First up . . . the peaches.  There is SO much to like about this time of year.  The sweet final days of summer.  The excitement of back to school.  The sense that the new school year is, in so many ways, a time for fresh-starts and new beginnings.  And of course, it’s PEACH season.  Personally, I don’t think there is anything  better than a perfectly ripe, juicy peach.  And while the Husband points out every year, a peach is perfect for all of about 20 minutes – before that, they’re too hard, and after that glorious 20 minutes, they turn mealy and mushy.  But in that 20 minute window . . . perfection.

Last week, the Husband came home from the market with about 2 dozen peaches.  I was in heaven.  And then I panicked.  What on earth was I going to do with so many peaches???  As much as I love them, there is a limit to how many I can eat in a day.  And I’m still having nightmares about choking down those almond ginger peach muffins I made last year at this time (so much almond meal went into those muffins, I couldn’t in good conscience toss them . . . and so I ate them . . .one painful muffin at a time).  And our freezers are quite full, so I wasn’t sure a batch of my favourite  gluten-free (paleo) peach muffins was the best idea.

So I made peach “ice cream”.  And a peach marinade that I put on pork tenderloin and then grilled.  Both were fantastic.  I’ll put the recipe for the marinade at the end of this post . . . I strongly suggest you make it.  And don’t just use it as a marinade . . .serve it as a sauce with any white meat you like . . . serve it over ice cream . . . or mix it with yogurt and granola.  Its SOOOOOOOO good.  Also, it makes a lot, so you can freeze the leftovers for future meals.  (I didn’t write down the ice cream recipe as I made it, so I’ll “have” to make a 2nd batch and then I can post the recipe!)

Now for the amazing toys . . . The weather up north has turned cool.  And the bears are out in full force (a summer that yielded little to no berries has created a severe food shortage for the local bear population).  So rather than spending our day out in the sun swimming and playing with the water toys, we’ve spent most of the day inside.  We have few toys up here – because we spend most of our times out of doors – but the few we do have, are exceptional, in the sense that the kids, through the years, will play with them for extended periods of time.

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The first is Fisher Price Trio.  Sadly, it’s been discontinued, but you can still buy it on Amazon and eBay.  We have a bunch of sets that have all been dumped into one big bin and the kids will spend hours coming up with different creations.  Today they made vehicles, cakes, and giant towers. It’s better than lego, because even the littlest of kids at the cottage can play with it, but sufficiently complex creations can be made out of it that the oldest of kids will still play with it too.

The second is Zoob toys.  We have a Fastback H2H set that my son was given as a birthday present a few years ago.  The kids make all sorts of different vehicles using the different pieces and LOVE to race them against each other down the hallways of the cottage.  I can’t say enough good things about this toy . . . and it’s readily available!!

Which brings me to the reflections part of the post.  I said yesterday that it is when we create quiet spaces for ourselves that we can tune into what our gut / intuition is telling us, and from there, we can make much better choices for ourselves and our families.  Today, since we haven’t been swimming or playing outside, I’ve had some quiet time, including a long nature walk, with the kids.  In the absence of errands to run, screens to watch, and other city disruptions, I’ve been amazed at the things the kids have been asking and saying.  For as long as I’ve had kids, I’ve heard mothers exclaim how important it is to keep kids “busy”, to “tire them out”.  And I’ve gone along with that line of thinking.  But in the quiet of today, I’m starting to realize that my kids may be craving some quiet time too.

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And now for the recipe.

Summer Peach Marinade / Sauce

  • Servings: 3 cups
  • Time: 1hr
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 5-6 peaches, pitted, peeled and cubed
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp bourbon (optional)

Directions

  1. Put the peaches, maple syrup, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Turn the heat down to low, and simmer for about half an hour, or until the mixture has decreased in volume by about half.
  2. Remove the pan from heat, and let cool.
  3. Using a blender, puree the mixture.
  4. Transfer to a small bowl and add in the vinegar and bourbon.  Stir to combine.

I used this as a marinade on pork tenderloin.  I put the tenderloins on a grill that had been pre-heated to 450 degrees and then spread a thick coat of the marinade over the tenderloins.  Each time I rotated the meat, I spread on more marinade.  This would work equally well with chicken or turkey.

Leftover sauce can be used as a dipping sauce, or eaten over ice cream, or mixed in with yogurt and granola (you might not want to add the bourbon if you want to have this as part of breakfast!)