GOLDEN ROASTED PEACHES

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I found this book, “Flower Children,” by Elizabeth Gordon, copyright 1939, at an estate sale.  The book is dedicated to “every Child-Flower that Blooms Within the Glorious Garden That we Call Home.”

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I was charmed by the colorful drawings of the flower children:

I’m not sure how the creepy old “Grandpa” flower ended up alone with all the Flower Children:

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My oldest Child-Flower left for college last week, just like little Garden Pink (I still have a 15-year old Stinkweed at home):

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I was amused by the idea of Garden Pink insisting that everyone call her Rose Carnation when she came home to visit.  When I turned 18, my Dad told me it was time to start using my middle initial, so I did (while disregarding most of the other advice he offered).  My husband dropped his childhood nickname sometime in college.  My daughter’s roommate, formerly known as Sophie, now asks to be called Sophia.  (Then there’s my friend’s daughter’s soon-to-be-ex-roommate, who insists on being called Thomas and asks not to be referred to as “she” in anticipation of the “changes ahead.” Oh my.)  I wonder if my daughter is going to insist on an adult version of the name she has gone by her whole life.  Doesn’t matter — she’ll always be our Garden Pink.

I have lots to say about the emotional experience of leaving your firstborn at college, but I’m too fragile to write about it just yet.  So for now, if anyone asks, I’ll tell them “I’m just peachy” — which means whatever you want it to mean at any given moment.

Inspired by the book of flower children and the excitement/trauma of taking my daughter to college, I have a recipe for a dessert that is, like me, just peachy.  I know there are lots of recipes for baked/roasted/grilled peaches floating around this time of year, but this one is different in that it uses golden syrup–not maple syrup or honey–to add a touch of sweetness.  Something special happens when the golden syrup, butter, and peach juices simmer together in the baking dish.  The peaches, in all their caramelly goodness, are delicious on their own, but they will not protest if you add a small scoop of ice cream with some of those delicious pan juices drizzled over it.

GOLDEN BAKED PEACHES
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Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 large, ripe peaches
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons Lyle's Golden Syrup
  • Flaky sea salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut peaches in half, remove pit, and then cut each half into four wedges. Place peaches, skin side down, in a baking dish. Combine butter and golden syrup in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush peaches with butter mixture, pouring any extra over peaches.
  3. Bake peaches until soft and beginning to caramelize, approximately 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Just before serving, pour pan juices over peaches and sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
  4. Note: These baked peaches go well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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Start with fresh, unblemished peaches

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Arrange skin side down in baking dish

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Bake until soft and beginning to caramelize

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 A little ice cream never hurts

 peach creature

 Remember when the alien popped out of Sigourney Weaver’s stomach in Alien?

 

TIRAMISU

IMG_5073I found this pretty shell at an estate sale.  Like rock collections, I often see shells and coral at estate sales.  The first thing I am naturally inclined to do when I come across a shell like this, is pick it up and listen for the ocean.

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This week, however, I don’t hear the sound of the ocean when I listen — I hear the sound of people screaming about sharks in the vicinity.  That’s right — it’s Shark Week, right on the heels of Sharknado 2.  Although Shark Week has been featured since 1988, I only learned about it a few years ago.  I was sitting (i.e., propped up trying to stay awake) in a “Women’s Initiative” meeting at my prior law firm, and we were planning a luncheon, when someone piped up that our proposed date fell during Shark Week.  Huh?  Well, it turns out that Shark Week was much more interesting than anything we were discussing at the Women’s Initiative meeting, the initiative apparently being to bore each other to death.  In fact, my friend and I used to sit there emailing each other during the meetings, things like “Do you want to phone in a bomb scare or should I?”

Shark Week is an annual week-long feature on the Discovery Channel, showcasing shark-based programming, and usually runs in July or August.  According to Wikipedia, it is the “longest-running cable television programming event in history,” and is broadcast in more than 70 countries.

Here’s a shark fact for you — Do you know why sharks won’t attack lawyers? Professional courtesy.

lawyershark

Thinking of getting one of these for my shingle

So what to serve for Shark Week?  Well, the interwebs is full of cute ideas for shark cupcakes, like these:

shark cupcake 1

SugarLandCupcakes.com

Shark cupcakes 2

 mimicafeunion at etsy.com

Shark cupcake 3

ninerbakes.com

shark cupcakes 4

 The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle, found at iheartnaptime.com

Or how about a shark watermelon?

Shark watermelon

 National Watermelon Promotion Board

As for me, inspired by my pretty shell and the close relationship between sharks and lawyers, I’m serving the favorite dessert of lawyers — Tira-me-sue!  Not funny?  So sue me!  This recipe is adapted from one from Gourmet magazine (sniff).  Although the recipe is pretty easy to put together, it is a little time-consuming.  Based on the comments to the recipe, I made it in an 8×8-inch pan, and had a little left over which was just right for an individual portion for a baby shark.  I added a chocolate shark fin, just for Shark Week.  :)

TIRAMISU
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Recipe type: Desserts
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups freshly-brewed espresso (or 3 tablespoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 2 cups boiling water)
  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar, divided use
  • 3 tablespoons Kahlua or Tia Maria (coffee liqueur)
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup dry Marsala
  • 1 pound mascarpone, at room temperature
  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 24 crisp ladyfingers (also known as savoiardi)
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
  • Dark chocolate, for grating over tiramisu (optional)
Instructions
  1. Stir together espresso, 1 tablespoon sugar, and coffee liqueur in a shallow bowl until sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, beat egg yolks, Marsala, and remaining ½ cup sugar, using a whisk or handheld electric mixer. Beat until tripled in volume, approximately 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and beat in mascarpone with electric mixer, beating just until smooth.
  3. In a separate large bowl, beat cream with electric mixer until cream holds stiff peaks. (Be careful not to overbeat to the point where it turns into butter!)
  4. Gently fold mascarpone mixture into whipped cream, until thoroughly combined.
  5. Using a pastry brush, brush both sides of each ladyfinger generously with coffee mixture (without allowing them to become too soggy). Line the bottom of an 8x8-inch baking pan with 12 ladyfingers, trimming edges to fit as necessary. Spread half of the mascarpone filling on top, smoothing with an offset spatula. Repeat with remaining 12 ladyfingers and mascarpone filling.
  6. Place cocoa powder in a mesh sieve, and sprinkle cocoa powder over top layer of mascarpone filling. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
  7. Allow tiramisu to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. Just before serving, dust with additional cocoa powder, and sprinkle with grated chocolate. Cut into individual portions and serve.

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Beat egg yolks, sugar, and Marsala over simmering water

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Fold in mascarpone

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Beat cream until it holds stiff peaks

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Fold together whipped cream and mascarpone mixture

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Layer coffee-soaked ladyfingers alternately with mascarpone cream

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Dust with cocoa powder

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Shark Week dessert!