolate tart comes together quickly yet still delivers the big dessert WOW factor needed for special occasions.
- 10-oz package shortbread cookies, such as Lorna Doone
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 13.5 can dulce de leche
- 4 large egg yolks
- 5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, at least 60%, chopped
- Glazed sliced almonds
- Flaky Sea Salt, such as Maldon
- Make shortbread crust: Preheat oven to 350 F. In the bowl of a processor, pulse shortbread cookies and salt into crumbs. Add melted butter and pulse until mixture resembles wet sand. Press crumbs along bottom and up sides of a 9” tart pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Cool.
- Make filling: In a medium sauce pan, bring heavy cream and dulce de leche to simmer, whisking until dulce de leche fully melts – don’t boil. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks and then slowly whisk cream mixture into yolks, tempering to avoid curdling eggs. Return mixture to sauce pan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until temperature registers 170 degrees. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate until melted.
- Pour chocolate mixture through a sieve over cooled shortbread crust. Chill, uncovered, until set, at least 2 hours. Garnish with glazed sliced almonds and a sprinkling of flaky sea salt. Chill until ready to serve.