The friend I miss most is undoubtedly Lara, who packed for Perth some years ago, leaving a huge gap in so many people's lives.
When I say that Lara and I are lifelong friends, I mean exactly that as we were born just hours apart in the same Johannesburg hospital, and literally lay in the nursery alongside one another from those very first, early hours of life.
Forget what the star signs say, however, as mere minutes may separate us, but we couldn't possibly be more different especially when it comes to the kitchen.
I'll never forget watching Lara make her first Shabbat dinner as a new bride.
Shortly after 8.00 AM on Friday morning she hauled a frozen joint of meat out of the freezer, threw the entire contents of her spice drawer at the rock-hard lump in hope that at least some of the flavoring would stick to the icicles, and then she shoved the still frozen hunk into the oven to cook the entire day till dinner time.
These stylish, little tomato tartlets are almost as easy to make but - with apologies to Lara - are a whole lot tastier.
Whip up a batch for a light, summer starter...wow your bookclub...or impress your friends by packing these little gems for a picnic.
This versatile recipe can be adapted to be pareve or milchik and you can serve these stylish tartlets as they come or dress them up with a variety of exciting toppings.
Talk about everyday gourmet!
EASY MAKE CARAMELIZED TOMATO TARTE TARTINS
1 roll puff pastry
1 tablespoon butter/margarine
2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cups cherry tomatoes cut in half
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 sprigs thyme
1: Place butter, sugar and vinegar in a large pan and stir till melted and dissolved
2: Add tomatoes and seasoning and cook for 5 minutes until lightly caramelized
3: Use a cookie/scone cutter or drinking glass and cut 12 rounds from the pastry sheet
4: Divide the tomato mixture between 12 lightly greased muffin tin holes and top with the pastry
5: Bake for 20-25 minutes at 180˚ until pastry is golden.
6:Turn tartlets out immediately - simply flip each out with a spoon so that the pastry is at the bottom and tomatoes on top- and serve warm or room temperature with a sprig of fresh thyme garnished on each
VARIATIONS: Remove from the oven and shave Parmesan on top, add sliced mozzarella balls or a dollop of olive tapenade or pesto or sprinkle over torn basil.