This was my daughter’s first full weekend at college. In other words, it was my first full weekend without my daughter at home. I missed her like crazy. I managed to get a care package off to her, which included a batch of Snickerdoodles, a cookie we’ve enjoyed making together. These are easy and hold up well during shipping (so I’m told), and are also nice to tuck in a lunchbox. The recipe is adapted from the one in Martha Stewart’s Cookies cookbook. Comfort. And joy.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat together butter and 1-1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Stir in flour mixture until thoroughly combined.
In a small bowl, stir together remaining ¼ cup sugar and 4 teaspoons cinnamon. Roll dough into 1-1/2" balls and roll each in cinnamon sugar. Place on ungreased baking sheets approximately 2 inches apart.
Bake until golden brown, approximately 12-14 minutes. Allow to cool briefly on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
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.”
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:
My oldest Child-Flower left for college last week, just like little Garden Pink (I still have a 15-year old Stinkweed at home):
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.
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.
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.
Note: These baked peaches go well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Start with fresh, unblemished peaches
Arrange skin side down in baking dish
Bake until soft and beginning to caramelize
A little ice cream never hurts
Remember when the alien popped out of the guy’s stomach in Aliens?