At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.
– Frida Kahlo
It is hard not to love Frida Kahlo. She was a woman who transgressed boundaries; a woman who stood in defiance. Gravely injured in a streetcar accident as a girl, she spent the rest of her life as a force of nature. Even through photos she exudes presence, individuality, character. Frida was a proud Mexican women and a committed communist. She had an affair with Trotsky, and took women as lovers, too. She married the greatest Mexican artist of the time but built her own name as an artist of immense talent and originality and skill.
Yesterday was International Women’s Day. In a world where women continue to be abused, killed, spoken down to, dismissed, under-represented, raped, tortured, ignored and oppressed, it is a good time to reflect upon the giant leaps and bounds that have been made towards gender equality. As well as the giant leaps and bounds that still need to be made.
The statistics are sobering. Studies show that at least a third of women worldwide have experienced some form of sexual violence. In Australia intimate partner violence is the leading contributor to death, disability and illness amongst women aged 15 – 44 years old. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, where rape is routinely used as a weapon of war, an estimated 48 women are raped every hour. It is all fucked up.
But women are not just victims. There are amazing individuals in all countries in all walks of life whose work, whether explicitly or implicitly, contributes to closing the gender equality gap and bringing dignity and choice to all women. From Australian of the Year Rosie Batty whose outspokenness has helped to put domestic violence on the national agenda, to the women in India who took to the streets in mass protest after the rape and murder of Jyoti Singh in 2012, to all of these kickass women.
So, take the time to celebrate all the women in your life. Not just today, but every day. And you can start by making them this Peach Walnut Crumble, where gooey sweet peaches meet their match with a kick of ginger and a buttery-walnuty crumble. Top with ice cream and PERFECT.
Peach Walnut Crumble
6 – 8 peaches
3 tbsps brown sugar
t tbsps arrowroot powder (or cornflour)
Juice of ½ a lemon
3 cm fresh ginger
1 cup walnuts, heaped
½ cup plain flour
½ cup rolled oats
½ cup brown sugar
6 pieces crystallised ginger
½ tsp salt
120 grams unsalted butter, cold
Vanilla bean ice cream, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°c/350°f.
Halve the pit the peaches. Slice into large-ish chunks and toss together in a large bowl with the 3 tbsps brown sugar, arrowroot powder, and lemon juice. Finely grate the ginger and add to the bowl, stirring everything through until well combined. Set aside.
Time to prepare the crumble topping. Start by adding the walnuts and one tablespoon of the flour into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until broken down. In a bowl combine the ground walnuts with the rest of the flour, the oats, sugar, and salt. Finely dice the crystallised ginger and add to the bowl. Chop the cold butter into cubes and use your fingers to work it through the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Don’t worry if the ‘crumbs’ aren’t all an even size, just as long as there are no large chunks of butter.
Transfer the peaches and their juice into a ceramic or glass baking dish with deep sides (mine is 22 x 20 cm), pressing into an even layer. Spread the crumble topping over the top making sure it reaches into all the corners and edges. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the fruit juices are bubbling.
Serve hot topped with vanilla bean ice cream.
Notes: also delicious cold the next day, perhaps for breakfast…