I used to dream in Chinese. After three years of living in China, regrettably I was far from fluent - although I ought to have been - but in my dreams, my Chinese-speaking skills were flawless.
It was strange, really, because subconsciously, I think I did understand more of the language than what I was consciously aware of. I always had a good ear for the pronunciation and tones, but a terrible memory for vocabulary, and my lackluster approach to studying, memorization and practice, as well as the fact that everyone wanted to practice English with me, resulted in my knowing little more than the words needed to order food in a restaurant, barter with shop owners and buy tickets at the train station.
Dessert is pretty under-rated in China, and it's something I definitely missed while living there, since I have a major sweet tooth. Even doing my own baking was a challenge, with only some of the most basic ingredients available and a teeny-tiny oven that only baked six cookies at a time.
So a typical dessert following a meal was generally fruit or fried dough of some kind. Sometimes just fresh mandarin oranges, and once in a while sticky caramelized apples or bananas. Fried bread dipped in sweetened condensed milk was one of my favorites.
I really enjoy these simple preparations, and since eating cake every day isn't a good choice, fresh fruit makes a lovely light summer dessert.
Last Christmas, Jamie got me a kit for making our own homemade goat cheese, and we've made fresh, creamy goat cheese a few times now. It's very unlike the firm, crumbly goat cheese you buy at the store, and is closer to the consistency of sour cream, but with a distinctive tang from the goat's milk.
It's simple to make, but takes a while for the liquid to drain from the curds, so it does have to be made a few hours in advance, but requires nothing more than goat's milk, citric acid or lemon juice, and a little salt. Herbs or other add-ins are optional. The cheese-making process is extremely similar to that of ricotta cheese, but the curds are much creamier and silkier.
To sample our goat cheese, we made a little dish of grilled peaches, topped with a spoonful of the goat cheese, then drizzled with honey and sprinkled with almonds. It was all so fresh and simple.
One Year Ago: Lemon Yogurt Waffles with Berries and Strawberry Rhubarb Syrup
Two Years Ago: A Sweet and Sticky Evening of Jam Making - Black Cherry Vanilla Bean Jam and Strawberry Apricot Jam
Grilled Peaches with Goat Cheese, Honey and Almonds
- 2 ripe freestone peaches
- 1/2 cut lemon
- creamy goat cheese
- toasted sliced almonds
- cinnamon and/or nutmeg
Note: This dish is equally good as an appetizer or dessert. Try with other creamy cheeses or with ice cream!
Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits. Rub the cut side with the lemon so they don't turn brown. Grill the peaches on their cut side for a few minutes until they're warm and have nice grill marks.
Set peaches cut side up on a serving plate. Spoon the goat cheese into the center of each. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with the toasted almonds, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Yields 4 servings.
Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen