Thursday, July 19, 2012

Beer and Peaches Mingle

 
Last week while at the library I sat next to a man who wore fishing waders and laughed periodically as he read the latest issue of Scientific American. Also seated next to me was a man who was dressed like he was a Game of Thrones extra. Occurences like this are common in Lawrence, KS., and it's one of the many things I love about this town.

I've never told anyone this before, but I feel a certain kinship with such folk. I know I'm only a few steps away from being the guy in the library who wears a chef's apron while reading back issues of Bon Appetit and singing Woody Guthrie songs in a French accent. I'm a fragile soul whose mental health sometimes hangs by a thread. Fortunately, I have a lot of touchstones that keep me grounded and mentally healthy. Writing this blog is one of those touchstones. For the past six months or so, I've been debating whether writing a blog - especially a food blog - is worthwhile. I admit that writing a blog is a silly, ridiculous, frivolous, and a priviledged activity, but it keeps me from living inside my head too much and it's helped me find some kindred spirits. So I guess I'll just keep writing this blog.

 

This spring I loaned a copy Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams by Jeni Bauer to six people, and all six promptly ran out and purchased their own copies. This is the best cookbook I've purchased in two years, and you need to clear off a space on your cookbook shelf for your own copy. I've shared her recipe for Coffee Ice Cream on this blog, and the book's also contains some wonderful sorbet recipes, like the following that uses a lambic beer. I knew nothing about lambic beers before I encountered this recipe, and I still don't know a lot about these beers, but all you need to know is that it's a slightly fruity beer. I used a lambic brew my Lindeman's; however, I think, there are better lambics out there. I think New Belgium brews a lambic as part of their Lips of Faith series. I think it would be worth checking out. Anyway, here's the recipe:

 

Peach Lambic Sorbet

  • 1 pound fresh peaches
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup lambic beer, chilled
  1. Peel and pit peaches. Puree fruit in food processor until smooth.
  2. Combine the pureed fruit, sugar, and corn syrup in a saucepan an bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and chill in the mixture in a refrigerator for two hours.
  3. Add beer to fruit mixture. Pour the sorbet base into ice cream maker, and spin just until is is the consistency softly whipped cream.
  4. Pack the sorbet into a storage container, Place airtight lid on it, and freeze for at least four hours.
I enjoyed this sorbet, but it's not my favorite in the cookbook. You need to buy the book and try the influenza sorbet, a soothing, healing mix of orange juice, whiskey, cayenne pepper, and other ingredients I can't recall at this time. Last winter anytime I felt puny, I ate a spoonful or two of this sorbet and it kept illness at bay. You should keep a quart of influenza sorbet in your freezer, and we can broaden our research of this sorbet's healing powers.

 

This land is your land,

muddywaters

 

3 comments:

Gravy Girl said...

I'm intrigued by the book. As for beer and peaches I would like to try that. After all, the beer lovers in my neighborhood agree that brownies and beer go very well together. I must agree. Who do you think tested my chocolate ice cream endeavor???? I'll ask the "Beer King"
next door if he has much experience with the lambic. Your fellow blogger, Gravy Girl

highplainsdrifters said...

We don't have any whiskey in the house right now. Going to have to get some before flu and cold season. But I'm afraid to keep it around in large quantities. Guy Clark's Hemingway's Whiskey is but one of the reasons.

I'm having an equally puzzling motivational issue with my writing. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is better for my mental health than writing. Riding a bike is a close second. But I'm rudderless these days.

In this country, lambics are known as fruity beers. In Belgium, I'm not sure that is the case. I was told that the fruitiness came from needing particular sugars to react with the yeast to serve as a preservative, what with pasteurization not being popular way back when brewing started.

Which tells you something about our lifestyles. We have all of these modern conveniences. But who has time to brew the same batch of beer hundreds of times, each time substituting one ingredient, or playing with the quantity. Those guys might have dropped dead from old age at 36, but they were Men of Liesure most of the way there.

highplainsdrifters said...

What's the official kick off for influenza season?

Peaches und bier reminded me, you need to check out Stranahan's Rackhouse Pub. Mac n cheese using a beer sauce with about $30 worth of cheeses.

Hope you're ready for school. Cheers!