Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Peachy Keen

"The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning."
-Tuck Everlasting
, Natlie Babbitt

August always reminds me of Tuck Everlasting and that first opening sentence. It is a sultry month, and the word itself seems weighed down by the humidity that accompanies it. August. It sounds thick and heavy, barely ruffled by a breeze. It sounds like the electric buzz of cicadas as they hum in the trees. It sounds like a bonfire, like the crack of ice cubes in a cold drink, like stillness. And it tastes like peaches.

In fact the peaches were early this year. Truthfully, peaches are far from being my favourite fruit, but I saw them in the store, looking up at me from their basket, only $2.99. How could I resist? Sixteen peaches for only $2.99 is hard to pass up. I've eaten a fair few already on their own. Their softly fuzzy skin giving way to teeth with an almost inaudible crunch. Juicy and sweet, with only the slightest tang nipping playfully at the edges of your tongue.

But sixteen peaches is a lot for one person. So I needed more ways to eat them. They have served as a nice accompaniment to arugula salad, with goat cheese and pecans. Then my mom gave me a recipe for peach pancakes. They served as my lunch today.

I'll admit. They're not pretty. It turns out making pretty pancakes is not my strong suit. They always come out lumpy and deformed. Like amoebas. I had a lovely image in my mind. Perfect, round pancakes stacked like Pisa on my plate. Alas, it was not to be. My first attempt at flipping one resulted in this:

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is a pancake. Not an omelet. Though it bears uncanny resemblance to one. In any case they still tasted good. Fluffy and light, as pancakes should be, with cornmeal added for colour and texture. (Where would we be without cornmeal? It's so versatile) And delicious chunks of peaches. Softened by the heat, their sweetness heightened, the corners that poked from the batter lightly caramelized. They burst into summer between your teeth, surrounded by tender pancake.

Perhaps you will have more luck improving their appearance.

Cornmeal Peach Pancakes
From Anne Lindsay

3/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
2 cups milk
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups chopped peaches

Mix the cornmeal, flours, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.
Beat eggs until light and stir in milk and oil. Pour into flour mixture. Add peaches and stir until just incorporated.
Heat skillet over medium heat, grease with butter, and cook the pancakes until the batter bubbles on the surface. Flip and cook until golden brown.

I cut this recipe in half and it was still way too much for me to eat on my own. Also, I had no whole wheat flour, so I just used all purpose. They turned out fine, though I feel the whole wheat would serve to round out the flavour more fully.

On an separate note, I made more strawberry soup and froze it in popsicle molds. They are delicious. It's slightly tangier when frozen. I didn't strain out the seeds, but I think I might next time.

So here's to popsicles, and peaches, and a hot, sultry August.

1 comment:

  1. Makes me want to eat peaches and popsicles and sit by the beach somewhere. Yum!!