Monday, June 6, 2011

Life, Fresh Peach Ice Cream and Strawberry Shortcake!

We have gone from months of cold, miserable rain to hotter than hell with horrendous humidity! Oh, that's right, this is Kansas! I will say one thing I have enjoyed about our battle of weather fronts....amazing skies! But no matter how amazing they are, I am praying for next weekend's sky to be bright blue, with a few puffy white clouds. Art in the Vines is this Saturday! Please let it be nice! Please, let us have gentle, lovely weather! I am watching the Weather Channel hourly, but still don't know if I should pack up sunscreen and a hat, or water wings and a kayak!

I am preparing to go back into my landscape mode when I face my easel and a stark white canvas a week from now. Art in the Vines will be over, and I have no pressures on me to do anything for a while; all I have to do is paint! My, that sounds wonderful! Of course, I have to bake my fresh rosemary shortbread for the winery and the Tasteful Olive,  but that is it. I am ready for some down time, brand new white canvases, and a palette full of my favorite colors. I think an occasional day trip to take photographs would be fun and very useful. Flint Hills, here I come. Maybe a drive down to the Lake of the Ozarks.

There are a few recipes I've been wanting to try also. I am really into using my ice cream freezer. I saw a table at the market mounded with beautiful peaches and I immediately started remembering the fresh peach ice cream when I was a child. Strawberry Shortcake is wonderful, but Fresh Peach Ice Cream will get me every time! Here are recipes for both, just in case you are a Strawberry Shortcake person......

Fresh Peach Ice Cream
1 cup sugar

2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 large eggs
1 large fresh peach, pitted, skinned and pureed
1/2 cup peach soda, preferably Nehi
pinch salt


Put sugar, evaporated milk, 1/2 cup of the whole milk, and eggs into a medium saucepan and whisk until well combined. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 30 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl and set aside to let cool.
Once mixture has cooled, add puréed peach, peach soda, remaining whole milk, and a pinch of salt and stir well to combine.
Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer's directions. Transfer ice cream to a sealable freezer-safe container and freeze.

Strawberry Shortcake
Okay, there has been a battle going on for years concerning what the cake part should be....biscuits, angel food cake, pound cake, or those horrible little packaged cake cups. Being from one of the South's most northern cities, Columbia, Missouri, I grew up knowing only biscuits! I am still a believer...southern biscuit shortcakes are a must!


6 cups sliced strawberries
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream, whipped with 1 tbsp. sugar

2 cups Martha White® Self-Rising Flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup half-and-half

HEAT oven to 475°F. Coat large cookie sheet lightly with no-stick cooking spray. Combine strawberries and 1/3 cup sugar in medium bowl. Mix well. Set aside.

COMBINE flour and 2 tablespoons sugar in large bowl. Mix well. Cut in butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add half-and-half. Stir with fork until mixture is moistened. If necessary, stir in additional half-and-half a tablespoon at a time until moist.
KNEAD dough on lightly floured surface just until smooth. Roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with floured 3-inch round cutter or knife into 9 shortcakes. Place about 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet.
 BAKE 7 to 9 minutes or until golden brown. Split shortcakes; fill with strawberries and top with whipped cream.
 TIP....Shortcakes can be served warm or at room temperature
(photographs are courtesy of Southern Living)Speaking of recipes, do you have a stack of recipes from magazines, newspaper, scraps of paper, etc?  Doesn't everyone? About 10 years ago, I downloaded a MasterCook software that has allowed me to store thousands of them. Then,  after all of the work typing in all of those recipes, I wondered what the chances are of my computer crashing. I could easily lose all of them, PLUS all of my genealogy data and photographs by the hundreds! Years of work! I called my computer tech, Andrew, and he recommended Mozy. So, for $149 per year, I am now backed up, off site. If anything does crash, either laptop or desktop, I can call up and it will be there.  Whew! If you are looking for a backup system, google MozyHome Online Backup.

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy
oil painting by Kay Tucker

Somerset Autumn on Wea Creek

Somerset Autumn on Wea Creek
Oil Painting by Kay Tucker, Private Collection


oil painting by Kay Tucker

Kansas Storm

Kansas Storm
oil painting by Kay Tucker, Private Collection

Watercolor Collage

Watercolor Collage

Tempo al Tempo....All in Good Time

Tempo al Tempo....All in Good Time
48"x36" sculptural painting by Kay Tucker