my occasional musings on life, love, art, perfume ... what else is there?

8.29.2006

Spiced Peaches

I'm making peach butter (many thanks to Natalia for her recipe) and it's making the place smell like one of my favorite memories.

Not the grandmotherly type, Edythe Eloise was still a wonderful cook. Almost as if she made up for her lack of motherliness with a determined hand in the kitchen.

I will never forget Sunday dinner with her southern-style, dipped-in-buttermilk, heavily-breaded, deep-fried chicken, green-gone-to-gray stringbeans soaked in bacon fat, mashed potatoes with their silken dress of pale milk gravy. (No wonder my favorite uncle had his first heart attack at 42.)

But best of all were pickled beets and the spiced peaches.

I can bring a family portrait to life in my mind, smelling the jam I'm making and remembering my grandmother.

There's more than one way to recapture a memory: as vivid as sepia-toned photos, the spice-sharp scent of peaches.

17 Comments:

Blogger Bela said...

That sounds scrumptious. Could we have the recipe, please?

There are so many food smells that I remember from my childhood. I wish I could recapture them all.

6:29 PM

 
Blogger AP3 said...

Mmmmm.... that sounds really yummy!

7:57 PM

 
Blogger mireille said...

Have sent the recipe to you both! xoxo

8:46 PM

 
Blogger Doug said...

The prose is pretty as a peach.

5:46 AM

 
Blogger WinterWheat said...

Wow, sounds wonderful. I love the silken-dress description of the gravy. It perfectly describes that thin, satiny-looking skin that forms on gravy that's been sitting a few moments (as opposed to the plastic skin that forms after a few hours).

Nigella Lawson has a recipe for quince brandy that I made one year. It's delicious and smells wonderful. You just fill a jar with a few cleavered quince, add some spices (allspice, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, perhaps a vanilla bean), and cover it all with cheap brandy, making sure the fruit is submerged. Let sit a few months and ladle out to happy visitors during the holidays.

7:06 AM

 
Blogger Tan Lucy Pez said...

Oh, jove! You have made me hungry! I love peaches. I never had peach butter though. I just bought some pumpkin butter at Roots Market (giant farmers' mkt.). But there's nothing like smelling it cook.

9:15 AM

 
Blogger ariel said...

"No wonder my favorite uncle had his first heart attack at 42." is just the way to tell it all, LOL!!!

beautiful memories. smells can do that!

2:37 PM

 
Blogger ariel said...

idiot me, I did not mean heart attack is a nice memory but the way the smell of your peaches brings your grandmother's foods back, and those Sundays, and that portrait of your family.

2:39 PM

 
Blogger Pope Benedict XVI said...

sounds wonderful

8:26 PM

 
Blogger mireille said...

Pope! I've missed you! xoxo

7:54 AM

 
Blogger Minka said...

Yeah that happens to me soemtimes as well. I find a smell and I know it reminds me of something, but it always takes a while to get the smell connected to the scenery.
Freshly cut gras is one of my favourite smells in the world.
grandma used to put me on teh gras...I must have been 3 or four, she would get out her scythe and get going. I still see that image whenever I cut the lawn.

5:19 PM

 
Blogger Minka said...

Of course...there was a huge distance between me and the scythe, for those wondering;)

5:19 PM

 
Blogger mireille said...

Minka, we WERE wondering. *poor little tyke* xoxo

7:35 PM

 
Blogger Jamie said...

"green-gone-to-gray stringbeans soaked in bacon fat"

*drool*

I love green beans in any form, but the soul food variety are the bestest.

8:02 PM

 
Blogger AP3 said...

Rabbit, rabbit! Woo hoo! Lagomania!

2:41 AM

 
Blogger Doug said...

Rabbit, rabbit!

One bad swing of the scythe and it would have been Minka, Minka

3:57 AM

 
Blogger puppytoes said...

i can't decide if i should be jealous because i was never exposed to this style of cooking, or grateful. since my mother (who grew up under the watchful eye of her old-school Swedish grandmother) kept us on a diet of canned spinach and overcooked everything, i think i'll be jealous. but just a touch. for surely, had i been exposed to such cooking, i'd be as wide as a barn (and probably living in one, to boot!)

the peach butter sounds beyond delicious... i'm salivating even as i type! Rabbit, Rabbit, dear Mireille! xox neva

10:55 AM

 

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