It feels more like summer to me for some reason. Perhaps because we finally took a break from endless remodeling to go on a few little hikes and have friends over for BBQ’s. But I know we are in the last third of summer, just before the students arrive, because our town is putting on West Fest/Bohemian Nights - a downtown music festival where the streets of Old Town become stages and there are huge concerts. And it is Free! For some reason or another, I have missed the last couple of years but I talked my husband into going last night.
It was great fun seeing some of the bands we know play, like You, me and Apollo. I loved greeting friends here and there and people watching. Our town may seem a bit homogenous but there are so many interesting folk out in old town for any celebration. Families with kids riding on dad’s shoulders, groups of teens all excited to be out together on a summer evening, a young girl in dreadlocks dancing quite well with a hula hoop, but only half of our usual college students who dominate old town during the school year so it seemed like a very different crowd. We even braved the big stage area and heard a fun band, Euforquestra, as the crowds began to gather. We got a nice spot on the edge, so I did not feel too claustrophobic and I had a curb to stand on so I didn’t feel like I was in a pit of people. I am vertically challenged, as my very tall husband says J. The main concert was so much fun. It was Michael Franti and spearhead. The music was very diverse- jumping around from hip hop to rock to folk to sort of reggae to I-am-not-sure-what but it was all positive and upbeat-lots of social justice, peace and love J What was most fun was how he involved the audience, having people on stage with him, walking into the crowds and calling all kinds of people to come up and dance. We left a few minutes early, missing an on stage proposal from what I hear, but we wanted to get out before the crowds. But oh my, the crowds were intense, so many people outside the stage area trying to hear so that we had to push our way out. It was hard work so it was good to have some nice left over peach crisp to sweeten the end of the evening!
I made peach crisp for dessert when my son and his girlfriend came over this week. Peach crisp is another staple of summer for us. Crisps are so simple to make so it is easy to throw them together on a weeknight. I like that they have so much more flavor than pie or cobbler. If I am going to treat myself to some extra calories I want to really enjoy every bite!
I use a basic crisp recipe for this but add crushed ginger snaps. The gingery crunch goes well with the sweet peaches.
|Here is a larger version of this recipe|
Serving Size : 6-8
5 Cups or so Peaches - Peeled & Sliced*
1/2 (-2/3) cup Sugar, depending on ripeness
2-3 TBSP Corn Starch (or if preferred, use tapioca according to package instructions)
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1-2 TBSP Lemon Juice
½ Tsp. Almond extract, Optional
2/3 cup Brown Sugar
2/3 Cup Flour
5-6 TBSP Butter, Slightly softened2/3 cup crushed ginger snaps**
2 TBSP flaxseed meal, optional
1/2 cup Chopped Nuts, Pecan, Walnut Or Almond, optional
1 Tsp. Cinnamon, optional
Take butter out of fridge to soften. Pre heat oven to 375F.
Blend together sugar, spice and 2 to 2 ½ TBSP cornstarch. Place peaches in a bowl and mix in sugar cornstarch. Mix well and let sit for 15 minutes. Add lemon juice and extract. If there is an excess of juice, you may add another couple of teaspoons of corn starch.In another bowl, prepare topping by blending sugar and flour. Use a pastry cutter or two table knives to cut slightly softened butter into bowl. Cut butter in until there are small pieces of butter throughout but do not over mix till completely blended together, just sort of like very lumpy oatmeal. When it is crumbly and coarse, mix in crushed cookies, nuts and cinnamon.
Pour peaches into an oversized deep dish pie pan or a 9" by 9" baking pan. Sprinkle on topping. Cook in 375F degree oven for approximately 25 -30 minutes. Remove when bubbly and browned.Serve warm with Ice cream.
*To peel peaches easily, wash and place them in boiling water for 1-2 minutes then immediately into ice and water in a bowl. Remove from ice water and the skin will pull right off. BTW, use Freestone peaches to keep pitting easy.**To crush cookies, you can use food processor, blender or with a mallet. Simply place in heavy plastic Ziploc or regular closed bag and gently hit them with mallet, hammer or other blunt, heavy object J until crushed. It does not have to be completely uniform or pulverized, small pieces are okay.