peaches and cream
1. A dessert made with sliced peaches and whipped cream.
2. (idiomatic) A very enjoyable experience. Usually used to describe something being unrealistically idyllic.
I just returned from a quick little vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, one of my favorite places in the United States that completely fits definition number two. Last year, I wrote a play by play of what to eat and where to go and Christopher and I basically repeated that same scenario so I won’t repeat myself, but check out that post if you have a trip to the Vineyard in your future. (Or read it and start planning your trip next summer!) This visit provided me with a bit of a lesson about myself…
I consider myself a well-liked person, a likable person, someone I would want to have as a friend. I’m a peach! There are probably three people on my planet that have seen me at my worst and least peachiness. (My sister, my housemate, and a particular ex-boyfriend.) I’m sure there are a host of other people out there that I annoy the crap out of, but for the most part, I aim to be the best Lisa I can be and on many days, I think I actually succeed.
This trip, we stayed in an Airbandb on Martha’s Vineyard in the town of Vineyard Haven. It was a lovely location and the circle drive of homes had a resident rafter of wild turkeys that roamed from yard to yard. True Vineyard charm. (Side note for my word loving friends: a group of turkeys is called a rafter and a group of finches is called a charm!) I didn’t organize our lodging, my friend Christopher did, and I was grateful not to have to think about that part since I mapped out the rest of the adventure. Our host immediately loved Christopher, which is incredibly easy to do; he’s even more of a peach than I am…and then she rested her gaze/attention on me. And well, there was friction right away. No peaches. No cream.
There is a building in my neighborhood with the word FRICTIONLESS painted onto it. I pass it all the time and contemplate what that means. I know how to define it, but I think about the meaning the person who painted it intended and what its synonyms are. (Agreeable, amicable, compatible, congenial, harmonious, kindred, unanimous, united.) I think about how it applies to our neighborhood and why no one has painted over it. Well, our host and I did not have a frictionless three days.
To be gracious and a good guest, I knew right away to tuck all of my notsogreat characteristics into my pockets. In many situations, I try too hard. I’m persistent. Pestery. Independent. Opinionated. I can be a know-it-all. I’m bossy. I ask a lot of questions, which translates to nosy. I’m lazy, messy, late… and I’m not judgmental, but I make a lot of observations. All of that was tucked away and yet - no peaches, no cream. I won’t go into details, but her expectations were not in her contract so I was unprepared for how to stay in her home and for her to be pleased. I actually felt personally attacked.
To this woman’s credit, I think she opened up her home because she’s lonely and has found an opportunity to interact with others and make money. Well, I did not come all this way to my favorite place in the United States to make friends with her. At all. I don’t like small talk and I didn’t want to start my day chatting with a stranger. On the Vineyard, there’s coffee to drink, biscuits to eat…!
Also to her credit, I’m sure she likes to offer tips and Vineyard advice, share her opinions and experiences with her guests, and perhaps they are eager for her share. I wasn’t. I know what I want to do, where I want to go, what I want to eat. I’m on a schedule, so thanks but no thanks. I wasn’t rude, I swear. I was brief in my exchanges. And when I felt attacked, I stood up for myself and told her I disagreed with her. And then I became even more brief in my exchanges. I knew I would be triggered and that I would become ‘not nice’ if I engaged with her. And I didn’t want to give her or her home any energy that could possibly cast a shadow over our trip. God bless Christopher for dealing with me while I was dealing with this woman.
I’ll be honest, I let our host get under my skin a bit. I mean, I am writing a whole blog about her. I’m not going to be frictionless with everyone that crosses my path. I think that’s a good thing. It stirs up energy and raises awareness. Differences in race, experience, lifestyle, opinion, politics, religious beliefs, and sexual preference make for a rich fabric of life. We can stretch our capacity of understanding, practice compassion, tolerance, and open mindedness.
Since returning to NYC, I’ve thought a great deal about who I am and how I come across to others. I’ve thought about how I want to be accepted, appreciated, and remembered positively in situations. I want to be loved. I want to be chosen. I want to please others. I want to be of service. I want people to be better for having met me. That’s a tall list of wants, I know. They are all truly a part of who I am. I am a peach. I finally got to attach some meaning to one of my favorite quotes. “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” ~ Dita Von Teese
Believe it or not, one of the best dishes we ate on Martha’s Vineyard was peaches and cream! My favorite restaurant, State Road, served up sliced Gold Bud peaches, that are hands down the ripest, juiciest peaches you could ever eat, with a side of plain yogurt, a little pot of crème anglaise, and a crumble of pecan brittle shards. Here is my version.
Peaches And Cream
- 2 peaches, pitted and sliced
- 1 cup of plain greek yogurt
- Salted caramel pecan brittle
- Crème anglaise
Make the Salted Caramel Pecan Brittle: from The Londoner
- 3/4 cup pecan halves
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 tablespoons water
- flaked salt for sprinkling on top
Add sugar, butter, and water to a heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the butter is melted. Turn the heat to high and let it bubble, stirring so the sugar doesn’t burn and be careful not to burn yourself! Spread the pecans onto an oiled surface or parchment paper. Keep an eye on your caramel. As soon as it turns from golden to bronze, remove from heat and pour over the nuts. Let cool for 10 seconds and sprinkle with salt. Let the brittle cool for 10 minutes or until it is solid. Break into shards using a rolling pin or crack it with your hands.
Make the Crème Anglaise: from Food and Wine
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
- 4 large egg yolks
1. In a medium saucepan, combine the half-and-half, sugar and vanilla bean and seeds and bring to a simmer, whisking until the sugar is dissolved.
2. Set a medium bowl inside a bowl of ice water. In another medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Gradually whisk in the hot liquid, discarding the vanilla bean. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, about 6 minutes. Pay attention or you’ll end up with sweet scrambled eggs! Scrape the crème anglaise into the empty bowl in the ice bath. Stir until cooled.
Place the peaches on a plate, dollop the yogurt in a pile next to them, pour the anglaise into a little ramekin or pot, add the brittle on top of the yogurt.