Sangria & School Lunches

cold white sangria

This has been the Summer of Sangria for us, to the point that I exhausted our liquor supply. I have been making them since the first market peaches in early July. Seattle, Pipitone Farms from Rock Island have had some of the best peaches in recent weeks. It’s September and our markets still have incredible peaches, with two or three weeks left in the season, so bottom’s up!

Today they’re also my way of getting a word in about local politics. State alcohol prices have been raised recently, to cut the deficit, and in Washington only the state can sell liquor. We enjoyed plenty before the price hike, but what a bunch of BS — taking booze away from the little guys, in the hard times, while this state maintains some of the highest salaries for public officials.

School days are also here again. I will be happy if they put our booze money toward healthier school lunches! The Child Nutrition Act expires on September 30th 2009, and it only gets reviewed and reauthorized every 5 years. My local co-op, PCC Sound Consumer is where I learned more about it. You can support healthy school lunches by writing to your legislators and by signing this petition at Slow Food USA.

The Farm to School initiative gained quite a bit of momentum last year when I wrote about it and Washington State fared well because all of us spoke up. This year though, the funding for it was cut, so only 12 schools, instead of 25 as originally approved may have fresh, healthy lunches.
We in America still too often feed kids the worst food available. Washington State prides itself on its local food, with many year-round farmers’ markets even in Seattle neighborhoods. What if the highest paid state officials take a salary cut to give our children healthier lunches?!

I wasn’t planning to say it with sangria, but these can really get the conversation going. Below is my recipe for Peach Sangria. To a fruitful summer!

I used:
2 thinly sliced peaches
1 tablespoon freshly chopped mint
1 bottle dry white wine
4-5 teaspoons sugar (more if the peaches aren’t sweet, or use simple syrup)
2-3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1/2 cup orange juice
a small pinch of salt

My Method:
1. Toss the Grand Marnier, peaches, sugar, salt, and mint in a cup, then let it sit for few minutes till the sugar melts.
2. Transfer it all to a pitcher, add the orange juice, then add the wine, then stir and chill.
3. When ready to serve, fill up your glasses with ice and generously pour, spooning out the peaches as needed.