Peach, please!

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When it comes to summer, I have a list of to-do's: hiking, go for a picnic, sunbathe at the beach, have a backyard barbecue, head up to Muskoka for the cottage and pick fruit and cook something up! Happy to report that I accomplished most of this list.  I haven't been to the beach yet, but nonetheless, I'm very happy with my summer.  For the picking fruit part, last year, we picked blueberries, and this year we picked peaches in Niagara! 

There was an ongoing discussion on what we would make with peaches.  I was all for the peach galette because I love baking, however Ken was inspired by Antoni's grilled peach salad from Queer Eye.  We searched for his "recipe" online, but to no avail so we ended up with A Couple Cooks' Peach, Heirloom Tomato, and Burrata Salad. We replaced burrata with bocconcini.  It was the quickest food we ever made.  There was lots of cutting involved, but when the chopped peaches were plated with basil and bocconcini, it was such a pretty dish, and more importantly, delicious. All in all, we're going to give ourselves a pat on the back for picking fruit in the sweltering heat, rewarding ourselves for the hard work with ice cream at Avondale and ending the day off with a salad with what was harvested! 

- Robyn

I like pancakes berry much!

 

The beginning of August was the start of blueberry season and we couldn't wait to get our hands on some. We headed to Wilmot Farms and started picking away.  I've never picked blueberries before so here is a couple of my takeaways:

  1.  With our crappy rainy summer, the blueberries were huge due to water absorption.
  2.  Blueberries are sweeter in mid-August.  Early August harvesting results in a sweet-basil flavour.
  3.  Picking berries is hard work. I pretty much gave up by the end of our 2 hour harvest.  I swear I wasn't complaining like a 3 year old. 
  4. Blueberries are gentle - they fall off from the bush easily.  

After padding ourselves on the back for two buckets full of blueberries, we treated ourselves to their famed locally grown, organic blueberry ice cream was delicious.  Or, we were so exhausted that we needed any pick-me-up. 

What did we do with our two pails of blueberries?  Ate them as in, made a smoothie, or added them to a chia pudding.  The best one was making blueberry pancakes for brunch and enjoying the beautiful weather in the backyard. 

We followed  J. Kenji Lopez Alt''s The Food Lab's recipe on extra fluffy pancakes. The key difference between previous recipes and this one was beating the egg white separately until stiff peaks before mixing it with the rest of the ingredients.  The reason for doing that is to make the pancakes extra fluffy.  

The blueberries had the right amount of tartness, along with some decadent maple syrup on top of pancakes - we call that a successful Sunday brunch.  And of course, topped with the best of friends, what else can we ask for?

- Ken