Peachy keen

I am not ready to write about back-to-school routines and cooler mornings, so let’s just carry on with summery thoughts and focus on the sunshine and the fresh flavours, shall we?

Here in the Okanagan, we are spoiled with the full bounty of summer. Fresh fruit begins in late June with apricots and cherries and then it’s nonstop enjoyment through September with peaches, melons, plums, apples and pears.

Vegetables are equally as plentiful with lettuce, cucumbers, all colours of beets, squash and peppers, carrots, onions, eggplant, garlic… the rainbow you eat in the summer is limited only by your own tastes.

You might not grow your own, but there are plenty of places to buy local harvest. I dare you not to notice the difference between local produce and something that has been trucked in from far away.

If you never knew what “terroir” was – that term wine people use that means “a sense of place” – you will understand when you taste the tomatoes just picked from a garden.

For the purposes of my column this week, I wanted to pick one food that would give a sense of the summer season as well as the beauty and bounty of the Okanagan.

Peaches are a symbol synonymous with our region. After all, there is a town in the Okanagan named after them. As much as I love cherries, it’s the peaches that are my pick for a taste of the summer season.

They even look like sunshine in a jar when canned.

I was astounded to discover when we moved here that there are so many varieties of peaches. It’s possible to eat them almost all summer, and the flavours of each variety have their own distinct appeal.

I love the white-fleshed peaches, but they are around only a short time. I know the Glowhavens are ripening right now, and they are easy to cook with, being a freestone variety (the pit comes out easily).

You can make peach pie, or peach crumble or cobbler. You can make peach salsa to have with grilled fish or chicken. You can put peaches in scones, or on your cereal. You can even just eat peaches on their own.

Let’s be decadent and really celebrate – how about ice cream?

This recipe is easy to do, and you don’t have to use an ice cream maker. I suppose you could even skip the freezing and eat the mixture, which would be more what they used to call a fruit fool in my Grandma’s day. But summer is about going all out, so let’s keep up that spirit.

If you really don’t feel like being in the kitchen, you can head out for ice cream. Here on the Westside, Paynter’s Fruit Market serves hard ice cream and they have u-pick peaches too.

In Kelowna, you can try the new ice cream counter at Whisk Cake Company or downtown, near the beach, there is a new place called Parlour Ice Cream.

Penticton has a colourful ice cream parlour called Ogos

However you celebrate the slide into that next season, here’s to happy licking.

PEACH ICE CREAM – serves 4-6 people

  • 3 large peaches
  • Juice of ½ lime and ½ lemon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 1-1/4 cups whipping cream

Peel and pit the peaches. Process the fruit with the lemon and lime juice in a food processor or blender until only small pieces remain. Stir in the sugar.

Whip cream until soft peaks form, then fold in the fruit puree.

Freeze in an ice cream machine, or “still-freeze”. Still-freezing works by putting mix in a shallow pan in the freezer and removing it midway through the freezing to beat until smooth. (This breaks up the ice crystals for a smoother consistency.) Look for frozen edges and a more liquid middle.

Once mixture is frozen, it can be put into a container with a lid for easier storing – if there is any left after your first serving.

More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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