Tuesday, July 31, 2007

not a food blog

My attention seems to be taken up with good things to eat over the past few days. I've been so busy cooking, chopping, grinding, sniffing and eating that I have not paid attention to the writing about it.

At Saturday's Farmers' Market Dorothy had not only the most beautiful deep purple eggplant but also bags of her famous best- ever basil. They called out to me, "Pesto me!" Just as the peaches begged, "Cobbler me!" and the corn, "Grill me!" So I brought home a big bag of fragrant basil leaves along with the other usual veggies and fruits of the season. At home I dragged out the (Beta version) very old Cuisinart, tossed basil, garlic, oil, almonds (no pine nuts on hand) beneath the whirling blades, and presto! Pesto! Not the best I have ever produced; I guess I am sorely out of practice. But certainly good enough to slather over some delectable penne for dinner. The rest will be put into an ice cube tray and frozen for future enjoyment. It needed to be smoother; a bit too coarse. That was the fault of the almonds, I think.

The next item on the menu was gazpacho, to my mind the perfect summer soup. Right behind vichyssoise at the Georges V or tomato en croute at the Domaine Chandon winery in Yountville. The tomatoes, peppers and cukes were so abundant in the market what else could I do? I dug out my old recipe, set up my magic chopper and went to work. After letting the soup chill, I sat down to a most refreshing lunch! I was missing the sour cream dollop, but it was so spicy, crunchy and rich I hardly missed it.

But now comes the really good part.
Babcock Bonanza!

Into my neighbor's yard fell a fully-loaded branch of these delicate beauties. Like a gift from heaven instead of the yard in back. She picked two boxes of these lovely, sweet peaches; one had peaches ripe and ready to enjoy, the others still with a few days left to mature into perfection. I remember my mother prepared a dessert of half a Babcok with a spoonful of brown sugar in the pit cavity then drizzled with sour cream. Summer in a bite! I have never been able to cook with these successfully; they are too delicate for a pie. They turn to mush. But they can be gently poached and served warm or cold with softly beaten whipping cream and some slivered almonds. I will undoubtedly end up peeling and eating most of them. They're just too good to eat any other way.

Today is the birthday of J. K. Rowling, creator of Harry F. Potter. HB, JK.


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