No dress rehearsal

Sunday, August 21, 2016

"First thing we'd climb a tree and maybe then we'd talk
Or sit silently and listen to our thoughts
With illusions of someday casting a golden light
No dress rehearsal, this is our life"

- from "Ahead by a Century," by The Tragically Hip

Lately when I read the news, I'm reminded of how many things disunite us. The headlines are full of "us and them" stories, and tales in which we see the worst of humanity. So it's a reason to celebrate when something happens that pulls us together.

Last night was the final concert of The Tragically Hip, one of the most beloved Canadian bands ever. Their lead singer, Gord Downie, is often called the poet laureate of our country. When Downie announced earlier this year that he had inoperable brain cancer, and this summer's tour would be their last, we mourned this band that told us so many stories about ourselves.

The Hip has been together for over 30 years. They sing about uniquely Canadian people and events - Bill Barilko, Hugh MacLennan, David Milgaard, the FLQ kidnapping. They unite people across the country, rural and urban, and across generations. On our first wedding anniversary, Andrew and I danced to "Boots or Hearts" at a work event; now our youngest daughter performs a brilliant air vocal of the same song.

Last night our national broadcaster, the CBC, aired the show commercial-free on TV, radio, and via streaming. Andrew and I watched from our back yard; many others saw it in public squares or at pool parties - or at a viewing party at the Rio Olympics.

At a time when many things tear us apart, it was a privilege to be one of millions of Canadians paying tribute to someone who unites us.

"It was in Bobcaygeon
I saw the constellations
Reveal themselves, one star at a time"

- from "Bobcaygeon," by The Tragically Hip

Raspberry Chocolate Tart
(adapted from Epicurious)


1 1/2 cups chocolate water cookie crumbs
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbsp sugar


1 1/2 pints (3 cups) fresh raspberries
1/4 cup sugar (first amount)
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese
1/2 chilled heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar (second amount)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract


1 pint (2 cups) fresh raspberries
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam


For crust, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cookie crumbs, melted butter and sugar until evenly moistened. Press mixture onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Bake until set, about 10 minutes. Cool completely on rack..

For the filling, combine raspberries, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 Tbsp water and lemon juice in processor and puree until smooth. Pour puree through strainer set over medium bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard seeds in strainer. Combine mascarpone, heavy whipping cream, vanilla and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in another bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until mixture is thick and smooth. Stir in raspberry puree and spread filling evenly in cooled chocolate crust. Cover and refrigerate tart overnight.

Arrange fresh raspberries in concentric circles atop tart. Stir raspberry preserves in heavy small saucepan over medium-low heat until melted to form glaze. Brush glaze over fresh raspberries. Refrigerate tart at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

Remove tart pan sides, place tart on platter, and cut into slices and serve.


Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

I've only just heard about this group over the past week. Sad news about the band member, but glad he had some time to continue to do what he loves. What I love is this tart! Gorgeous!!

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

I want to learn more about this group as they sound quite interesting. Your raspberry tart looks amazing!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I hadn't heard of this group. So sad news about the member with cancer. Your raspberry tart makes me want one right now.

Marcelle said...

I have heard of The Tragically Hip, but I can't say I'm familiar with their music. I'll be looking them up! I'm so sorry to hear about the singer's illness, but his definitely sounds like a life worth celebrating! That tart looks delicious!!

Jemi Fraser said...

We didn't get to see the concert as we were at a wedding. Amazing group.
Raspberries are my fave fruit - this looks awesome!

Angie's Recipes said...

That looks out of this world, Beth. Those fresh raspberries are just hard to resist!

That Girl said...

There are some things that are so unifying. Music is a fantastic example of that.

Katerina said...

Cancer has knocked the door of so many families. I don't know any of my family and friends who doesn't have at least one person suffer or died from this disease! So sad for him but at least his music will keep him alive in anyone who listens! Your tart looks perfect!

grace said...

i just read about this fellow but had never heard of him or the band before--that's my loss, for sure! what a nice homage to him and his work--your tart is glorious.

Abbe@This is How I Cook said...

What a tribute it was. Read about this in the paper. How nice to have someone who represents your country this way. How tragic, but what a life he's given to all.

Kitchen Riffs said...

I've heard OF this group, but have never heard THEM. Should look them up. Wonderful tribute.

Cheri Savory Spoon said...

Beautiful post Beth, wonderful tribute.

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

How bittersweet! Yes, time marches on, inexorably.

Julie said...

What a great story! Sad that a tragedy brings people together but so often it does. Beautiful tart!

Deb said...

Well said Beth. I watched it live from here down under. How amazing is that?

Beth said...

Completely amazing, Deb. I love how it brought Canadians together - regardless of where we're living!

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