Are you aware that today is July 2nd?
As in, two days before July 4th?
Which also happens to be America’s independence day?
Am I supposed to capitalize independence day?
I’m not sure.
What I am sure of is this: I completely forgot about the Fourth of July.
Please don’t revoke my citizenship.
You’d think that I would have picked up on a few hints to this upcoming holiday.
The TV commercials for super-huge sales.
The American flags displayed outside every other house…including my own.
Seriously, I can see it out the window as I type.
The blog posts filling up my Google Reader—each and every one of them containing Fourth of July recipes and party ideas.
But no. Not a single one of those things clued me in to the fact that the biggest summer holiday in the nation is the day after tomorrow.
You wanna know what I was doing?
Shakespeare and coffee cake.
Shakespeare because my sister has been participating in a Shakespearean acting camp for the past month.
I’ve seen Hamlet three times now.
I’ve seen my sister as Ophelia, as Gertrude, and as a sword-wielding guard of Prince Hamlet.
I’ve learned a bit of stage combat—strangling, thrashing, hair-pulling—as well.
Coffee cake because it’s delicious.
Because it has summery peaches.
Because it has cinnamon.
Because it’s even yummier with a dollop freshly whipped cream.
It’s something you should eat for breakfast or a snack while you prepare for the big Fourth of July bash.
Fact: My family does not throw a big Fourth of July bash.
Mainly because it’s hot outside.
Really, really, really hot.
Triple digits, people.
That ain’t no party.
That piece of coffee cake was room temperature.
The whipped cream melted because of the blazing heat in my backyard.
It made my cheeks turn pink.
It made me guzzle an icy water bottle and get a brain freeze.
America’s all about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Air conditioning gives me life.
I exercise my liberty to crank it down to frosty, Arctic temperatures.
It makes me happy.
Happy Fourth of July.
Peach and Cinnamon Coffee Cake
Recipe adapted from “Fresh Peach Cake” by Ina Garten
1 stick (1/4 pound) unsalted butter, softened
1 plus 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 plus 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 large, ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and 1 cup of the sugar for several minutes, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs one by one, then the sour cream and vanilla, mixing until well combined.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Mix the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a separate bowl.
Spread half the batter in the bottom of the pan. Top with half the peaches and sprinkle with half the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Spread the remaining batter on top and add the remaining peaches on top of that, sprinkling with the rest of the cinnamon-sugar.
Bake the coffee cake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm with whipped cream.