I think I'm an empathetic person. Not like the HONY guy, but I get the feeling that sometimes people share with me things that they don't necessarily share with others. I'm okay with that. Sometimes venting, expressing, just saying the words out loud, seeing them typed on a screen or scribbled on a scrap piece of paper is monumental in sorting out what step we take next. Life can be complicated, things don't always go according to plan - sometimes we just need someone to listen.
I hear you. I understand what you are saying. I can't fix your problem, but I'm listening.
Do you like peaches? Here, have a Liège waffle.
The Liège waffle is a richer, denser, sweeter, and chewier variety of Belgian waffle (says wikipedia). Thought to have been invented during the 18th century by the chef to the prince-bishop of Liège, there are no cookbooks or documents to support this theory. References to the actual Liège waffle (with it's specific ingredients, method, and name) don't appear until the 20th century.
Liège waffles are made from a sweetened, yeasted batter enriched with butter and eggs - pretty much a brioche dough. Coarse sugar crystals (called pearl sugar) are folded into the batter before it is baked in a waffle iron creating caramelized pockets of sugar where they melt against the hot irons.
I admit I'm breaking tradition with my recipe: I didn't add the full amount of pearl sugar. In the recipes I referenced, a full cup of sugar is additionally added to the dough before baking. By lessening the amount to 1/4 cup sugar, the essential caramelized pockets are still visible and noticeable when eating but a massive sugar rush isn't. I also served these waffles with ice cream (ahem, more sugar) so some balancing was necessary.
Liège Waffles with Grilled Peaches & Blackberries - Recipe
Recipe adapted from Zen Can Cook
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1/3 c warm milk
1 1/2 tbsp granulated white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 c all-purpose flour
1 c unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
1/4 c pearl sugar (or any other coarse sugar)
3 ripe, but firm peaches
2 tbsp olive oil
Fresh blackberries or strawberries
Vanilla or caramel ice cream
Peach Acid & Blackberry Acid
My summer has been incredibly busy and I haven't done as much preserving as I would like. That being said, with the find of tart & juicy blackberries, I have managed to attempt a recipe that has been on my to-do list since 2006. A recipe for old-fashioned Blackberry Acid appeared in the 95th issue of Saveur magazine and it is now fermenting in my chamber. Long time coming.
Blackberry acid is a sweet-sour, slightly bubbly syrup that has roots in the southern states. The syrup was made when berries were plentiful and left to ferment for several weeks. Once thick and bubbly, it is added to water and ice to make a refreshing beverage.
And since I had more peaches than could fit into my pot for peach butter (see below), I figured I would give making peach acid a shot using the same technique for blackberries. I did add extra citric acid to compensate for the sugar level in the peaches though.
If all goes well, I'll be sipping refreshing blackberry acid on the front porch in November. It's more likely I'll be serving these acids in cocktails or poured over desserts in December.
Peach butter is a recipe variation on the more familiar apple butter. Apples are boiled until softened, pureed, then reduced until a thick paste is formed. Contrary to what the title says, there is no dairy involved in the recipe. The thickened paste is used like jam or jelly but doesn't have nearly as much sugar. I substituted peaches for apples and the results are delicious. One thing I did learn from this technique: start the boiling early in the day and use as wide a pot or pan as you can. The process is time consuming and I was chained to the stove until well after midnight because I started it too late in the day. Also, because I was trying to rush the process, I had my heat up higher than recommended so I needed to constantly stir to prevent scorching. Other variations call for preparing the butter in a crockpot or in the oven. All in all I'm happy with the results but truth be told - I'm more excited about the peach acid than the butter.
Eating. Drinking. Sharing.