My voice sounds right now like a car passing near you without tires. Joe Cocker (my he rest in peace, great respect for his music and singing) is a lyric soprano compared to mine. I didn’t intend to go to Queen of the Night audition from The Magic flute or Lucia di Lamermoor for that matter, bur any normal producing sound reminding of my voice would do. I was advised by my ENT specialist to exercise abdominal breathing, talk less, talk quietly (?!) and if starts to get more hoarse quit the talking completely. They might as well book me for a limb amputation. And I’m there right now, vowed in silence. Rico is watching me completely bewildered, other members of family are celebrating “The silent week”, preparing the motion for my phoniatrician to be Slovenian of the year.
Deep in silence one has to think, and one of the thinking process is cutting the losses. How to save the vocal cords to have them later prepped for objecting to my husband, reminding the children to prepare the books for school, not to put dirty socks in a drawer with clean ones. I need some vocal cord function for coffee debates online and live with my friends, to shout at other drivers, discussing weather with neighbors, complaining about the prices with merchants. And of course for Rico: stay, sit, leave it, LET THE DEAR GOOOOO!!
As for singing, from my pair of lungs harsh airflow is going up as if it is attached to the vacuum hose not on larynx. The camera disclosed pair of nodules the size of gnocchi on my delicate cords.
All this meditating about opera and singing, gave me an idea what to do with peaches I got from my neighbor.
In this region these are small variety an inch in diameter, usually they are resilient to common peach diseases, and ecological, not the good looking sort but packed with flavor and aroma. Once they are picked you need to be organized and prepared in advance, with glass jars, large casseroles, bags of sugar, of which I have none that day I got them, First line of defense was not to take the large quantity, so I took just enough to make this desert in honor of opera diva from 19th century. First Pavlova the ballerina, and now, Melba the soprano.
I read once that the great chef Auguste Escoffier from hotel Savoy, invented the peach Melba as a hot and cold dessert in order to spare her already strained cords from performing in Wagner’s Lohengrin. Far from the truth, original recipe states that not only that peaches were served fresh on ice cream, the whole dish was presented on ice sculptured swan.
Later when he started his position at Ritz he did some changes adding the raspberry sauce stating that any change in recipe will ruin the original well balanced taste of the delicate ingredients. Decorative almond slivers were optional. This recipe has only scaffold of the famous recipe.
32 nut size peaches or 6 medium ones or 4 large ones halved and deboned
3 cups of water
1,5 cup of sugar
Vanilla ice cream (I don’t have yet ice cream machine, so it’s not homemade, I sent my kid to buy some)
250 g of rasberries
Sugar to your taste (Escoffier suggested 150g castor sugar)
Some blanched skinless and chopped fresh almonds if you want to decorate it as originally stated.
Combine water with sugar and add cinnamon and vanilla pod. Boil for 5 minutes than reduce to simmer. Add peaches. This kind is very small so I timed the boiling session in seconds, (20-30 sec) I shocked them very briefly in ice cold water and removed the skin. Sprinkle them with lemon juice, (or you can add lemon juice in ice cold water to prevent browning.
Blend the raspberries and strain them, gently pressing with the back of a spoon, through a fine sieve into a bowl.
Decorating, in a glass of your choice (or silver timbale as it was original suggested) put one or two scoops of ice cream, gently place the peaches over it and carefully drizzle raspberry puree over the anemic parts of aforementioned peaches. The dessert didn’t bring me my voice back but it brought back the smile on my face… and tennis shoes on my feet….just in case.