It’s one of those beloved rituals of Gulf seafood lovers: sliding your front teeth across the sturdy membrane of a crab claw to remove every last bit of sweet meat. Crab claws are one of my favorite party foods for their charm, ease and taste.
This year’s Louisiana peach crop is less robust than usual due to a mild winter across the south, but there’s still time to buy fresh peaches here in Baton Rouge. Waterproof-based Plantation Pecan Company had plenty last Saturday at the downtown Red Stick Farmers Market, but you need to arrive early. I picked up a half-bushel and have been sinking my teeth into a peach a day ever since. They’ve been really delicious and scream summer.
My favorite application for fresh peaches is peach ice cream, and I love to make it in when I have an abundance. But in years like this, I settle for peach sorbet, which requires fewer peaches and can be made with minimal effort.
Whether you find it inspiring or nauseating, whether it makes you wear red – or see red – Valentine’s Day is here once again. All over town today in the Capital City, couples met for lunch, women wore red and guys scrambled for last minute roses and dinner reservations. Personally, I’m a low-key girl when it comes to this particular holiday, always opting for a crowd-free dinner at home with my hubby and our three kids. And this year, with Val’s Day on a weeknight, Cupid is going to have move along while two exhausted parents deal with sports practice, homework, an obnoxious Spanish project and work deadlines. We need a drink a lot more than a box of chocolates.
You know those food memories that swirl deep in your brain? I’ve got one for ambrosia. My grandparents used to make it every Christmas, a stripped-down version that included fresh orange and grapefruit sections, sliced bananas, shredded coconut and maraschino cherries. They left out marshmallows – I happily discovered that creamy version years later – and if nuts were included, I emphatically directed my spoon around them. In fact, I tended to avoid the grapefruit, too, in favor of the sweeter oranges, mild bananas and gaudy cherries. The way those flavors mixed with tropical coconut was a transformative diversion for picky kid weary of casseroles.
Baton Rouge hasn’t had the easiest 2016. The Alton Sterling shooting, followed by the shooting of three law enforcement officers, followed by an epic flood. The somber mood has made us cleave to what really matters – friends and family. Weekends have many of us huddled up watching football (another letdown lately if you’re an LSU fan) stuffing our faces with gameday eats. That part isn’t so bad.
The weekday breakfast is like your taxes – required, but a big pain to get over the finish line. Despite what we’re told about its nutritional and social importance, it’s often a fleeting and unsatisfying moment in which food is unceremonious forced onto the plates (or into the hands) of young people as their parents suck down coffee and shoo everyone out the door. And now, here across south Louisiana, the daily sprint is further compounded by a post-flood reality with epic traffic, upended schedules and temporary housing. There’s a lot of stress out there.
So this week, I’m offering four easy breakfast dishes that are intended to provide some inspired calm. Yummy and healthy, they intentionally use minimal ingredients, and part or all of them can be put together the night before.