Twofer Tuesday: Peach Extravaganza


It is peach season – Hooray!!!! Luscious globes in variegated shades of pink,red,coral..pass by a display of them and be seduced by the sweet and unique fragrance. First they catch your eye and then as you go closer, your fingers are teased by the velvet touch of them and then finally, that lifting to the nose and inhaling the sweet smell of summer.

Cobblers, pies, ice cream, sangria, parfaits, trifles, shortcakes, coffeecakes, bread, upside down cakes, grilled, salsa-ed or just eaten as they are, peaches are one of the most versatile of the summer fruits. The standard peach and its cousin, the white fleshed peach which tastes the way an exotic flower would taste, go all too quickly into our past, to be dreamed of during cold and grey winter days. Enjoy them while they are here – become a peach glutton.

Two recipes for you with peaches: Peaches and Cream Pie – a sweet silky southern belle of a dessert. Not quite crème brulee but dancing on the edge of it; the edges caramelize and add a different layer of flavor and texture. And – from Southern Living Magazine, Governor’s Mansion Sweet Summer Peach Tea. Cooling and refreshing. An excellent drink for brunches, prissy bridal or baby showers, afternoon tea, or just for serving to friends at a cookout as something totally different and delicious.

Try both of them and I think you will be on your way to being a true Peach Hedonist!


Peaches and Cream Pie
¾ c. granulated white sugar
½ c. all purpose flour
1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell
2 c. peeled and sliced fresh peaches or, frozen peaches, defrosted and room temperature
1 c. heavy cream
Good splash of vanilla added to the cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix sugar and flour together in bowl. Sprinkle about one-third into the bottom of the pie shell. Add peaches and sprinkle with remaining sugar and flour. Slowly pour heavy cream over fillings. Gently stir peaches to cover them completely with cream. Bake until peaches are tender and crust is golden – about 45 minutes. Let cool on rack until a bit warmer than room temperature. It will slice better.

Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lydia DeGaris Pursell

Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lydia DeGaris Pursell

Governor’s Mansion Summer Peach Tea Punch
3 family-size tea bags
2 cups loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1 (33.8-oz.) bottle peach nectar
1/2 (12-oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup Simple Sugar Syrup***
1 (1-liter) bottle ginger ale, chilled
1 (1-liter) bottle club soda, chilled
Garnish: fresh peach wedges

Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan; add tea bags and mint leaves. Boil 1 minute; remove from heat. Cover and steep 10 minutes. Discard tea bags and mint. Pour into a 1-gal. container; add peach nectar, lemonade concentrate, and Simple Sugar Syrup. Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.
Pour chilled tea mixture into a punch bowl or pitcher. Stir in ginger ale and club soda just before serving. Garnish, if desired.

** Simple Sugar Syrup
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water

Bring sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and mixture is clear. Cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes) Syrup can be made in batches and when cooled, stored for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. I keep a batch of it all through the summer for quick drink preparation.


Grilled Whole Vidalia Onion

Vidalia onions are unique.  There are several sweet onions available, but Vidalias are the best in my not very humble opinion.  They are grown in Vidalia, Georgia where there is a unique and localized soil.  Growing onions in this soil produces those sweet, amazing onions.  They range in size from huge to medium.  I like the ones that are medium the best, although making Onion Blossoms and onion rings and strings from the huge ones is   Really.

They are sweet because they are extremely low on sulphuric acid – the stuff that makes your eyes burn when onion are cut, and gives some people tummy troubles.  And if you are truly blessed by the onion gods, you will also find during the brief season, fresh green Vidalia onions complete with their luscious green tops.  I like to saute these in butter (yes, butter) as a side to cooked meats or a veggie plate.

When I was a kid, we were big on “cooking out”.  A neighbor of ours, the famous Jamie Pollard previously mentioned in a post about my first haiku, shared this recipe with us.  I don’t know the origin of this recipe, but he gave it to us after one of his summer forays to  visit with friends to The Pines at Fire Island.  I am forever thankful to those good men who fixed this and how it worked its way down South to us.  I think this was a frequent, favorite recipe during the late 50’s/early 60’s, either on the grill or in the oven.  But this is how we found this recipe.

At any rate, it is scrumptious. And easy!!!  Good with burgers, steaks, chicken, pork, seafood.  After you get it ready for the grill and wrapped in foil, it looks like a giant Hershey kiss.  Perfect – sweet Vidalia onion – kiss kiss kiss.  And when you open to serve, oh my!  The aroma will just make you want to turn around and slap somebody, as we say down here.

Recipe for One Onion
1 medium onion per person
several pats of butter (save some to spread on top of onion)
1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: few drops of red wine
Optional: 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. of boullion granules or crushed boullion cube, beef or chicken flavor
Optional: sprinkle of paprika to add some color

Peel onion, removing top and making flat surface. Keep bottom (part that looks like little hairy roots) intact. Place onion on square of heavy duty foil for wrapping. Using either an apple corer or very sharp paring knife, remove center of onion to depth of halfway through onion, making a square hole. Put butter in hole and pour in Worcestershire sauce. spread some butter on top of onion, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Carefully pull foil up to cover and wrap onion. keep upright. Place on grill over medium heat and bake 30 – 45 minutes until tender or, place in baking dish in preheated oven 375 F. – for same amount of time.  When cooking on the grill, I VERY carefully will use a long bamboo skewer to test.  I hold the onion with tongs and poke through the foil with the skewer to test tenderness.  I do this after 30 minutes.  You can also put them all in one package.  To do this, I line an 8×8 baking dish with foil and place four onions in the dish and prepare.  I then pull the foil over top and wrap and cover and transfer the whole package to the grilling surface or, place in the oven.  Add about 5 minutes per onion to cooking time.

grilled whole onion


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