About a month ago I received a Love Bomb from Wendi of Bon Appetit Hon. What is a Love Bomb, you ask? According to Love Feast Table, it is:
The act of preparing, serving, and sharing a meal or a morsel with someone.
What I received in the mail was a package containing coconut macaroons. What a wonderful coincidence it was that I was right in the midst of a major coconut jag. I was so surprised, so joyed, so impressed… These were delicious and perfect. Definitely the best macaroons I’d ever had. I couldn’t resist eating one immediately, so the picture I have is shy one delicious morsel.
Also, it was a drizzly evening, so the light was crap. It’s not a beautiful photo, but it was a beautiful gesture. I adore Wendi, and it was a real honor to get such a lovely gift from her.
My husband was totally inspired. He’s not a fan of coconut, though he tasted the macaroon and said he was sure it was something a coconut lover would enjoy. He is, however, a huge fan of canning. A few nights earlier I had made a sauce from our CSA peaches, to pour over some ridiculously rich brownies. When he saw the adorable little jar Wendi sent he said, “Make more of that peach sauce so we can can it in that jar.” And last night that is just what I did.
Chunky Peach Sauce
3-4 ripe peaches or nectarines
2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons whiskey
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon corn starch
1-2 tablespoons water
Slice peaches thinly. Combine sugar, whiskey, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. When the sugar is dissolved, stir in peaches. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. It’s ready to come off of the heat when the peaches are soft, translucent, and breaking down. Pour 1-2 tablespoons of water into your cornstarch and stir until it is all dissolved. While stirring, slowly drizzle the cornstarch mixture into the peach sauce, stopping when it is the desired thickness. I use the whole thing.
What to do with this peach sauce? Well, I like to serve it over lovely dairy-free brownies. If I could eat dairy, though, I’d pour it over vanilla ice cream. Or onto a buttery pound cake. Or I’d serve it with my favorite lemon pie.
The reason my husband wanted to can it, though, is so that we would have some chilled in the fridge for spreading on toast as jam. Jam! It’s such a great idea. I was so looking forward to it as my breakfast today. But when I woke up I realized we were out of bread. So I had my standard oatmeal for breakfast and spend the morning baking bread.
This bread recipe is the simplest white bread recipe I’ve ever come across. It’s not mine, I just slightly altered it. I’m using less sugar than the recipe originally called for, because it was way too sweet for my taste the way it was. If I had enough of the peach jam I’d make the bread sweet, but I only have a small jar (the rest went on more brownies) and I happen to have a pile of deli meats in my fridge that need a savory bread to go with them.
Simple White Bread
2 cups warm water
1.5 tablespoons active dry yeast
1/3 cup + 1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup olive oil
5.5 cups white whole wheat flour
Combine 1 teaspoon sugar with the warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the sugared water and let it proof for 5-10 minutes. In the bowl of a mixer add the sugar, flour, salt, and oil. When the yeast has proofed, add it to the mixer bowl and turn it on. Use a dough hook, and knead for about 10 minutes. Place dough in an oiled bowl to rise.
Let the dough double, which should take about an hour in a warm kitchen. Punch it down, split it in half, form 2 loaves, and put them in greased 1.5-pound loaf pans. Allow to rise again, until crested over the top, 30-45 minutes. Bake at 325 for 35 minutes. Remove loaves from pans to cool.
Thanks, Wendi, for your lovely gift. It was a bright spot in a dreary day, and a wonderful surprise for a new mom who has very little time to herself these days.