I chose Delancy as my beach book for the past summer holidays. I spent most of my afternoons sleeping in a dark room with a huge fan on the ceiling or watching episode after episode of the four seasons of Game of Thrones (yes, winter is coming). When I was laying on the beach, in between a swim and some daydreaming activity on a sun bed, I would take out Delancey, move my bookmark a few pages behind, dust off some sand and immerse myself into Molly’s and Brandon’s adventures with their restaurant.
I was there, with my body covered in a sweet coconut lotion, my feet firmly ducked under the sand and my hair tangled with salt and sultry air, then all of a sudden I would feel the urge to cook a braised pork shoulder, or a family-size bowl of eggnog, and I would say to my half asleep boyfriend laying in the sun next to me: I’m going to make this recipe for you, pork shoulder, doesn’t it sound delicious? Oh and fried rice. I want to cook more for you this winter, salads, desserts, pizzas…
I would come out with a new recipe to try next winter at least twice a day, and he would just nod back in response. He might have thought that my secret aim was to make him fat to be roasted in a wood fired oven but, oh, you know, winter is coming.
When is a book a good book? a book you would recommend do your best friend, to your mum and to your foodie friends? a book you would buy as a gift for the people you love the most? When it makes you crave for a stove, a wood fired oven, some friends to gather around a table or some fun in the kitchen to feed your significant other.
Delancey has this powerful force, it’s packed with recipes which demand to be enjoyed with the people you love. Molly shares the kind of food which makes you feel immediately welcomed and loved, a food which nurtures your stomach, makes your belly happy and your soul warmer: fried rice with pork and kale, sautéed dates with olive oil and sea salt, meatloaf. She gives you a method, ideas on how to serve the dish, occasions, she holds your hand in the kitchen, but she’s there to laugh with you, too, and help you create a memorable dish. She sincerely cares for you.
Then you have a story, a good one, a story which makes you reflect, laugh, sometimes shed a tear. I’ve fallen in love with Molly’s blog, Orangette, a few years ago, I’ve underlined words, idioms, descriptions in her first book, A Homemade Life. She’s one of my examples to follow for food writing, along with Laurie Colwin, Elizabeth David, M.K. Fisher, Diana Henry and Ruth Reichl. She has this intimate, light, ironic and sweet approach. It’s like you are talking with a friend. Besides, she’s a huge Springsteen’s fan, so how not to love her?
I bookmarked pork shoulder, fried rice with kale and egg-nog for the upcoming months, when it will be chill outside and it will be cozy to gather in a tiny kitchen cooking and sharing a good meal, but I could not wait further to try her chilled peaches in wine. Simple as you can imagine reading the recipe title, these peaches give their best the day after, when they get translucent and boozed up with the wine. You remember well, I usually do not drink alcohol, I can’t stand half a glass of wine without getting sleepy, but she was very persuasive describing the recipe, so I made them for a special dinner.
These peaches are dangerously good. It’s the ideal after dinner dessert in summer, when you don’t want to burden a perfect meal with a heavy dessert. You can enjoy the ripe peach slices along with their boozy orange flamed syrup, they are so easy to eat. Definitely too easy to eat. They’ve become my go-to dessert for summer.
- 4 medium-sized ripe peaches, rinsed and patted dry
- 2 tablespoons of sugar, or more to taste
- 475 ml (2 cups) of crisp, dry white wine or rosé
- Slice the peaches thinly, making about 12 - 16 slices per peach.
- Combine the peaches in a bowl, sprinkle with sugar and toss gently to mix. Pour the white wine and toss gently again.
- Cover the bowl and store in the fridge from a few hours or up to a day.
- Serve the peaches very cold, straight from the fridge, with a small ladleful of their pinkish orange liquid.
- I’ve recently fallen in love with Steller, an App where you can tell your story with photos, videos, and text visual. Here’s my story about Chilled peaches in wine.
- Molly’s blog, Orangette, and her events and workshops regarding her book.
- Molly’s books: A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table and Delancey: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage
- Molly’s recipe for banana bread, which is now my favourite recipes to use my over ripe bananas.
- My article for ItalyTraveller is on line. I’m sharing my favourite recipes to fight the heat of summer in Tuscany: Cool Meals from Tuscany.