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In May of this year Nancy and I were able to actually take a day off together from the restaurant. Most of the time, one of us takes a day off and the other goes to work. It’s great to own your own business, but it has its moments… moments when I would like to scream and slap myself across the face and ask “why did you leave that corporate america job with the set salary, vacation and benefits.” Fortunately these moments are not to often, two or three times a day at most.

My nephew, who lives in Seattle, was getting married and I was going to be in his wedding. Nancy and I decided that we would fly up on Thursday night so we could spend Friday in the city before the rehearsal dinner later that night.

Seven years ago I lived in North Bend, about 45 minutes east of Seattle for almost a year. For the past 10 years I’ve visited Seattle and the surrounding areas quite a few times to see my sister’s family and my friends. Seattle is by far one of my favorite places.

Nancy loves Pikes Peak Market so on Friday we ventured down to walk around and at some point we ended up in Beecher’s Handmade Cheese shop where I picked up “Pure Flavor”, Kurt Beecher’s cookbook.

When I got back to the hotel that night I read through the book and was very impressed with the photography and the quality of the recipes. One photograph caught my attention right off, it was the Summer Berry Parfait recipe. Heavy cream, sour cream, simple syrup, fruit and honey… wow how could you go wrong? I first made it a few months back for my parents, they loved it, and have been looking for the opportunity to make it again. Well the opportunity came tonight because we had Nancy’s dad and sister over for his birthday.

We are short one person at the restaurant and I worked 11 hours today, but I knew I could make this in 15 minutes after walking in the door. Better yet, I knew everyone would enjoy it.

The recipe is adapted from the one in Mr. Beecher’s book. I used fresh fruit from the farmer’s market. Experiment with the fruit, you will have a blast.

Summer Fruit Parfait (serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 1 cup of nectarines – original recipe calls for raspberries, but I had nectarines
  • 1/2 cup crunchy granola
  • Mint leaves for garnish (optional)

To make the simple syrup grab a small saucepan, toss in 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and the sugar. I like vanilla so I put 1 teaspoon this last time I made it. Heat over medium heat until boiling, stirring along the way until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the burner, set aside to cool.

Now for the cream. Grab a bowl and combine the sour cream, heavy cream, honey and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract with a whisk or fork. Just until creamy, don’t over do it. You are not looking for whipped cream.

Now for the fruit… place the strawberries, blueberries and nectarines or whatever fruit is available in 3 separate small bowls. Keep a few strawberries on the side for a garnish. Add the simple syrup in equal amounts to each bowl and then gently mix with a flexible spatula, or in my case your fingers. Clean fingers!

Now the fun part. You can assemble them anyway you see fit. I kind of followed the original recipe, didn’t really measure though, have fun.

Place 1 tablespoon of granola in the bottom of each of the 4 glasses. Top with strawberries and a layer of cream. Smooth to the edge of the glass if you want. Add a layer of blueberries and another layer of cream, followed by a layer of nectarines. Top off with a final bit of cream, a few strawberries, some granola.

Refrigerate until ready to eat, up to 3 hours!

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