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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Well Stick a Fruitbowl on My Head and Call Me Carmen Miranda, People

Whew.

This week is kickin' my bummy, people. What with the early morning swimming lessons and the late-night golf-n-gabs and the t-ball for tots and the husband working late and the beautiful, you-can't-stay-inside-and-work weather and the but-you-still-have-responsibilities-so-you-stay-up-later-to-make-up-for-lolly-gaggin'-the-afternoons-away-on-somebody's-back-porch-drinkin'-Gatorade,-exclaiming-about-heartburn-and-telling-the-child-fifty-leven-times-to-stop-beggin'-the-neighbor-kids'-mothers-for-some-yogret-because-contrary-to-how-it-may-appear-you-DO-actually-feed-her-on-a-semi-regular-basis and the then waking up at the crack of ridiculousness to start all over again.

Summer's heap big fun, y'all, but it's wearin' me flat out.

Yet I am all up for another Top Recipe Thursday, and I'm here with my somewhat diminished rank of summer fruit recipes, but they're nonetheless all yummy and worth a try.


Blueberry Buckle

5 cups ripe fresh blueberries, washed
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Heat oven to 375°. Place blueberries in a 13x9 baking dish and set aside.
Stir remaining ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Sprinkle mixture over berries. Bake until golden brown about 30-40 minutes.

Strawberry Shortcake Cocktail

2 scoops vanilla ice cream
1 ounce creme de noyaux
1/2 ounce Creme de Cacao
6 strawberries, stems removed
whipped cream
1 teaspoon strawberry liqueur

Combine vanilla ice cream, crème de noyaux, crème de cacao and 5 of the 6 strawberries in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a large goblet. Top with whipped cream, drizzle strawberry liqueur on top and garnish with the 6th strawberry.

Picante Three-Melon Salad

Do not freak out on me, here. It sounds odd, maybe, but really, if you substituted cucumber for the melon, you'd have a perfectly normal pico goin' on. And the only difference between cukes and melons is the sweetness, and when you consider that some of the yummiest things in the world, like, say terriyaki or barbecue sauce, combine heat, sweetness and smokiness, you will find yourself a little bit less inclined to overlook this one just because at first glance, it's a little ... different. (Which, OH, that reminds me of a funny story and OH, Corey, I'm still working on the answer to your question still sittin' in the Reader Mail Bag and this story will fit in so perfectly!)

3 cups cubed seeded watermelon
3 cups cubed seeded yellow watermelon (or canteloupe)
3 cups cubed honeydew melon
1/2 cup chopped white onion
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
2 1/2 tsp. finely chopped seeded jalapeno pepper
1 tsp. grated lime rind
3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. minced chipotle chile in adobo sauce

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine rind and remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Pour juice mixture over melon mixture; toss well. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Now I don't suppose I have to remind y'all I'm from the South, more specifically from Georgia, The Peach State and South Carolina, which SHOULD be called "The Other Peach State" but chose instead to go with "The Palmetto State" because it made for a really cool state flag. (Okay I mebbe took a liberty or two there.)

I actually mostly grew up in a town not far from GAFFNEY, SC, where they grow the most delicious peaches I've ever eaten and they do so proudly. Proudly to the degree that they have sculpted and painted their most prominent roadside water tower into a GINORMOUS peach. No kiddin', y'all. And the funniest thing about the GAFFNEY peach is that the view of this peach from one direction has earned itself the whimsical nickname, "The GAF-FANNY." That is right. From the side where you can't see the pretty green leaf atop the blushing fruit, this water tower looks like a humongous naked B-U-T-T.

And they just LEAVE it that way, year in and year out.

Go figure!

We love our peaches, though, cracks and all. And we love to turn them into sinful desserts, nearly as much as we just like to peel 'em and slice 'em over our cereal every morning for a couple months, or just eat 'em out on the back porch as the juice slides down our wrists, drips off our elbows and makes sticky, sweet-smelling puddles on our thighs. Here's a pie and a cobbler. I regret I didn't get my mom's recipe for homemade, handchurned fresh peach icecream, but maybe I'll post it later. She will likely tell me she doesn't HAVE a recipe, she just makes it up out of her head, really, but I will have her piece one together for you.

Fresh Peach Pie

6 cups sliced fresh peaches
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. butter
1/8 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. corn starch
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 9 inch pie crusts

Cook peaches with 1/4 cup sugar until mixture comes to a boil. Then add remaining sugar, cornstarch and butter. Fill pie crust with peach mixture. Dot with more butter. Place second crust on top, vent, seal and flute edges. (They make that sound so simple, don't they?) Bake at 350° for 45 to 50 minutes. Serve with vanilla icecream or whipped cream.

