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EAT A PEACH

The last of summer’s peaches are larger than baseballs. They make me think of Dori Sanders, South Carolina novelist and peach farmer extraordinaire. The last time I stopped at her farm stand, there was a peach calendar, of sorts (“Expect Albertas about the first week of August”), so you could plan a trip accordingly, and there was a handy roll of paper towels next to the peaches for tasting.

Here in Northeast, the weather has made for Dori-worthy fruit—intensely sweet and juicy. Yesterday, I could have made a cobbler, with a thick, golden, biscuity crust; or a pie, with a flakier crust; or what in some Savannah houses are called “bourbonated” peaches—a syrupy, suave conserve that’s fabulous with ham or chicken for dinner, alongside pound cake for dessert, or straight out of the jar when no one is looking.

But instead I tried a stunningly simple approach I learned from the masterful Georgeanne Brennan just over a year ago: I put whole peaches in a baking dish and rolled them around in a nice amount of olive oil. Then I scattered a generous amount of sugar over them and tucked them in the oven before we sat down to dinner with friends we hadn’t seen forever.

In other words, I did no work whatsoever.

I didn’t really think about dessert again until the aroma reached the dinner table. “I could just roll around in that smell,” someone declared, and almost knocked over a wineglass. Embellished with a little crème fraîche, the roasted peaches had a deep-flavored sweetness and almost molten texture. They somehow managed to pull off the trick of being simultaneously understated and luxurious, which might be a little old-fashioned, but it is a very neat trick indeed.

Comments

Comment from Lee Ann Foster
Time October 1, 2010 at 8:16 am

You inspire simplicity with these solitary stars. Look forward to future posts. Thank you LA.

Comment from admin
Time October 3, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Goodness, gracious–that is high praise….Many thanks.

Comment from Andree W.
Time October 5, 2010 at 7:55 am

I’m not sure exactly how, but I have just come upon your blog! These are just a few words to let you know how much I miss Gourmet and you and all your colleagues. It almost felt like you were friends, after seeing your name for so many years. I miss Gourmet so very much. I thought about all the people who worked so hard on the magazine for so long and wondered what the future would hold for them. Here’s just an example of how much I miss Gourmet. I have about 20 or so magazines on my coffee table. Most are fairly recent. However, the November 2009 issue of Gourmet is still there. I’ve looked through it and enjoyed it, but haven’t been able to completely read it cover-to-cover. I feel like I’m “saving” it. As long as I don’t really read it, it will still be new. It won’t be gone. Crazy thinking, but it’s just a psychological approach to dealing with a loss. When I heard about Gourmet closing, it was sad to me, because Gourmet would no longer come to my home every month. I would miss being able to read and cook from the recipes. But, I also thought about the loss of jobs and workplace for all of you. I thought about the people who were photographers, writers, test kitchen staff, all the people behind-the-scenes. I am hopeful they have all been able to find places to continue contributing to the food community.

Comment from admin
Time October 5, 2010 at 9:06 am

Thank you for your lovely words—I’ll be sure to share them with my former colleagues. Your timing is uncanny; today marks the one-year anniversary of the magazine’s folding.

Comment from Hodding
Time October 7, 2010 at 6:47 am

Enough is enough, Jane Lear, you big showoff! I’m truly offended by the beauty of your photos and the allure of your words. It’s one thing to know so much but to present your knowledge and skill so blatantly? Completely unfair.

You’ve been warned, Jane Lear: tone it down or else…

…or else I have no choice but to bow down before you, Oh Delightful One.

Have fun!

Comment from admin
Time October 7, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Oh, Hodding, don’t go all mushy on me.

Comment from Jai
Time October 14, 2010 at 4:46 pm

I love the Allman Bros… and roasted fruit!!!

Pingback from Baked Peaches « La Vie Toni
Time October 18, 2010 at 8:39 am

[...] I forgot about these pictures I’d taken in the morning. I made baked peaches after reading this blog. As a side note, I came across this blog via Ruth Reichl’s Twitter account, and if you [...]

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