Summer is a fast-moving golden snitch, and I’m riding an extremely slow Comet 260. In other words, it feels like summer just began but in reality it’s already more than halfway over.
Jonji and I spent our 4th of July weekend in good spirits. He had the whole weekend and Monday off, which I hadn’t expected. The day of the 4th was spent at Todd and Jessica’s new apartment with several other friends. We munched on spicy carrot salad, ribs, and Omri’s endless fruit salad, and spent the last hours of the sunlight in their communal pool. The only fireworks we set off were sparklers, but they were the BIGGEST sparklers I have ever seen. We all set them off on their porch, despite Todd’s insistence on doing three at a time, and watched them fizzle and spit until they were entirely spent. After a while we felt quite the same way, and everyone went home. We fell asleep to what sounded like a Civil War reenactment—ear plugs required—and thoughts of all the poor dogs who imagined a real war zone out there.
Two weeks ago Bailey and Matt made the drive to LA for a wedding. Since Bailey was free on Friday, she decided to spend the day with me. Thinking she would be there a little before noon, I woke up at 7am to a text from her that said she would be at our place by 7:20am. Definitely the earliest visitor I’ve ever received! We spent some time looking at photos of her and Matt’s new house (if you didn’t know already, they recently bought a house in Santa Cruz!) and debating over landscaping strategies, and then went to the noon class at Depot. After lunch we Uber-ed to Abbot Kinney, where we popped in and out of the cute shops on the street before making it to The Tasting Kitchen for drinks at 5:30. Bailey took a great panorama of the bar that was made obsolete by the presence of my head, which managed to look like a cross between Gollum and Filch. We astounded the bartender by asking for more butter than we were initially given—because no one wants to eat a piece of bread without an equal amount of butter, obviously—and both of us had one drink by the time Jonji met us there after his trauma surgery shift.
After another drink each—The Tasting Kitchen has great cocktails, in case you’re looking for a place to go—Jonji drove us all home. Bailey used her salad expertise to clean lettuce while I prepared the pesto pasta (using my latest recipe posted, I might add). Dinner was ready in no time, and we all devoured the salad and pasta. Bailey introduced us to the show Broad City, and then it was time for bed.
Bailey left the next day around noon on Saturday, but I only had a few days to wait before more family came to visit. My parents got in very late Thursday night and we went to bed soon after their arrival, poor Jonji having to wake up at 4:30 am the next morning.
The next day Mom and Dad accompanied me to my PT appointment—I really know how to entertain guests—after which we drove Downtown to visit the new Mast Brothers chocolate factory. Learning that tours started every hour, we happily traipsed next door to Stumptown Coffee and waited there for the next tour. At 11 am, we found ourselves the only three taking part in the tour. Our guide was extremely excited about her job, which made things much more fun. We got to taste a raw cocao bean, which has a rather snotty consistency but a pleasant mango-like flavor. I highly recommend taking the tour—the factory is designed such that it makes viewing the whole process really easy. Plus, they give you as much chocolate to taste as you could possibly want, as well as some of their chocolate beer (sounds weird, but is actually more like a light kombucha). We left an hour later with full bellies and plenty of chocolate bars to take home.
That evening we got drinks at The Tasting Kitchen, which apparently I am becoming something of a regular at. We made friends with the bartender, Kent, who described all the various cocktail elements that we saw behind the bar while Dad took notes for experimentation back home. We each pretended to be Mrs. Cole, the notorious gin-lover of the Harry Potter series, while we sipped our drinks. Eventually we said goodbye to our new BFF Kent and made our way home to make dinner. Jonji had another early morning the next day, so we went to bed fairly early.
Our last full day together was mainly spent at our place, drinking coffee and chatting. There was one point in the afternoon when I was the only one awake, Jonji having come home from the hospital and infecting my parents and cats with the urge to nap. Everyone woke up in time to go to Plan Check for dinner, where we devoured some fried chicken and charcuterie before our burgers got to the table. From there we made the substantial drive to Neveux, where we got to catch up with our ice-cream-server friend Tim, and then happily wolfed down a couple scoops each of Neveux’s glorious ice cream. Stuffed, we made our way home and stayed awake long enough for Dad and I to beat Mom and Jonji at cribbage.
We made a trip to the Farmer’s Market the next morning, where Mom flitted every which way depending on which stall caught her fancy. We left with bags full of produce, a couple of huge dahlias, and some truly excellent smoked salmon. After Mom packed their lunches, it was once again time to say goodbye. No matter how many times we have to do it, repetition doesn’t seem to make it any more pleasant for them to leave.
One of the best parts about summer time is the abundance of delicious stone fruits. I have been stocking up on peaches, nectarines, and plums at the market lately. I usually try and save a few for a galette, which means fighting Jonji off the perfectly ripe peaches long enough to make one. I baked one the evening Mom and Dad came into town, and we finished off the last slices the morning they left. I have been using Liz Prueitt’s (Tartine pastry queen and mastermind) rugelach dough for galettes and pies lately because it has a rich, complex flavor from different types of flour, but still retains that all-important flaky pie dough texture. It’s also gluten-free, if you’re interested in that. I absolutely love pie, galettes, and the dough used to make each, so trust me when I say this is an excellent addition to anyone’s baking repertoire.
Peach Galette with Liz Prueitt’s Rugelach Dough
makes enough dough for 2 large galettes
for the dough
2 oz white rice flour
2 oz tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour)
3 oz oat flour
0.5 oz buckwheat flour
scant 1/2 tsp salt
4 oz cold unsalted butter
4 oz cold cream cheese
for the fruit
3–4 ripe peaches or other stone fruit
1–2 tbsp sugar
couple pinches cinnamon or nutmeg
pinch of salt
Make the dough: Measure all flours into a small bowl (you’ll need a scale for this). Add the salt and stir. Pour the dry ingredients into a food processor. Cut the butter and cream cheese into 1/2-inch squares and drop into the flour. Pulse until the mixture just comes together into large chunks. Press the dough into two disks, wrap, and refrigerate for 15 minutes (too long in the fridge will make it hard to roll out—if it goes too long, just take the dough out 15 minutes before you want to roll).
While the dough is chilling, prepare the fruit. If you’re like me and hate peach skin, remove the skin now. Slice the fruit into thin wedges. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Remove one of the disks of dough from the fridge. Roll it out on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper until it’s about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the rolled-out dough, still on its parchment paper, to a large baking sheet. Leaving about a 2-inch border of dough all around the outside, arrange the fruit in concentric circles from the outside in. Sprinkle 1–2 tbsp sugar, a couple pinches of cinnamon and/or nutmeg, and a small pinch of salt over the fruit. Gently fold the edges of the dough over the outermost circle of fruit, patching any cracks by pressing down firmly.
Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 400°F and bake for another 35–45 minutes. The galette will be done when the dough is lightly browned. Enjoy!