Guest Blogging: Fee, a Peach Trifle, and Lifelong Friendships
My life took many twist and turns, and in each one there were opportunities to leave friends behind and move forward with new opportunities. I guess, most people lives are this way, where with every step towards maturity, it means there is less room for our past. However, there has been one friend, who despite many changes and challenges, who stuck with me. Fee and I met freshman year at Kenyon, and just oddly clicked. I mean oddly because it was our goofiness that bound us, but our similarities that unified us. We lived together, I transferred to Georgetown, we graduated and found jobs in the same city, lived together again, moved away to different graduate schools, had several moves between then and now, but landed here in D.C. Recently, we had a great conversation, where we acknowledged that there were many moments where the easy thing would have been to walk away and give up. However, my family considers her family, and you don’t stop loving family because they decide to power saw on the porch. And, a dedicated friend, she moved on from my obnoxious forgetfulness with the lights and the dirty dishes. We grew up together, and knew that our friendship was more important than minor frustrations. Because in the end, we both realized that the core of who we are does not comprise of these little actions. I don’t believe small actions speak louder than words, because when you are in your early twenties many of your actions might as well be in a foreign language.
Now, the gift of this friendship keeps multiplying. I have a blood sister, who I love immensely, but Fee is my other sister. Sometimes, I struggle to explain how close we are to others, and sister is the only word that exists in English. There are factors contributing to our dedication. She introduced me to my husband nine years ago, who is her now-husband’s best friend. Although we traversed this fun, but potentially difficult journey (talk about setting up boundaries to protect friendship and married), we have now met the most amazing peak. We both have daughters who are six months apart, and I would be lying if I said we weren’t plotting their future friendship. Poor girls. I do know, from their interactions, they will at least be each others first friend, and I hope they can learn to grow with each other. This past week, the six of us went to the Outerbanks. We played, the girls played, and I couldn’t stop marveling at the luck of our collective happiness. But, it isn’t luck, it is because of our hard work at maintaining a friendship that was essential.
So, we cooked a dish each night to go on the blog; the previous broccolini was my own contribution. Fee, knowing my fear of making desserts, made this dish from Martha Stewart. I believe the choice of Stone Fruit, something sweet and hard, is a perfect choice in describing our growth together. Well, and the dessert was fantastic!
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest, plus 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into small pieces
- 3 1/2 pounds stone fruit, such as peaches or nectarines (about 8), halved, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 loaf homemade or store-bought pound or sponge cake, sliced 1/2 inch thick
- Garnish: lemon zest matchsticks
- Whisk together 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, the yolks, wine, lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer, stirring, until thick, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl. Stir in grated zest. Gradually whisk in butter until smooth. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of curd. Refrigerate until set, about 1 hour or up to 2 days.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss fruit with remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Roast fruit on 2 rimmed baking sheets, rotating their positions halfway through, until caramelized and juicy, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, with juices. Let cool slightly.
- Whisk cream until soft peaks form. Whisk curd to loosen. Working in 3 additions, fold whipped cream into curd.
- Layer a third of the cake in the bottom of a 12-cup bowl. Cover with a third of the lemon mousse. Spoon a third of the roasted fruit over lemon mousse. Repeat twice with remaining cake, lemon mousse, and fruit. Refrigerate trifle at least 2 hours or up to 1 day. Garnish with lemon zest.
We destroyed it.