Ginger and lime tartlet…and crosses and crossroads.

A very popular tart/cake/sweetness in our home is this little lime tart…sometimes made with lemon. It has a tartness without being overwhelming sweet or soury, like lemon tarts can sometimes be. It reminds a little of a cheesecake…just perfect for those particular tastebuds.

Suggestions:

  • Use lemons instead of limes.
  • Use other biscuits of your choice for the base.
  • Serve cream on the side or decorate each tartlet with a whipped cram dollop.

*A recipe adapted from Atelier tartes, salé +sucré by Catherine Kluger.

Doesn’t fascination come in so many forms? One of them is the beautiful old crosses(las crotz) standing at the carrefours (crossroads) in France and especially here in the Limousin. I have to admire them every time I pass them, because somehow they grab my sentiments and transport me back to a time when life was so different from how we live it now. Standing in the heart of the countryside all over the Limousin, I can still feel their eternity, hear their stories, their silence, even despite the fact that I now break that calm of the past with the cruel blare of modern transport.

These beacons served once upon a time as road signs. Sometimes elaborate, but most of the time very simple and very often as plain as one huge exceptional stone. After Christianity la croix de chemin took on the shape of a real cross…in wood or carved from the best stone of the region, elaborate, in wrought iron, on pedestals, or freestanding.

Today these crosses are only reminders  of what was once a landmark for the peasants, roadsigns and parish, places of pilgrimage. They  were also objects of religion and devotion and sometimes commemoration of events, like La croix des femmes, which was created in commemoration on a corner where a blind horse caused the death of two women.

The photos were all taken just around the area, 30 minutes’ drive around our home, Coin Perdu in Correze.

These two crosses stand at the entrance of the village Beaulieu sur Dordogne and the other at the entrance to Puy d’Arnac. It was custom that a cross indicates the beginning and ending of a village.

At the crossroads the crosses also serve during snow periods in winter where the four roads came together. People gathered at these crossroads, mostly for religious ceremonies and blessing of the crop and the land And prayers. They were important landmarks, not only of the land, but also of the lives of the peasants.  It is not a strange thing then when we speak of standing at a crossroad in our lives. We should stop frequently and check if we still see our beacon/landmark. Can we still recognize it? Has our direction changed? Maybe it is necessary to change the course of our pilgrimage from time to time. A next landmark will always be there to guide us. Crossroads will always be there. They are timeless. Create your own las crotz. Let it guide you.  Let it tell your story.

…à bientôt…

Ronelle

All photos: Ronell van Wyk

Bibliography: Mémoires de la Corrèze,  Jean- Pierre Lacombe.

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10 responses

  1. Interesting clicks and great tartlets! That flavor combination is exhalirating and just divine.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    18/01/2012 at 20:24

  2. Lovely photos !

    18/01/2012 at 22:44

  3. I love all with lemons and the pictur4es are nice!! gloria

    19/01/2012 at 00:18

  4. The tart looks delicious and such great photos of the vintage crosses.

    Eileen

    19/01/2012 at 00:20

  5. Ronelle, the ginger and lime tartlet looks absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I loved reading about the old crosses and looking at the lovely pictures.
    Ixx :)

    19/01/2012 at 02:30

  6. I didn’t know that about the crosses marking the entrance and exits of villages… I will look next time with great interest! What a beautiful post, Ronelle, and so timely for me, as it happens.
    I think you should consider writing for magazines on a regular basis. Your photos, your stories, and the exquisite life you have fashioned for yourself in the Dordogne are all compelling and, as I said, beautiful.

    19/01/2012 at 15:26

  7. A moving post – lovely reminders of crossroads and entrances and exits. And then there’s that simple tart to nibble on as one contemplates all.

    19/01/2012 at 17:03

  8. What a delicious tart to start a very interesting post! So symbolic in many ways. I never knew that crosses also marked crossroads once upon a time. Lovely photos! Some look like they have been there a very, very long time.

    19/01/2012 at 18:02

  9. Thank you for the idea of a LIME tart..I am always making things with lemons..And I have the ings:)

    Love the tour of the crosses also.
    They humble me.
    I love them.

    20/01/2012 at 20:12

  10. Ronelle, thank you for this beautiful post…..I had no idea these crosses existed–how wonderful….I want to come back to France just to see them…….a beautiful reminder that once Christianity reigned in your country paving the road with hope and direction. So happy the crosses are still there pointing the way…….I love France…..My family name is Boineau and we came to America hundreds of years ago as French Huguenots….I love the little tarts too!!! Cate

    27/01/2012 at 19:31

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