June 5, 2010
I’ll take the brutal South Texas heat if it means that I get to buy a flat of these every weekend at the Farmers Market:
The smell of ripe peaches, the fuzz of their skin, the feel of peach juice running down my arm—all scream “summer” to my senses. Peaches arrived a few weeks ago down here, just a few weeks shy of strawberries, bringing with them black & blue berries, soon to be followed by garden-ripe tomatoes and sweet, sweet corn.
Yesterday I watched my eighth graders graduate from middle school; I called their names as they walked across the stage to accept their certificates of achievement, and I got all teary as they and their parents came up in the reception to say goodbye.
While the advent of summer vacation is thrilling (and almost feels like cheating as I sheepishly silence my celebrations in the presence of friends who work, you know, all year round), I know I’m going to miss my kids. In fact, I already do.
I had the pleasure of teaching these students twice—in their sixth grade AND their eighth grade year–and they have become part of my daily life, their mood swings, our inside jokes, and a whole bunch of good conversation. I have witnessed them coming into themselves, becoming these funny, brave, uncertain, kind, perceptive, and hard-working people before my very eyes.
Teenagers don’t get very good publicity, and I know that parenting one is different from teaching sixty-five, but I’m here to tell you; the kids are alright. They are better than alright, in fact, they are awesome.
That being said, I’m still pretty psyched about summer. I’ll miss those punks, but at least I have peaches.
1 ½ cups fresh peach puree*
juice of 1 orange
juice of 2 lemons
½ cup tequila
shot of Cointreau or other orange liquor
Fill your blender with ice, pour in the remaining ingredients. Blend until frothy, serve.
* Peel 3-4 ripe peaches. Remove the pits & slice, then process in the blender until smooth, adding a wee bit of water if necessary. Strain if you’re feeling fussy.
Gingersnap crust, marscapone filling–need I say more? A favorite make-ahead dessert from last summer.
4-5 ripe peaches
½ cup water
¾ cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sour cream
½ tsp. vanilla
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Cook peaches, water, & sugar in a saucepan on medium heat, stirring occasionally until soft–about 10 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool before processing it in the blender with the rest of the ingredients–I like to leave a few chunks of peaches for texture’s sake.
Chill the mixture in the refrigerator before churning in your ice cream maker. Like most homemade ice cream, this one is best served fresh. If you store it in your freezer for more than an hour or two, it will need significant time at room temperature to thaw to a scoop-able state.
Of course, if Dolly is any indication, it won’t be hard for you to finish the batch straightaway.