Monday, July 30, 2007

coming soon...

Monday, June 25, 2007

First of the Season

Well, not exactly, but close enough. Without easy access to a car or bike, it's difficult to make it to Hy-Vee, where I understand some of the finest produce in Grinnell is located. So I waited, patiently, for Fairway to offer up something delicious. And it has, finally. Firm yet supple skin, luxurious fuzz, and moderately aromatic, these peaches seemed like a safe bet. I purchased five of the beauties.
Actually, one ended up in a crème brûlée. (Please forgive the detour; as you may recall, my rules judiciously permit specific reasonable exemptions from the "no peach analogs" restriction.) It was mushed, fried, charred, and slightly caramelized before finding its way to the bottom of four glass cups destined for the oven. Moving upwards, the next layer was light in hue and flavored with vanilla, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon. Followed by a golden saffron-vanilla layer, and topped off with a slightly-charred sugary crust. This may sound like an elaborate and overambitious project, but believe you me: there's been enough time this summer to make several variations on several recipes, so making these newest, latest decadent treats-- while not quite a walk-in-the-park-- wasn't as difficult to pull off for me and my highly experienced and highly capable sous chef as it might have been for less capable and less inventive abecedarians. At any rate, the peaches at the bottom of these sweet and creamy breakfasts was tart and needed more caramelization before baking.
So but anyways, the "whole, raw, beautiful peaches" lived up to their expectations, texture-wise, though not in flavor. Though their meat gave way to the teeth without any hint of that dreaded over-ripe sogginess, their mildly-colored interior heralded mildness in flavor. This was bizarre- it was the first time I had ever experienced peaches whose texture and flavor were so incongruous. But I am putting this anti-climax behind me. As the entrepreneurs of the ultimate dessert would tell me regarding my relatively mildly disappointing first-recorded-peach-of-the-summer-experience, c'est la vie. Two-stars.

Not the same one we made, but looks just like it.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Project

I love peaches.
And I mean I love them. I think my relationship with peaches is somewhat creepy when you get down to it. Okay, you're probably gonna say that you love peaches too. And you'd be right. Especially if you're brendan.

Now, I know what you may be thinking. The internet is a place of cheap imitators and petty charlatans. But I am not among their ranks.
You ever debased thousands of years of profound thought as a commercial promoter of kitch?
Do you make your living as an altruistic spammer of investment "advice?"
You ever blatantly mocked a close friend's earnest endeavor in a public setting?
I can't say that I have.

I'll eat them. And document each tasty, juicy, easily bruisable experience. At least 101.

1) We're talking PEACHES. No peach analogs (except peach cobbler, peach juice, peaches & cream, etc.)
2) If it sucks, you still have to eat it all. Twice.
3) Style-points if I suck/swallow the pit.
4) Sploshing's totally cool- even encouraged.