Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wine and Peaches

It seems like lately we are always celebrating, but hey, we are newlyweds after all. Tonight though we really have something to celebrate: yesterday Gian Luca got great results from his work! So today, when I was walking through the farmers’ market and saw fresh white peaches, I knew exactly what to make for him: Wine and peaches.

My grandfather was from Italy (actually both of my grandfathers were, but today I am focusing on Grandpop, my dad’s dad, who moved to America when he was nineteen and started a life here). Grandpop loved wine, even after he had had a stroke he still indulged in “two fingers” per day, the doctor’s recommended limit. Although he loved wine, Grandpop was hardly a sommelier, in fact, he probably only characterized wine into two groups: forte, meaning strong wine and l’aqua sporca, or dirty water, meaning the watered down wine we tried to give him. And he always, always drank red.

My grandfather was also a great gardener, accustomed to growing his own vegetables in his large back yard. My mother often talks about how, when she and my dad were newlyweds, they never had to go grocery shopping; each Sunday they would go visit Grandmom and Grandpop and, as they were leaving, Grandpop would stock up their car with fresh produce. One summer he gave her so many tomatoes that she was forced to learn how to can them.

Of all the things I remember about his garden, the giant peach tree sticks out the most. Maybe I used to climb it, or maybe I just remember the sticky sweet fruit that we ate fresh each summer and then jarred for the cold winter months. In addition to eating the peaches raw, my grandfather used to soak them in red wine, then he and my father would drink the now sweetened vino, and afterwards, eat the fruit. It was the best of both worlds.

My dad still makes the wine and peaches each summer. At any point during the summer you can oven up the fridge and see the glass jar of peaches stewing in wine.
So when I called my dad this afternoon asking for the recipe he got really excited.
“Let me know how it turns out!” he exclaimed.

As soon as we hung up the phone I got to work, peeling and slicing the peaches (and eating one as a mid afternoon snack ), then I filled the only glass container that we own (a vase for flowers) with two spoonfuls of sugar, the peaches, and half a bottle of red wine. (like my grandfather, I’m no expert, but this bottle is definitely of the forte variety)

Now, the vase is sitting in our fridge, looking prettier than it did when it held flowers, just waiting for Gian Luca to get home so we can drink up.

Wine and Peaches

4 medium peaches, peeled and cut into wedges
3 tbsp sugar
1 bottle of dry red wine

Combine peaches, sugar and wine in a large class jar. Cover and let rest in the fridge overnight.

Serves 4

* this can stay in the fridge for up to a week, just make sure that the peaches are covered in wine.

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