Every week, your challenge is to create an eye-opening dish within our capricious themes and parameters. Blog your submission on Open Salon by Monday 10 a.m. EST -- with photos and your story behind the dish -- and we'll republish the winners on Salon on Tuesday. (It takes only 30 seconds to start a blog.) Please note that by participating, you're giving Salon permission to re-post your entry if it's chosen as a winner, and acknowledging that all words and images in your post are your own, unless explicitly stated. And yes, mashed potato sculpture counts as a dish. Emphatically.
This week, we asked for your peachiest recipes.
THIS WEEK'S WINNER:
Fiery Peach Relish by Felicia Lee: A proud, courageous woman, Felicia confesses to hating fresh peaches. (It's not her fault.) But, when faced with a pile of them, she still knows what to do -- cook them down to a savory, spicy relish, sweet with fruit and hot with chile.
THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY WINNERS:
In the Cocktail category:
Fuzzy Peaches by Katrocada: Peaches are like liquid sunshine, Katrocada writes, and it's a true depiction of a fruit that wants to be fluid more than solid. So why not help it on its way to the blender with some vodka and ice?
In the Crisp category:
Sweet-spiced Peach Crisp by Dollop of Cream: First of all, it's impossible not to love "Dollop of Cream" as a blog name. But nomenclature aside, Dollop shares a classic peach crisp with a few refined rustic touches -- oats and brown sugar in the crumble and a healthy dash of cinnamon and clove in the fruit, as delightful as her name.
In the Tart category:
Ginger Peach Tarts for Immortality by Linda Shiue: Peaches are a symbol of longevity in traditional Chinese lore. While Linda, a doctor, can't testify to their powers of immortality, she does feel a cultural connection to them -- and shares with us a simple, lovely way to showcase them at the table.
In the Refresher category:
White Peach Iced Tea by Grace Hwang Lynch: Inspired by the traditional Japanese tale of Momotaro the Peach Boy, Grace pairs up the fruit with tea for a sophisticated, subtly sweetened and perfumed drink.
PLUS, ALSO, TOO: THE EXCELLENT HONORABLE MENTIONS
The Ultimate Peach Cake Spectacle by Theresa Rice: Wow. Just ... wow. For those of you with two days to spare, a bunch of peaches, and someone you really want to impress, here is Theresa's 6-recipe peachstravaganza.
Grandpa Vince Knew How to Eat a Peach by At Home Pilgrim: This is not a recipe, per se, but a lovely portrait of a patriarch in food, one who knows how to beam smiles that say "life is good" at the table.
Vegan Peach-Almond Cheesecake by Another Mom Trying to Write: Despite her self-deprecating post, Another Mom is fighting the good fight, bringing a little bit of the dessert magic to our vegan friends. Why should dairy eaters get to have all the fun?
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AND NOW FOR THIS WEEK'S CHALLENGE:
What finer way is there to unwind after a difficult day than to kick off your shoes with a cocktail? And, well, wouldn't it be appropriate, then, to sew up this summer of discontent, too, with a little bit of restorative booze?
Whatever mirth oil spills and demagoguery spoil, the seasons continue to tick on (for now, at least ... sigh), giving us gifts from bushes, trees, vines and the earth. It's the end of summer, the fruit is partying in the fields, and we're all going to relax a little bit, OK? So this week, share with us your most contenting summer fruit cocktails, and we don't mean cans of syrupy fruit salad! (Though refreshing non-alcoholic concoctions for our non-partaking friends would be most welcome as well.)
Be sure to tag your posts: SKC Fruit Cocktail (Please note that by participating, you're giving Salon permission to re-post your entry if it's chosen as a winner, and acknowledging that all words and images in your post are your own, unless explicitly stated. Adaptations of existing recipes are fine, but please let us know where the original comes from. And if you'd like to participate but not have your post considered for republication on Salon, please note it in the post itself. Thanks!)
Scoring and winning
Scores will be very scientific, given for appealing photos, interesting stories behind your submissions, creativity, execution and gaiety.