Things are looking up (knock on wood) and we are all getting into a schedule and getting a decent amount of sleep around here! Currently, we are working on getting up earlier in the day since we get the girls down by between 1-1:30 AM which means we try to get them up and going by between 10-11 AM, which allows us to still get things done and play and make dinner by a decent time. But we are working on getting everyone in the house up and at ‘em by 9 AM – its a work-in-progress really.
Some days are better than others.
It’s a good thing we have Auntie Errin around, her help with Mei alone allows us to get more done than if she wasn’t here.
And thank goodness we can order our groceries online if necessary! So far, since Emily was born, we have not ordered take-away. Not even once!
I consider that a victory in my book. We are certainly a bit more organized than we were when Mei came along…
On to the carrot salad!
Auntie Errin put this one up on our August nominations and we were glad to get the chance to make this one!
She can’t remember a pot-luck or get together from her youth where carrot salad wasn’t served and she remembers it well. Me on the other hand? I hadn’t come across this style of carrot salad until we found our favorite tea room in a nearby village where it comes on every main course dish you can order. Only it is served with fresh grape halves rather than raisins in the warmer months – which is the way I prefer it.
We took it over to Mr. Louie’s (Mei’s boyfriend) house across the street for a family BBQ. Since we have gotten to know them so well and our family is back in the States, they have adopted us as a part of their family – we all really enjoy getting together, especially Mei & Louie!! See? They even kiss each other goodbye at the end of each visit!
The peach melba is something we were really excited about and we had put aside a full punnet of the raspberries that we picked at a local you-pick berry farm a couple weekends ago just for the raspberry coulis to pour on top of it.
Unfortunately for me, I had a rather rough night with the girls and wound up needing a lot of extra sleep during the day so Auntie Errin took it upon herself to make the peach melba, so she will be writing about it while we enjoy the fruits of her labor in this luscious dessert that I can assure you, didn’t last too long in our house!
Auntie Errin here. We were really excited to do the peach melba recipe because of the loads of fantastic raspberries we picked with Mei, and because it’s peach season! I grew up near a popular U-pick orchard area and peach time was my favorite. I loved eating the ripe, juicy peaches right after my Grandma blanched them to loosen the skins for peeling and canning. While I was blanching the peaches for this recipe, Alice’s husband-unit mentioned his own memories of burning himself while trying to eat the peaches his mom was canning too. So apparently, I’m not alone!
I blanched the peaches, then tried to peel the loose skins, but they wouldn’t let go very well. So, I did it again, and they still wouldn’t slip off. I think the peaches just weren’t ripe enough to begin with, or maybe a different variety of peach would have worked better? So, I ended up just peeling them with a peeler.
We couldn’t persuade ourselves to buy a whole new bottle of liquor for this recipe – especially since it’s not really used in any of the other recipes, and for obvious reasons we aren’t big drinkers around here. I couldn’t decide which liquor to substitute from what we had around, so I divided out a fourth of the poaching liquid to try my favorite elderflower liquor and put rum in the larger portion. Because the peaches weren’t so ripe, I added a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice too to brighten it up. I was a little sad to put the whole lot in the fridge, since I love warm peaches, but they definitely needed the time to just sit in the brew a bit longer.
When it came time to make the raspberry coulis, there was a brief household debate regarding whether we should go ahead and cook it to maximize the juiciness of the raspberries, or to just puree the raw berries. I opted for not cooking them- in part because it was already so hot and muggy in the house and the idea of cold raspberries was just more appealing! I sweetened the strained puree with the poaching liquid as suggested by Dorie, but I don’t know that it added any more flavor than just any simple syrup would have – though of course, I did appreciate not needing to do any more cooking over the stove!
Sadly, I can’t eat ice cream, so I plated up my elderflower-infused peach with just a bit of whipped cream and the delicious rapberry sauce, and it was amazing! I like it well enough cold that way, but if I could eat it with ice cream I think I’d prefer to warm the peaches back up again. I did reserve the poaching liquid from my peach to mix into some future ice-cold drink – maybe with some 7up or something – because it was delicious!
To see how the other Doristas fared this week, click here! To join in the fun of our group, pick up a copy of Dorie Greenspan’s “Around My French Table” and get in the kitchen!!