We had anticipated that a half bushel would give us each 10-15 peaches – a slightly daunting challenge for a person living alone, given the fleeting perfection of summer peaches, but I was excited by the possibilities.
When Jody called to let me know she had picked up our half bushel, she cautioned that there were more than anticipated. I brought my basket over and loaded up, walking home through the neighborhood with several pounds of fragrant fresh fruit. Twenty peaches in all.
I started eating the first one before I had even closed the door behind me. It was delicious – about a day from perfection, so I left the basket on the counter overnight. The next morning, the kitchen smelled divine, and I ate one with breakfast. The juice dribbled down my chin and tasted warm and sunny, like summer.
Thursday night, it was Iron Chef: Peaches at my house. I started by making peach daiquiris, blending a peach with rum and a squeeze of lime juice. Divine. I made peach crisp and peach-oatmeal-blueberry bread and muffins. While it was all in the oven, I retreated to the hammock in the backyard and sipped my daiquiri under the stars.
But there were still more peaches, and despite eating them for breakfast and snacks, they were starting to turn. Somewhat frantic, Sunday night I pureed three with some yogurt, added ginger and lemon juice and poured them into popsicle molds. After they were partially frozen, I added some crystalized ginger, which definitely tempers the sweetness a bit.
And yet, there were still more peaches! I had one for a morning snack today, and eyed the last two suspiciously. They had started to shrivel just a bit, but cooking could salvage them. So how to close out my week of peaches?
I’d heard that grilling peaches really intensifies the flavor, so I decided to try Jenn’s grilled peaches with balsamic glaze. The grill was already nice and hot for my eggplant caponata, so it was a cinch to slice the last two peaches and throw them on the heat. The balsamic glaze was easy. They were fantastic, though I think I don’t even need the glaze. I have two halves left in the fridge for later in the week – perhaps I’ll just warm them up and add a little dollop of vanilla ice cream? And there’s still another serving of crisp, which will be great after a late night of class tomorrow.
What’s your favorite way to eat peaches? And is there a fruit that better epitomizes summer?