Sunday, June 26, 2011

You Know It's Summer When

You Know It's Summer When...
... The light coming in the window at 5:30 am is bright enough to wake you up completely...if all the birds singing at 5 am doesn't do it.
...The morning glories are covering the trellis with their royal purple ephemeral flowers.
... Everyone on the street are wearing shorts, tank tops and flip flops even if the high temperature is 73 degrees and lower.
...You sneeze as soon as you stick your head out the door because of all the pollen floating around.
...You start to crave ice cream and icy drinks even if you usually don't really care for super cold foods.

---The zucchini squash plants are cranking out those squash in record time and the tomato plants are producing lots of flowers.
...You can find really ripe peaches at the market and the olallieberries are ripe and ready to pick down by the road.

So a couple of days ago I picked three pints of those gorgeous black and juicy berries and gave one pint to Grandma L to enjoy. Some more went into the morning fruit bowl. That still left a pint to play with.

Coming home from work on Friday I stopped at the market and bought four large, super ripe white peaches.

Saturday morning I was awake at 5:30 and so was Sweetie due to all that light so I made us a peach and blackberry morning treat. At first I was going to make pie but Sweetie wanted a cobbler. I ended up with the prepared fruit getting hot in the oven in a wide pie pan while I mixed up something more like a muffin batter instead of a biscuit batter (which is the usual topping for a cobbler) and it baked up hot and good and went down well with a cup of coffee. Too chilly to eat out on the deck...a little tule fog drifted up the hill (also a summer thing in Sonoma County)...but we sat around and read the paper and welcomed the day.

Saturday was also a significant day on the project. The 16 foot long main beam proved to be too dry rotted at the end and so it had to come down. That let me test my slightly improved biceps (Cool Fitness has been helping me learn to do slow weights but I don' think three session yields much improvement yet) as I held each piece as it was cut off. We're talking about 3-4 foot pieces of a 4 x 8 beam. Not too shabby. Sweetie has been doing most of the work by himself.

Not sure why but being able to work with him and help today really helped with my missing Xam. Most of the morning it had been hitting me hard that he wasn't around after days of almost not noticing. Good thing that working with Sweetie makes things better now.

So, back to peaches and berries: the proportions here are pretty loose - about 4 large peaches and a pint of berries and one batch of the topping - but you could substitute a couple more peaches and leave out the berries or use a couple of pints of berries alone. I happen to think that the flavor combo of peaches and olallieberries or blackberries is the perfect expression of summertime.

Hot Peaches and Berries with Muffin Top

4 large peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced, then cut into large chunks
1 pint olallieberries or blackberries, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats - regular or quick but not instant
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix together peach chunks, olallieberries, flour and nutmeg. Place in a greased shallow baking dish and bake until hot, about 5 minutes.

While the fruit mixture is getting hot, in a large bowl mix together the brown sugar, flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl mix together the butter and buttermilk. When the fruit mixture is hot, make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir just until barely blended. Scoop the batter over the hot fruit. I put the batter around the edges, leaving a space in the center where the fruit showed also lets the steam escape.

Bake 15 -20 minutes or until the topping is browned and cooked through.

Remove from the oven and cool slightly before serving. Serve some of the topping and some of the fruit in bowls. If you like pour on a little light cream but it's fine all by itself.

Note: If you pack the brown sugar the amount called for makes a pretty sweet topping. If you prefer it less sweet just scoop the brown sugar lightly into the measuring cup.

Makes 4 -6 servings.


  1. Engagement with those beam pieces ... take your mind off a lot of things even Xam for a little while.
    Biskky Cobbler, that would make a lovely morning.

  2. They look like blackberries. What's the difference? I'm so jealous that you already have fresh peaches! Your description of your breakfast with Sweetie is just lovely.

  3. Tanna, you are so right...concentration is essential when chainsawing beams :)

    Lynn, They are a cross between blackberries and raspberries. I picked some today after the rain and they were a redder has been cooler than when the one pictured here ripened. I suspect the peaches are from S. California or even Mexico. Local ones are not ripe yet. Next month...if the weather cooperates.

  4. You know it's summer when you start putting ice cubes into your red wine. ;)