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.