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Archive for August, 2008

Just back from two weeks at “the camp” – a cottage built by my grandfather in the ’40s on the shore of Kootenay Lake. My sibs and I divide up every summer there. My parents live nearby so we visit with them, swim in the lake and chill out with our kids.  We are spoiled, I know.

Can't keep the kids out of the lake

...Not even after dark

 

 

 

To describe our holiday weather would require adjectives ranging from ‘scorching’ through ‘unseasonal’ and right on down to ‘torrential.’  One of the things I always hope for is a really good afternoon thunderstorm. We can usually watch it coming, either down the valley from Nelson, or straight up the south arm from Idaho. We scramble to get the floaty toys off the beach ahead of the wind, then sit on the covered porch, as the wharf begins to pitch and thunder rumbles all around us.  We had two thunderstorms this year, but both arrived around midnight. I watched the magic from bed, just a foot away from wall to wall beach-front windows. In any weather, the view from this cottage is my all time favourite (remember that darn quilt?)

The best view in any weather

The best view in any weather

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A quick and easy summer dessert

A quick and easy summer dessert

Need a quick summer dessert with wow factor? With peaches now in season, this is just the ticket. Keep some brandy, almonds and raspberry jam on hand in your pantry, along with a few tins of canned peach slices for a decent winter version. You will likely be tempted to adapt the recipe to what you have on hands, but don’t skip (or skimp) the toasted almonds. They really make this flavour combination schmeck! 

INGREDIENTS:

4 medium-sized, ripe peaches (or, in a pinch, large tin sliced peaches)

1 litre vanilla ice cream

2 Tbsp brandy

2 Tbsp white sugar

1/2 cup good quality raspberry jam

Whip cream

1/2 cup slivered almonds

METHOD

In a medium bowl, combine brandy and sugar and stir until well combined.

In a small bowl, thin raspberry jam slightly with a bit of water. Strain seeds if desired (I don’t bother.)

Whip cream, with a bit of additional granulated sugar if desired, and chill.

Toast half of the almonds. When they burn, throw them out and toast the other half, watching more carefully this time. (This method is optional, but I always do it this way.)

All of the above can be done in advance.

One half-hour before serving, peel and slice peaches (or drain tin). Add brandy and sugar mixture and stir gently to coat, then allow to marinate for a few minutes while you grab the other ingredients and your prettiest parfait glasses or bowls.

Into each parfait glass place a few peach slices. Top with a generous scoop of ice cream and then one or two more peach slices. Top, in order, with a generous drizzle of raspberry sauce, a dollop of whip cream and a tablespoon of toasted almonds. Serve to cheers and applause.

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