After moving 3 times in the last year, my partner and we have finally found a place we can call our home. It took a couple of months settling in and making the place feel like “ours,” but I’m finally getting back in the kitchen where I truly feel at home.
While whipping up a batch of peach cobbler for dessert the other night, I got to thinking about other couples in our shoes—those recently relocated, or perhaps recently partnered. After all, with gay marriage now legalized in New York, not to mention Iowa and even the Nation’s capitol, there’s sure to be a vast number of newlyweds and domestic partners encountering similar experiences to ours.
I think it goes without saying, settling down to married life, as well as learning to cook for your spouse is not easy for anyone. In particular, many homosexual couples, accustomed to dining out regularly and living a very active social agenda have found becoming domestic difficult. But there’s no reason it shouldn’t be fun, pleasurable, or delicious.
Personally, settling down with my partner not only ushered in a new lifestyle both socially and spiritually, but consequentially signed me up for a crash course in cooking for two. Luckily, my mother and father had taken the time to include me in the kitchen while growing up. At the same time, my partner’s mother and father had taken the time domesticating him in other ways.
Within our first week of living together we made our life long pact: I would forever cook the meals if he would forever do our laundry. We shook on it like it was official business, because it was; and it’s worked ever since.
I’d later go on to joke, “The reason I cook for my partner is because I couldn’t bear to see him go hungry,” and the reason he does my laundry, is he couldn’t bear to see me go naked.” With that in mind, I’d like to share with you my recently partnered and/or recently relocated readers, the Peach Cobbler recipe which inspired this article, as well as my recipe for Ginger Mint Lemonade- sure to beat the Labor Day heat AND put a pucker on your partner’s lips!
Cheers to life-long pacts!
Peach Cobbler for Two
Cooking this delectable dessert for your new gay husband or wife is a simple task that’s sure to please. Consider making this dessert with nectarines, plums, or apricots this summer. Pick a stone fruit and get baking. It’s so warm and satisfying. When selecting peaches, try to get freestone to make removing the pit easier.
- 1 ripe peach
- 1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 Cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 Tablespoons old-fashioned oats
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1 Tablespoon shredded coconut
- 1 Tablespoon slivered almonds
- 2 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
- Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Slice a peach in half and remove the pit. With a small spoon, scoop out the the dark red pit center, creating just a bit more room for the crumble topping.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, oats, salt, coconut, and almonds. Add butter and, with your fingers, work the butter into the dry ingredients. Quickly break up the butter until it is well combined. Some of the butter bits will be the size of oat flakes, others will be the size of small peas.
- Place peach halves, cut side up, in a small, oven-safe lightly buttered dish. Top each peach half with a generous portion of crumble topping. Heap it on!
- Bake for 20 minutes, until topping is golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve warm with vanilla ice cream or cold milk. Peaches are best served warm from the oven.
Ginger Mint Lemonade
- 2 Quart pitcher
- 5 or 6 fresh lemons (medium)
- 3 oranges (Valencia preferred to navel for juicing, though blood oranges are stellar as well)
- 1 Cup fresh-sliced ginger (peeled) (roughly the size of your palm, or the length of your hand)
- 1 Cup white sugar
- 1 Cup water
- a few sprigs of fresh mint
- Juice citrus to yield approximately 2 cups of juice, more or less depending on desired tartness. (If you don’t own an electric juicer, or hand-held juicer, a fork works great!)
- Take 3-5 sprigs of mint and gently muddle with 1 teaspoon of sugar at the bottom of a 2 Quart pitcher. (Gently pressed to release oils vs. pulverized as you would in a Mojito.)
- Fill pitcher 1/3 of the way with ice.
- Strain juice into the pitcher to remove pulp and seeds. Place in fridge to keep cool.
- Peel and slice ginger as thin as you can manage.
- Combine water and sugar in medium size saucepan, stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Add fresh ginger and left-over pulp (no seeds). Heat over medium and bring to a boil, stirring frequently and “mashing” ginger to extract flavor. A firm wire whisk works great!
- Reduce heat to simmer and continue stirring while syrup thickens. Allow up to 30 minutes for a strong ginger flavor, but don’t allow sugar to caramelize, and don’t forget to stir! (The best way to know if your syrup is ready is to simply taste it. Draw a small amount out with a spoon, allow it to cool for a long minute, make sure it’s not too hot and then try it.)
- Once desired ginger flavor is achieved, remove from heat and strain syrup to remove pulp and ginger.
- Allow syrup to cool for a few minutes before adding it to the juice/ice/mint mixture in the pitcher.
- Top off pitcher with cold water, stir, and serve over ice. Garnish with mint and lemon.
My favorite way is to run a wedge of lemon around the rim of the glass and gently dip it into a dish of sugar. Stick the wedge on the rim, pour your drink, and top with a few mint leaves. Use a Collins, Highball or Rocks glass for this recipe.
**Changing the amount of citrus as well as the types of citrus is something you can adjust for your taste. Also, remember the ice will melt, diluting the drink slightly as the beverage sits (even if refrigerated)—so be conscious of that when topping off with water! The best way to get it right is taste it, add some, taste it, add some, until you’ve achieved the balance of sweet and tart your palate desires. Enjoy!