August 19, 2008
Late winter in Bowen–chilly and rainy–and my mother-in-law, Florencia, can be found sweeping the tile patio with her curls pulled back in a clip, a large hand-knit scarf wound around her neck. Indio, the dog, keeps her company, busily barking at passers-by to let everyone know he's doing his job as protector.
Evenings are spent around the dining room table, as always, watching tv (football and more football–my father-in-law, Carlos, is a fanatic!) and chatting, the smoky smell of a wood fire burning in the fireplace, drifting on the air.
Florencia sends me out to the garage to get a jar of peaches. Long wooden shelves are lined with jars-tomatoes and sauce, peaches, plums, olives (cured from the tree in the front yard!) and preserves and jellies, all hanging behind a green and white checkered curtain. I'm amazed that she does this all herself–it's so much work! But the satisfaction of opening up a jar of peaches grown on your own farm, canned with your own hard work–that burst of summer in the dead of winter–makes it all worthwhile.
We spoon the peaches into old-fashioned pressed glass dessert cups. When Carlos gets his, he dredges it in the red table wine we had at dinner. I do the same, and the results are gorgeous! The bright color of the peaches clash against the bloody color of the wine, and the contrasts in taste are good, too–sweet fleshy peaches and the tannin flavor of the wine.
Pairing fruit and wine in the dessert course is nothing new, but it's a wonderful way to enjoy peaches–fresh if in season, canned if out of season–and it couldn't be simpler to prepare. It's pretty, refreshing, and a little unexpected somehow. Peaches and wine is the perfect dessert for a brunch, lunch or dinner with family, a casual affair, or even something surprising at a dinner party. (plus you don't have to spend hours baking the Perfect Dessert–something that is always difficult for me!)
Duraznos con Vino Tinto
Peaches with Red Wine
1 peach per person–canned halves or fresh peaches, pitted
1/2 cup strong red wine (Malbec would be ideal)
Place the peaches in dessert cups or bowls. Pour red wine over the peaches. Enjoy!