August 20, 2011

Good For the Soul

Sometimes we get caught up in the everyday, letting other things go by the wayside.  Our days become filled with the same routine:  go to work, make dinner, wash dishes, wash clothes, clean the house, go grocery shopping, run errands, etc.  
Life just seems to get in the way of having,  well....  a life.

Often times, we don't mean to let important things get pushed to the back burner and when we make time for them, we realize just how much they mean to us.

My visit with Sonali & Tracey was just that.  It had been 6 years since the three of us had all been together,  even though we are in touch with each other we hadn't had actual face time.   When we sat down and realized it had been that long,  I think we were all a bit shocked.

The three of us had met in Culinary school and had become fast friends.  We would pore over food journals and magazines as if they were salacious material in front of adolescent boys.  We would laugh & refer to it (lovingly) as "food porn",  a term I still use with frequency I might add...

Just Graduated from Culinary School!

We had a lovely BBQ,  with Sonali's charming husband graciously manning the grill (thank you Jack), all four children playing beside us, the sound of their laughter filling the air.  It was absolutely idyllic.

Sometimes you realize food isn't the only thing that nourishes you.  Seeing those two particular faces made my heart swell and fill with a happiness that only old friends can bring.  We talked for hours & yet it seemed like only minutes had passed, I don't think we really even stopped to catch our breath.
It was exactly what I had been needing...

Before we knew it, dusk was about to set in and we all needed to hit the road back home,  though this time we promised it would not be the road less traveled.

Peaches with Mascarpone

Sonali & I were each given a bag of freshly picked peaches courtesy of Tracey & her boys.  They were so fragrant, they just oozed "peachiness".   Here is what I did with mine,  it was inspired by Nigella's Mint Julep Peaches.
  • 6 - 8 peaches
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp. bourbon
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds removed & set aside
  • 1 c. mascarpone
  • 1/4 c.  powdered sugar
  • juice of half a lemon 
peaches bubbling in their spicy sweet syrup
    1. Combine water, sugar, 1 cup bourbon, and the vanilla bean (not the seeds) in a medium saute pan over medium heat.  Whisk to combine and bring to a simmer.  Let it bubble away for a few minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved.
    2. Cut peaches and remove the pits.  Place carefully into the simmering syrup,  cut side down & cook for 2 minutes.  Turn over and cook 1 to 2 minutes more.  Depending on the ripeness of your peaches,  they may need to cook longer. 
    3. Remove peaches and carefully peel off their fuzzy skin.  
    4. Reduce liquid until it is thick & syrupy.
    5. Whisk together mascarpone, lemon juice, powdered sugar, seeds from vanilla bean & 2 tbsp bourbon until smooth & completely combined.
    6. Serve peaches with a dollop of mascarpone and drizzled with the thick, rosy peach syrup.
    7. Garnish with mint leaves.

    One Perfect Peach

    This dessert may not look like much,  but it is absolutely divine transcendent and well worth every minute of effort.

    My beautiful friends & me

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