If I am going to bake lots, it really helps if I am inspired. Inspiration is a long time coming when it is 100° outside and you don’t feel like turning your home into an oven. I know I could make ice cream but I didn’t really have many ideas for that either (actually just typing that gave me one, we shall see). There are lots of no bake cookies out there but nothing captured my fancy. One thing I really do want to make before it starts to cool down (sometime in late October over here) is an icebox cake. I still don’t know what flavor or anything but I am working on it.
This recipe isn’t all that original. It isn’t reinventing the wheel or anything. It is just a basic crisp. I wanted to use the nectarines and peaches, though, because as long as I can remember peaches and nectarines scream “SUMMER!” to me. My dad’s mom lives four hours north of us. So growing up, unless it was every other Christmas, a bit during the summers, or a special occasion (luckily for me, most of his siblings were younger so we had lots of weddings to go to) we didn’t see his family much. Whenever we did, we had tons of cousins to play with, a couple of younger uncles, and a great big pool (the only pool that anyone I knew had). My grandma without fail would ALWAYS make us homemade tortillas whenever we came over even when we shouldn’t have asked. Those tortillas are by far my favorite memory of her and the times spent at her house. Unfortunately, I can’t make a tortilla to save my life. I mean I have, they’re edible, but they’re not hers. Maybe that is an impossible standard to set for myself but…
This I can do, celebrate the peaches and nectarines that make up my second favorite memory of my grandma’s house. The smell. Beyond her kitchen there was a sun room. In it, just before you walked out the door to go outside were boxes of peaches and nectarines stacked about three high against the wall. Sometimes there were other fruits like plums but the smell of peaches and nectarines every single time to this day turns me into a little girl standing inside that sun room deciding whether to go left to the backyard or hang with my uncles and cousin in their room off to the right (I say hang but they were teenagers so it was more like watch TV till they made me leave). I swear that smell filled the entire house, sometimes overpowering awesome homemade tortillas.
I was lucky though, that when Justin and I lived up north for awhile, I finally got to spend lots of time with my dad’s family. It is really a disappointment that now I don’t. I have a handful of boy cousins around my age and now they have (amazing) wives and children of their own. A handful of their kids are the same age as mine. Okay, well to be more accurate, each of my kids pretty much has a handful of cousins their age, on my dad’s side alone. Mostly I am bummed and am writing this because I am missing out on two of my cousins weddings this month for a variety of reasons (school, soccer, money). What makes those weddings special to me is that 14 years ago, one of my cousins and I also got married less than a month apart. Both of us are still married and both of us have three kids. It is just one of those things. I wonder if my little cousins (and yes, “little” cause they are still younger than me) will have any other parallels like that. *Sigh* Congrats Nicole & Eddie and Jonathan & Renee!!!
My GeekyLinks for today are trailers for shows that are coming up that I can’t wait to see. First up is Fringe, cause duh it is Fringe and I love it to pieces. It is coming back to TV on September 28st. Up next is Downton Abbey, which will premiere in the UK next week but not here till January. What is up with that?
Peach Nectarine Crisp
adapted from King Arthur Flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large peaches, peeled and sliced
2 large nectarines, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup oats (not quick cooking)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter, cut into pieces
Preheat oven to 350°. Generously grease an 8″ x 8″ pan.
In a small bowl, wisk together the flour, sugar, and salt and set aside. In a large bowl, toss the the fruit with the lemon juice and extract. Toss the flour mixture with the fruit till it is well combined and spoon into the pan.
To make the topping, combine the brown sugar, flour, oats, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Drop in your butter and mix in with a fork (or your hands) till the mixture is crumbly.
Sprinkle the topping over the fruit, being careful to distribute evenly. You should have plenty.
Bake the crisp for 40-50 minutes, until the topping is brown and the filling is bubbly (you should be able to tell this around the edges). Remove from the oven and cool a bit before serving. Totally serve with ice cream.