For one week every summer, my in-laws host all their children and their spouses and all seven grandchildren for an event we call “Camp Kenai.”
This was the third annual camp and there was a full schedule of events. We had a beach day complete with fire-roasted s’mores, swimming, kite flying and sunburns. We had a scavenger hunt with thoughtfully worded puzzles for the children to solve, and a pinata surprise at the end. We had soccer games and made tie-dye T-shirts complete with ironed-on “Camp Kenai” logos for each child.
There were two pool days, many trips to the playground and the bike park, canoe and paddleboat rides on the lake, and countless turns down the zip line in the yard. We chased chickens and sampled honey still warm from the hive after lessons from Grandma on beekeeping and biology. There were quiet stories and chaotic playtimes and toys scattered far and wide, and at the end of each day all seven children were seated at the kids’ table for dinner in the evening sun.
The children are still small (this year the ages were 7, 7, 5, 5, 4, 3 and 2) but as they grow the activities will become more adventurous, and the ultimate goal is for my in-laws to get a week to bond with their grandchildren free of interference from the pesky parents.
For now, it warms my heart to watch my son develop his relationship with his cousins. This year a new and surprising facet of his personality shined through — he became the class clown. Each night at dinner he would make faces and play little pranks, giggling all the while.
For a few short weeks each summer, the peaches are perfectly ripe down south. I grabbed some to make a quick galette for our dessert the day that camp ended. This dish is simple but elegant and perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
For the crust
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter, very cold and cut into small pieces
6 tablespoons ice water
For the filling
2-3 ripe peaches
¼ cup sugar
Sparkling sugar for garnish
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
It’s easiest to make the crust in a food processor. Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of your processor and pulse to combine.
Slowly add your very cold butter, pulsing as you go.
When all the butter has been incorporated, add in the ice water one tablespoon at a time until the dough just comes together.
Turn the dough out onto the counter and form into a disk. Do not knead — just work enough to form the disk.
Wrap tightly in plastic and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
***If you do not have a food processor, combine the dry ingredients, then use your fingertips in a pinching motion to add the butter like you would when making biscuits. Then add the water until it comes together. ***
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Slice your washed, unpeeled peaches ¼-inch thick as uniformly as possible and place in a large bowl.
Sprinkle on the sugar, flour and cinnamon and toss to coat.
Remove your dough from the refrigerator and place it on a parchment-lined baking tray.
Roll the dough out to about a 14-inch circle (should be about 1/3-inch thick). Don’t worry about making the edges pretty.
Artfully arrange your peach slices leaving a 1-inch margin around the outside.
Fold the excess dough over the peaches, brush with an egg wash, then sprinkle with sparkly sugar.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.