Washington’s Birthday & Double Cherry Tartlets
In 1880, the United States Congress proclaimed February 22nd to be a national holiday celebrating George Washington’s Birthday, the first federal holiday to honor an American citizen. Washington’s Farewell to the Troops historically has been read on the floor of the US Senate on or near his birthday since 1862. Celebrated for his leadership in the founding of this nation, The Father of our Country was the Electoral College’s unanimous choice to become the first President; he was a unifying force for the new republic & set an example for future holders of the office.
The holiday is also a tribute to the general who created the first military badge of merit for the common soldier. Revived on Washington’s 200th birthday in 1932, the Purple Heart medal (which bears Washington’s image) is awarded to soldiers who are injured in battle.
Mason Locke Weems is credited with penning the story of Washington chopping down the cherry tree. My late father-in-law was a genealogist & directly related to Mr. Weems, a pastor of Scottish descent.
Double Cherry Tartlets
- 3 Tablespoons quick cooking Tapioca or Arrowroot
- 2 cups Cherry Juice
- 1 cup Sugar
- pinch Salt
- 2 pounds frozen Dark Sweet Cherries, thawed
- 2 cup Dried Cherries
- 1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
- Combine cherry juice & tapioca.
- Let stand for 5 minutes.
- Bring to full boil over medium heat with sugar, salt & dark cherries; Boil 5 minutes.
- Stir in almond extract.
- Cool completely.
- Stir in dried cherries.
- 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 8 ounces Cream Cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup Lemon Juice
- Mini Fillo Shells
- Beat together milk, cream cheese & lemon juice until smooth.
- Drop very small amount of cream layer to cover bottom of each crust; Chill.
- Spoon cherry mixture on top; Chill.
Makes 10 dozen bite-size tartlets
Note: Don’t freeze leftovers to use later. They come out icky.