Happy Thursday! For my first Thankful Thursday, I want to express my gratitude for the food growers of the country. They’re passionate about what they do, they don’t get nearly enough love and they work harder than most of us could ever imagine. Please, go to your farmers market or your local farm, and thank a grower.
I’m completely spoiled. I live just outside California’s Central Valley, so I have the opportunity to eat local and have a relationship with growers in the area. I try to hit the farmer’s markets as often as I can, I try to visit local farms in the area, and, lucky for us, Fresno State has an amazing farm on campus with a fantastic farm store.
During the long, fruitless winter months, I long for summer produce. It doesn’t matter what the calendar says, summer starts when cherries are in season. From there, I look forward to tomatoes and corn (Fresno State grows the best. It’s not organic, but it is GMO-free). Then summer squash and peppers. I know the end of summer is near with the Fay Elberta peach crop. They signal the beginning of peach season, and my favourite time of year. Around the beginning of August, the Fay Elbertas are available. They’re only around for about a week, and they can be hard to find, but, they are the best peaches on the planet. If you can find some, it’s worth the hunt. Once peach season begins, I have about 6 weeks to gorge myself on locally grown peaches. So far this season, I’ve had 6 different varieties (and still, there are more to be had!). I eat them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and dessert. One of my favourite desserts is pandowdy. Mostly because halfway through baking, I get to smash the crust into the pie.
Tonight, instead of the traditional pie-shaped pandowdy, I made a 9×11 massive pandowdy.
Summer Peach Pandowdy (adapted from my peach pie filling recipe)
4 lbs peaches
3Tbl tapioca starch
1/3 C sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
a shake of nutmeg
Your favourite pie crust (I can’t lie, I was too lazy to make my own tonight. I used a frozen one)
Mix filling ingredients and add to pan. Lay your crust over the filling and bake at 425 for about 20 minutes. Pull the pan out of the oven and turn the oven down to 350. Slice the crust into 1 inch diamonds (like baklava!). Take a spoon and smash (gently) the diamonds into the filling.
Return it to the oven and bake at 350 for 28 minutes.
So, after pickling all those peaches last week, you’ve still got a tree full of peaches. What do you do?
Make pie, of course!
This filling is great for pies, or, if you’re feeling too lazy to make a pie crust, make a crumble.
1 quart is perfect for 1 pie or crumble/crisp
You’ll need (per quart):
3/4C brown sugar
1/4C lemon juice
2T tapioca pearls (not quick-cooking, because you’re canning it for later use, regular is just fine)
shake of salt
Combine ingredients. Pour into prepared quart jars. Process 15 minutes.
This means I’ve felt the need to get creative with them, so, today, I made ice cream. It’s awesome. Sweet and cucumbery with a hint of ginger and vanilla. Next time, I’ll make sure I have candied ginger in the house and I’ll throw a handful of it into the ice cream instead of the ground ginger.
Cucumber Ice Cream
2 6inch cucumbers
2TBL powdered sugar
2TBL Dark Agave Syrup
2tsp ground ginger
2C non-dairy creamer (I actually used 2C of Rich’s Non-dairy Whipped Topping, and liquid Soyatoo would work just fine too)
Blend cucumbers in food processor until you have a smooth, thick liquid. It should be 1-1.5 cups of thick liquid. Process powdered sugar, agave, and ginger until mixed well.
Fold in whipped topping. (You can whip it up a bit, which will make for an awesome fluffy ice cream)
Add to ice cream maker for 30ish minutes, or until frozen.