Time travel is possible. I can attest to that reality because each time I smell newly mown grass or fresh peaches, I am transported back in time. I am delivered to a place and time when thunderstorms were a daily "happening" and summer vacation lasted so long that returning to school was welcomed with anticipation and a new pair of shoes. The challenge with time travel triggered by smell is you can't control it.
Yesterday afternoon moments after a brief rainstorm, I was transported to the South of my childhood. Steam rose from the asphalt as the cool summer rain struck the hot road releasing the smelly fragrance of water, chemicals and dirt. With the first intake of the odorous smell, I was gone. I found myself playing chase in the rain with my red-faced, sweaty neighborhood friends; a game that abruptly ended with the first rupture of lightening against the livid and menacing thunderclouds. We took cover in the carport until the storm wore itself out and a rainbow signaled the all clear.
All this brings me back to peaches. Peaches are the quintessential summer food. Eat one plain or whip up a peach cobbler for a perfect summer dessert. My favorite is peach ice cream. At family gatherings the adults would take turns at the hand crank keeping the dasher rotating in the can. My cousins and I would take turns packing ice and salt in the tub working hard to make every ice cube count. Today I use a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker; the process is easier but not nearly as much fun.
Do you make homemade ice cream? Do you have summer smells that release strong memories? How about time travel, been anywhere fun lately? Don't be lulled into thinking summer will go on for ever, it's not long before school starts again so go outside and play.
Peach Ice Cream
1 cup of well chilled, whole milk *
3/4 of cup granulated sugar
2 cups of well chilled, heavy cream
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
3 cups of diced and mashed peaches **
1. In a medium bowl combine milk and granulated sugar.
2. Whisk to mix until sugar is dissolved.
3. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla.
4. Pour into freezer bowl and churn
* Fat is what makes ice cream rich and creamy. The higher the fat content the richer the ice cream. But sometimes I use skim milk and it is tasty too.
** Some recipes call for sliced peaches or chunks. I've found that large pieces of fruit in homemade ice cream freezes hard and isn't all that flavorful. I mash my peaches to keep them from becoming tasteless ice balls.