Easy Peach Cobbler

1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Fresh peaches (if the peaches are not REALLY ripe and sweet, add 1/2 cup sugar to them and stir before putting them in with the butter. Also, my mom usually adds about 1/4 tsp. almond extract to peach dishes. The extract brings out the peach flavor beautifully.)

Melt butter in an 8x8 baking dish. Mix dry ingredients and milk well. Place sliced peaches on top of melted butter; our batter on top of peaches. Do not stir. Bake 1 hour at 325°.

Key Lime Bars

Very similar to traditional Lemon Bars but heavy on the fresh, delicious lime flavor. I served these at Bunco last year and the girls are still talking about them. Nummy.

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup butter, room temp
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup key lime juice
4 large eggs
lime zest (, no white please)
confectioners' sugar (for dusting)

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Mix together 1 1/4 cups flour, graham cracker crumbs, butter and confectioners sugar to form a soft dough. Press the dough into an ungreased 13x9x2 inch baking pan and bake until lightly browned, about 20 to 25 minutes.

While the crust is baking, beat together the sugar, lime juice, remaining 1/4 cup flour, eggs, and lime peel until well mixed. Pour over the hot crust and return the pan to the oven. Bake until set, around 20 minutes or so. Cool on a wire rack and then cut into bars. Dust with confectioners sugar. Optional: You can also make a little drizzly sauce out of an additional 3/4 cup confectioners sugar and about a tsp. of lime juice and then squirt out of the cut tip of a plastic bag or a pastry decorating bag over the individual bars to finish them and add some extra lime flavor.

Fruit Kebabs

I served these at Bunco this year. Nobody would eat them for the longest time. Said, "They're too PRETTY to eat."

Women!

1 smallish whole seedless watermelon
1 fresh pineapple, peeled and cored
2 cups washed fresh seedless green grapes
18 fresh, washed blemish-free strawberries, with hulls intact
18 wooden skewers for kebabs

Cut watermelon in half so you have on relatively pretty, blemish and yellow spot free half. Set pretty half of melon aside. Use melon baller to make 36+ watermelon balls. Cut pineapple into bite-sized (but still biggish) chunks.

Onto each skewer, leaving about 3-4 inches at the bottom, thread a pineapple chunk, a watermelon ball, a green seedless grape, followed by another pineapple chunk, watermelon ball, and grape. Top each skewer with one fresh, ripe strawberry. Cut about 1/2 to 1 inch of rind off the bottom of the pretty melon half to create a steady, flat base and place melon on a decorative plate or platter. Carefully insert bottom end of skewers into melon, starting with a tallish skewer and a large strawberry in the center. Work around cut side of melon, fanning skewers slightly to create a pretty arrangement. Serve immediately.

Photobucket

The green grapes at my grocery store were AWFUL looking, so I used red instead in this picture. But you can see how green would lend itself to a better color balance, can't you?

Now it's your turn. Link your Summer Fruit Recipes post to Mr. Linky below and let's get to eatin' some delicious, vitamin-packed, sun-ripened summer fruity goodness.

13 comments:

  1. Carmen, I love the key lime bars.

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  2. I just read Rebekah's comment and thought: Oh no, she just called her Carmen. Doesn't she know that's not her name?!.....Yeah, it's early. I got so caught up on the recipes that I forgot the title!

    I need to come back after I wake up.

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  3. Hi Megan,

    Your description of the "gaffney butt" is right on target. When I am driving home to greenville from WS, I know I'm almost there when I see the big peach! Thanks for the smiles,

    Kimberly

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  4. To check out the "Gaf-FANNY peach: go to the following website:

    http://www.gaffney-sc.com/Waterpeach.htm

    Smiles!

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  5. There's a water-tower peach also about half-way from B'ham to Montgomery and it looks, um, the same way. :)

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  6. We always drive through Gaffney when visiting my in-laws, and the kids just crack up laughing every time.

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  7. KEY LIME BARS?!? I'm dying here. Those definitely go on my list.

    I'm going to try to get a fruit recipe up later today. Our weather is also beckoning me outdoors. But I promise I'll try!

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  8. GOOD GRIEF! This post has me STARVING!
    STupid diet.

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  9. I'll have to try the Key Lime Bars since I am a lime freak! Thanks for the recipes. Great blog, I am posting you on my Daily Blog Roll!
    http://lifeislikechampagne.blogspot.com/

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  10. Looks so good! I have to try those key lime bars!

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  11. Must have key lime bars NOW!! Baby says, right? Thanks for the awesome recipe.

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  12. I'm all linked up baby. It's a long one though, I just can't decide which ones I like best so I put em all on there.

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  13. oh my goodness gracious you have my mouth literally WATERING at your description of the peach juice running down your arms. I CANNOT WAIT until our peaches come in here - which is about mid-July. Then I'll be a cannin'my fanny off! :)

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Thoughts?