Saturday, July 24, 2010

Some sweet stuff

So I came upstairs to write, but I’m whupped. The heat, the pool, the kitchen, the peaches—they have all conspired against me. My brain is shot. My feet are shot (and swollen). My drive is shot. I thought it was supposed to be cooler tomorrow, but I just clicked on the weather and the heat index is to be 105. I wanna cry.

Really, though, it wasn’t all that bad today. There was a giant breeze, and I had fun playing in the kitchen. Tomorrow I’m cooking a birthday dinner for my brothers et al. It’s an Indian meal. There are three entrees, plus sides. Plus bread.

Indian bread stumps me. The naan turned out so-so—passable, but nothing like the naan from a tandoor oven. The rotis have me in a snit. I’ve made them four times. The last round was the best yet, but even so, I only got a half puff. Look at how Manjula does it, but don’t you dare believe it’s as easy as she makes it out to be. She’s lying through her teeth. (I’ve watched several of her videos and I’m in love with her. Her accent makes me smile all the way down to my toasty, sticky, swollen, tired toes.)


The pooris, however, turned out perfectly. Just look at them!


This means we will be having pooris and, perhaps, naan.

But if it’s as hot as they say it’ll be, I don’t know if I can bear to crank my oven up to 500 degrees. Then again, I’ll do most anything for food.

We got the four bushels of peaches done in a little over 24 hours. I have no idea how people do factory line work—the standing, the repetitive motions, for hours on end. No matter how I arranged myself—in a chair, on a stool, standing at the sink—I was in paaaaain. My back cramped up, my feet burned, my thumb stung, and my tongue tasted like metal. The metallic ailment is a new one. Very odd.


In any case, we peeled and sliced, sliced and peeled, and peeled and sliced some more. Peach pits skittered across the floor, juice got dribbled everywhere, but only one (!) of the 57 jars didn’t seal. To celebrate a fresh peach-free house, I soaked in a cold bath, read a magazine, and drank a spiked limeade while Mr. Handsome scrubbed the entire kitchen floor with a brillo pad.

This limeade is responsible for keeping me hydrated and energized (all things considered) throughout the peach marathon. It’s some sweet stuff—just a little of the concentrate stirred into a tall glass of ice and water is all that’s needed to make you feel indulgent. To put it over the top, replace the water with seltzer and add a splash of tequila.


Limeade Concentrate
Adapted from Margo of Thrift At Home

Note: The boiled, sugared lime zest is supposed to be junk, but I ate a pinch and found it delectable. Next time I’m saving it. I’m thinking it might be good stirred into some melted dark chocolate...

2 cups sugar
1 cup water
pinch of salt
6 limes (3 zested, all 6 juiced)

Combine the zest, sugar, salt, and water in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain. Stir in the lime juice. Chill.

To serve, measure 1 or 2 tablespoons of syrup into a tall glass before filling with cold water and ice. For an adult version, use seltzer water and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of tequila.

Yield: many glasses of pleasure

About one year ago: Brown Sugar Granola
About two years ago: Dutch Puff

6 comments:

  1. I did something similar with lemons, then put the "candied" lemon zest in my dehydrator. Very brittle, but pretty tasty! I imagine it would be nice pulverized in a coffee grinder and dusted on top of lemon-blueberry muffins!

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  2. 56 jars of peaches that didn't seal! I see why you are depressed, feeling rather low.

    Do you wear good support shoes or sandals when you are working on that hard tile floor all day? Bare feet or flip flops are foot torture.
    Just some Auntly advice.

    Aunt V.

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  3. Whooeee! I TOLD you my brain was fried! (And yes, I wear flippies. I know, I know...)

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  4. You are MOTIVATED to cook Indian in 105 degree heat. Wow.

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  5. The metallic taste in mouth can come from various medications or other chemicals. Perhaps if the peaches and limes you were consuming all in one day were not low- or no-spray (I assume you snitch peaches as you go, like I do?) the pesticide/fungicide residues on them may have contributed to that metal taste. Or if you recently sprayed copper on any of your fruit trees, that may help explain it, as copper toxicity can cause the same metallic sensation. (Interestingly, copper is considered an organic spray, but too much can poison a body.)

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  6. Kris, I've been wondering about that. I called the orchard and left a message. Haven't heard back yet.

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