Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Goodbye July, Hello Peaches!

July is one month I hate to see end.  It's the ultimate summer month.  June is an introduction, and August is the prelude to summer's swan song.  So, good-bye July, but know that I will love you as much  next year as I do today, and for as many more renditions as I am fortunate enough to enjoy.

August 1st, though, is a notable day.  It is the birthday of three lovely women:  Jan McCoy Ebbets, Donna Jordan Malkowich, and Beckie Platt.  Happy birthday to all of you, who've been a part of my life since forever.  I hope it is a joyful birthday for each and every one of you!  Jan has been my friend since we met in 1997 and instantly became life-long friends.  I met Donna while we were in high school (me, Saratoga High, and Donna, St. Peter's) and we scooped ice cream at Stewart's together (along with her sister and my good friend and now fellow-blogger Carol) and it feels the same today as it did in 1972!  And Beckie has been my sister Patsy's best friend since my family moved to MacArthur Drive in 1955!  There's so much richness and longevity to these friendships, something you just can't put a price on.  They are the kinds of friends, as the saying goes, where a lot of time can go by but when you see them again, it's like it was yesterday.  No tallying of who called whom last, no keeping tabs, just happiness at seeing each other once again.  Good friendships...

So, about those peaches.  I had hot pants to make peach ice cream as the ripe peaches started dropping off Katie's tree yesterday.  Last year they had a bumper crop, but this summer's drought and some other issued limited the number of peaches to about 20 (like gold, these peaches) while the cherry tree produced NO cherries, and the same with the apple tree.  So, kudos to the peach tree for producing 20 fine peaches and better luck next year, cherry and apple.   I used the ugliest peaches of the bunch for my ice cream, figuring they were getting peeled and chopped up anyway, and Katie's saving the prettiest peaches (see photo above) for her husband Bill, who will be home Thursday night to enjoy them.

The recipe I used is from The Food Network (linked here).    It's really pretty simple.  There are a few steps, but I found it very do-able and not at all difficult.  I stopped at Stewart's on my lunch hour to pick up two half-pints of heavy cream, and since the recipe called for peach brandy which I couldn't find in a small bottle, I bought a 99-cent bottle of peach vodka at East Side Liquor store next to Stewart's.  The recipe only called for 2 tablespoons, so vodka it was!

This ice cream is made from a cooked custard that is strained and cooled, and then churned in an ice cream maker for about 15 minutes before adding the peaches, and then churned a bit more.  I knew when I tasted the custard that it was going to be incredible.  I put the soft ice cream into a glass container and it froze for about 2 hours when I just couldn't wait another minute.  It was frozen around the edges but the middle was still too soft, but I dished out a bit anyway, just to taste.  It was delicious, creamy and sweet with great peach flavor.  I'd call it a success, though I have to let it freeze longer to get the best photo.  Meanwhile, here's what it looks like, not quite frozen:


I'll add a photo of a nice scoop once it's firmed up a bit more in the freezer.  So come back, and take another look!

Fast forward and here's the finished product!

Taa Daa!!!!  (and yes, it's sooooo good!)




13 comments:

  1. Sharron Eddy CataldoJuly 31, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    you write so beautifully ! loved hearing story of old friends . thats so special . ice cream looks great !

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  2. I love peach ice cream! It's so sweet...but in a 'softer' way (if that makes sense). Here's to July...I'll miss you too.

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  3. I'm so glad you tried your new ice cream maker! Isn't it fun?! This refreshing peach ice cream sounds like the perfect recipe for hot summer days!!

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    1. I really love it, and it just oozes summer (my favorite season!)...

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  4. Friends old and new gotta love'em....
    CJune

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  5. Nothing compares to a peach, and I can only imagine how fabulous your ice cream was/is, Jeannie! & nothing compares to an old friend, either, as they are the glue that binds our hearts & souls! I will be having dinner tonight at Sperry's with two such "golden oldies", MJ O'B & Rhea, along with my sister Peg & her dear friend (another Jeannie!), and I know the laughter shared around our table will resonate for many days! I had a great day with Sharron at the aptly named Old Friends Farm yesterday, Jeannie, and I would love if we could also all get together soon, including Rhea & Josie, and whomever else has the time to join us! A couple hours with good friends is always therapeutic, and laughter is always just what the doctor ordered!

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  6. Can't say I've ever had real homemade ice cream from someone's machine but have purchased homemade. Yours looks fabulous. Enjoy every delicious creamy mouthfull. Lynn

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  7. So jealous of Katie's peach tree! The ice cream looks delish!

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    1. Tina, there's room in your backyard for a peach tree! The ice cream was very good - next time, I think I'll cook the peaches down into a softer mush since the chunks were pretty frozen in the ice cream. It was soooo good, though!

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