Millions of Peaches, Peaches for Me
Millions of Peaches, Peaches for Practically Free Because They Were Slightly Overripe and I Got the Whole Basket for $1.50 at the Farmer’s Market.
That is not a picture of vomited-upon peaches in a blender, I promise. I’ll get there.
So it’s the first Tuesday of the month, which means Hobo Tuesday, which in turn means hewing to last months’ victor’s fiat: fruit as a main component of the dish. We are explicitly directed not to stick a lemon wedge on the side of the plate and call it a day, and I was sorely tempted to do just that out of spite – being a spiteful person and all – but I didn’t. I was also tempted to claim tomatoes as my fruit to stand firm with the nerdy botanists against the Supreme Court but didn’t do that either.
Seriously, how the fuck is the Supreme Court competent to judge whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable? Half the time, they’re barely competent to render judgment on actual legally actionable issues. Clarence Thomas NEVER TALKS. And they’re going to tell me about a tomato? I THINK NOT.
No, instead I used peaches. I love peaches, they’re still in season here, and you can get a big honking bucket of the about-to-kick-it peaches for a buck fitty. My dinner: pan-seared chicken glazed with a peach, habanero and ginger sauce (blender photo above explained) and a summeriffic salad of peaches, backyard tomatoes, corn, radishes and scallions.
Do you have anything to say about that, Supreme Court? Would you like to hold that it was not really my dinner, or that those components do not create a legitimate salad, or that my state can require waiting periods before I can access legal abortion services that are mine by right? Oh wait, you already did that last one. My bad! I’ll take off my shoes and go back to being in the kitchen now.*
*NOTE: DO NOT START ANY ABORTION-RELATED SHIT HERE. Just don’t. I can throw that shit around my own house because, you know, I live here and all. If you would like to, there is a mandatory 24 hour waiting period and you need your husband’s consent. Thank god I live in a godless liberal northeastern state, that’s all I’m saying.
I threw two questionably soft Odd Lot peaches into the blender with one whole de-seeded habanero (cut up with my hand in a plastic bag), a mess of freshly grated ginger and a few splashes of white wine vinegar. After blending it still needed something, so I turned to the liquor cabinet (i.e., the floor of the pantry) and grabbed some rum. There was almost an unfortunate incident when I picked up a bottle and started to open it without reading the label, having only seen ‘Bacardi’ on the lid. It turned out to be a bottle of Bacardi Citron that must have materialized in the pantry within the last 48 hours, because I sure as hell had never seen it before. Luckily, I was able to locate an alternate rum.
The sauce was still off – bizarrely non-sweet, given the base of ripe peaches, so in went some dark brown sugar. Then it wasn’t popping enough and needed more salt. Eventually I just left well enough alone because really, this glaze was becoming very needy and tomatoes do not chop themselves.
It seems wrong; if rum can just show up in my pantry, why can’t tomatoes chop themselves? Anyone? Supreme Court? No?
So I PAINSTAKINGLY chopped not ONLY tomatoes by hand, but also scallions, radishes, two cobs of corn and peaches. I’d hoped that by this point in my blogging career I’d be famous enough to send a “who wants 2 come over and slice my radishes? not a euphemism” tweet and people would show up to do it. Granted, I didn’t try, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have worked anyway and would have wasted precious hand and wrist energy needed for chopping.
Anyway, you chop for a zillion hours and eventually you end up with a bowl that looks like this, with artfully scattered mint chiffonade and everything. So I guess it’s worth it in the end.
While I was doing all this, the peach-habanero-other crap sauce was simmering viciously (I know those words shouldn’t really go together but I swear, that’s what it was doing) and Brian was giving some chicken breasts the size of actual breasts an initial sear in the pan;* they looked not unlike breasts that have been squished flat for a mammogram. (For those of you who have actually reached mammogram-having age; I get all kinds of fun scans for a 31-year-old because of my family history. I’m fairly sure my doctors expect me to drop dead of sudden onset stage 5 cancer one day on the subway.**)
That’s my last women’s health reference of the post, I swear.
*Note that I am referring to large breasts here, or else the comparison really doesn’t make any sense.
**Yes, I know there are only 4 stages.
When the chicken was hitting near-doneness, Brian started spooning peach glaze over it, flipping to sear it on, glazing the other side, rinse, repeat three times (oh, to have done this on the grill…). The photo truly does not do justice to the rich, sticky glorious dark brown of the finished product. Like a fine mahogany sofa such as one might find in a cigar club or your neighbor’s basement “man room,” but much easier to eat.
I heaped my plate with salad and some chicken, spooned some extra sauce over the meat and sat down to eat.
Aside: I was going to write “tucked in” just then, but didn’t want to sound like an ass.
As long as I’m being candid here, I’ll also tell you that I only ate enough of this plate to get a sense of the flavors because I ate a MASSIVE amount of Indian food for lunch, fell into a naan-induced carbohydrate coma when I got home and was still full when I dragged myself upright at 7:30 to cook; the rest got scraped into the leftover containers.
The salad really is like a New Jersey summer on a plate. In fact, it almost allowed me to believe that it actually is still summer, given that this is the second day in a row I’ve had to wear a jacket to work. I figured that taking a bunch of in-season things, largely leaving them alone and tossing them together would result in something good and I was not mistaken in that hypothesis. Sweet peaches and corn lead into sweet but acidic tomatoes, which in turn bump up against crisp, spicy radishes: a delight. Plus, it’s so freaking colorful that you know it’s good for you unless you’re a hardcore South Beacher and are offended by the corn.
The chicken is like peach-habanero-ginger glazed chicken on a plate. I wish I could say more about it, I wish the glaze had been a magical discovery, a feast for all the senses, a wonder. It wasn’t. It was good and pretty well balanced and flavorful, but the chicken remained “chicken” rather than becoming “CHICKEN!” Still, I certainly can’t complain. This chicken done me a solid. But I’m still not giving you a recipe, because that takes time and this was good but not time-worthy. (The salad you should make, and here’s the recipe: 1 peach, 4 tomatoes, 2 scallions, 3 large radishes, 2 ears cooked corn, small handful mint: chop. mix. add salt. The end. I’m going all Jamie Oliver on you, I know. Sorry.)
Rundown for this meal:
rum magical pantry
brown sugar normal pantry
vinegar “ ”
oil, s+p normal pantry
TOTAL $4.93, or $2.47 an eater (plus lots of extra salad)
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