I reconnected with an old friend recently. We hadn't talked in a long while - no reason, really, except distance, time... all those immutable forces. But he just moved to my city, and reached out to me. In the course of our online how-are-you, what-are-you-up-to chat, he mentioned Jensen Bakes, and wondered why it had been so long since I last posted.
My first instinct was to respond quickly and flippantly: "Laziness, primarily!" But that wouldn't be fair. I owe myself, above all, the whole picture.
So, short answer? Laziness. Long answer?
Depression is a sneaky little bitch. It can come out of nowhere, so steadily and silently that you don't even know its there until... its there. Yes, there is sadness, and exhaustion (both physical and mental). But for me, its most insidious traits are less obvious. Less well-known.
It produces a toxic cocktail. Two parts lack of self-confidence, combined with one part focusing on the happiness and success of others as if happiness and success is a zero-sum game. Shake well and strain. Garnish with a foggy brain, and there you have it: a profound, unshakable lack of motivation.
Why do anything when you know it won't be good enough? When you know it (and you) will fail? Even when I managed to get myself together enough to develop a recipe over the last few months, and even shoot some photos, somehow I could never find the words for it. My notebooks and memory cards are full of potential, and yet I can't produce it.
I developed this recipe on a whim this summer, when I knew my best friend would be coming over and I wanted something special to drink. For months, now, I've been telling myself I should write it up and post it here. But I didn't. And for the last few weeks, I've beaten myself up over it.
Its too summery. Its fall now. No one wants to barbecue.
No one has fresh, beautiful peaches anymore!
But I'm saying to hell with that. Fuck it. And fuck you to that voice in my head.
Because this drink is delicious. And easy. And I need a great cocktail to counterbalance that toxic one. You deserve it, and so do I.
Grilled Peach & Mint Boozie (a boozy smoothie, naturally)
3 ripe peaches
1 sprig of mint (about 10-12 leaves)
1/2 an orange, juiced
2 tsp brown sugar
3 oz rum
Halve peaches, remove pits, and place flesh-side down on a hot, lightly oiled grill. Leave in place until grill marks appear and the peaches have softened significantly -- about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove to a plate, and allow peaches to cool slightly.
When cool enough to handle, peel the peaches. Put half the peaches in the freezer until frozen through (about 4-6 hours, but overnight is easiest.) Keep the other half in the fridge.
When the freezer-peaches are frozen, blend together with the fridge-peaches, mint, orange juice, brown sugar, and rum until smooth. Serve over ice. Treat yourself with love and kindness.