Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Summer at the Farmers' Market

Oh, how I love the farmers' market during the summer. Well, I love it and hate it. There's so much beautiful food, that I have to work hard to stay on my list. It's really quite easy to overspend. My summer downfall: fruit.

Cherry season is about mother's day through father's day, so they're long gone. But they overlapped nicely with peaches, my current obsession.

My favorite peach stand has the best peaches, nectarines, plums I've ever had. Ever. High end local restaurants haul away crates of Fitz's fruit, but he always has time to shoot the breeze and answer my silly questions. He's big into grilling his peaches these days. His recommendation is to take a full-flavored peach, which is usually a yellow fleshed peach; their acid content provides a more balanced flavor than white peaches, which tend to be much sweeter. Cut it in half, and take the pit out. Add a few drops of balsamic vinegar and smear it on the flesh. Put the peach flesh side down on the grill and cook it for 3-5 minutes. Flip it and cook it on the skin side for another 3-5 minutes. Feel free to add a few more drops of balsamic vinegar, and serve.

When we grill peaches, we don't bother with the balsamic. Honestly, they're so good they just don't need it. We grill them, and if you have some pound cake lying around, toast some up on the grill. Pour over a little honey, syrup, cream, ice cream...whatever floats your boat. The result...O...M...G...So simple, so easy, so delicious. How did I not know about this sooner? I'd be bitter if I wasn't so happy.

But now I find out Fitz is only expecting to be at the market for another couple of weeks. This saddens me. Last year, I went cold turkey on peaches when his season ended. I actually did a little dance when I saw him this year, and I've been loyal all summer. I suspect I'll be peachless again once his season ends. He's truly spoiled me with those Carmen Mirandas nectarines.