We kind of jumped the gun this week, and we should have known better. But that overflowing paper bag full of plump South Carolina peaches just called to us. We ignored the voice – “It’s only May, better wait.”
We took them home, piled them in a compote and enjoyed their perfume for a full day before biting into the first one.
Arggh. Mush. But mush with a great taste. However, we couldn’t get by that pablum-like texture. So, the entire batch got peeled and pureed in the blender with a little lemon juice and stashed in the freezer.
Over the long holiday weekend, the puree became frozen daiquiries topped with whipped cream for a lively, impromptu patio cocktail party. We celebrated this ’70s era feeling by adding a Little River Band radio station soundtrack courtesy of Pandora. But, I have to say, not a scrap of polyester clothing made an appearance, which was a good thing, because with the sweltering heat there might have been some spontaneous combustion.
You have to have salty nibbles with daiquiries. And our friend William came through. He roasted raw peanuts sprinkled with sea salt, snipped fresh rosemary and grated parmesan cheese.
We added our own nibble with a twist. Instead of using the traditional combination of garlic and onion powder and Worchestershire sauce on a cereal mix, we went for a spicy, salty Indian-influenced mix, using garam masala.
This exotic sounding mix is available in most grocery stores these days. In India, it’s an all-encompassing term for a spice mixture. Every cook has his or her own blend. The commercial stuff suits us just fine. It contains many spices you would traditionally use for baking – cardamom, cinnamon, allspice – combined with cumin, black pepper and coriander. It creates a mysterious, but not overpowering, taste that complements fruity drinks well.
Spicy Cereal Snack
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
4 cups toasted oat cereal (We actually used a multi-grain variety)
2 Tbsp. garam masala spice mix
2 cups walnut pieces
1 Tbsp. course ground sea salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Melt butter in microwave in a large bowl. Add cereal, garam masala and walnuts to melted butter and mix well.
Pour mix on a large, rimmed cookie sheet in a thin layer. Bake 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven, stir mixture, sprinkle with salt and bake 10-15 minutes more until nuts are browned.
Peach Daiquiries (soundtrack optional)
6 ripe peaches
juice of half a lemon
3 oz. rum
2 oz. triple sec
2 Tbsp. agave nectar
At least four hours before cocktail hour: Peel and slice peaches. Place them and lemon juice in a blender, and puree until smooth. Pour into a container or zip-top bag and freeze.
Place puree, rum, triple sec and agave nectar in blender. Fill container to the top with ice. Blend until thick, adding more ice if necessary. Top with whipped cream and provide a straw.