What are you up to this weekend? Happily, we're ..
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This past week, my husband traveled to present at a conference, while I held down the fort and weathered an extra busy on-call rotation at work
“Hi Sweetheart, how was your day.”
Beep .. beep .. beep .. “Loves, my pager; let's chat in the morning?”
“I'll try to call in-between sessions.”
“Hey, it's so good to hear your voice. I'm on the other line.”
“You changed your voice mail message. I don't have much battery left, but wanted to let you know I'm on my way home, and I love you.”
“ps .. I love you too.”
Today, we were home.
Tonight, date night.
On this perfect summer evening, we broke out the champagne and sat outside at dusk on the back porch in our pajamas, enjoying dinner, and catching up.
Admittedly, after several days of abnormal frenzy, I've learned about myself, that even though my body has slowed down, I have to mindful to make sure my thoughts do the same. The dishes are stacked in the sink, did I send that email, and wait, aren't we supposed to be somewhere in the morning?
No, tonight it was about us
“Will you pour me another glass?”
There are two things, I believe, that can make even the most driven of spirits relax for a legitimate period of time, good conversation and a bottle of wine.
Music certainly helps, but it can get tricky. Once the album is over, it's the perfect opportunity for your favorite guest to get antsy and begin plotting their departure. Maybe keys will start to jingle in their pocket, or the slight shift in posture, just so.
Right there they've given the five-minute warning, and you'll be kissing them goodbye before the start of the next record.
But good conversation, and a bottle of wine, especially on a beautiful summer's night?
You listen and sip, while the hours stretch like putty. Begin any conversation with something you've shared lots of times at dinner, and it somehow sounds different when said at dusk, with puppies at your feet, lightning bugs in the air, and a chorus of crickets singing you a tune
“Did you remember to set out the garbage?” Magically sounds like, “You've had a busy week, how can I help?”
The transition from “How was your week?” to ..
“How is your life?”
I was reminded the weekend prior, how tricky date nights out can be. There's the traveling, yes, but there's also the expense. The song and the dance, dinner out, waiting for a table. “Sweetie, will you take care of the tip while I hit the potty? We should get going; the movie starts in fifteen minutes.”
I wished for more “How is your life” as the waiter arrived and I answered “Grilled, not fried” Now where was I?
But tonight, quiet conversation, dinner, and a bottle of wine. Somehow it seems more intentional, right here in our own backyard.
“Cheers to us, and to this.”
“You know, we need to do this far more often,” we say every time. We think we will, but we often don't. It can seem easier to choose convenience, the dishes, the emails; oh yes, we are supposed to be there in the morning
A month later, if we're not careful, we can wake up and realize we've forgotten our new language.
“Did you remember to set out the garbage?” will mean, “Did you remember to set out the garbage?”
But every now and again, I'll find an extra cork outside while I'm mowing and decide tonight is a night for the inconvenience. I'll set the table on the back porch, make something a little fancier for dinner and say
“Will you pour me another glass?”
It's but once a year that my favorite country market sells Missouri peaches. The first trip of the season and I can count on eating at least two on the drive home. My goodness, they're incredible
Looking for some different ways to use them, the latest issue of Fine Cooking offered some great ideas to get me started. Their article on peaches gave a sweet marinade, as well as a savory (used here)
Made with sherry vinegar, and dark rum, it offers a complex tartness to balance the natural sweetness from the peaches. Fresh rosemary adds earthy pine notes; olive oil brings richness, and the rum a hint of spice.
The marinade also will soften the skins, which means you'll be able to skip the often tedious task of blanching and peeling the peaches. They've been delicious is salads, and for topping pizza. (The article also mentions they'd be great in salsas and braises)
Or plain. They're pretty darn good straight out of the bowl
Wishing for you the happiest of weekends!
~ Adapted from Fine Cooking | August/September 2015
Savory Marinated Peach Pizza
- Sherry Vinegar & Rosemary Marinated Peaches
- 3 medium ripe peaches, pitted and sliced, diced, or cut into wedges
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 ½ Tbsp spiced dark rum, optional
- 2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
- pinch kosher salt
- pinch natural sugar
- pizza Dough (I've included my favorite whole wheat dough recipe below)
- tomato sauce (I've included my favorite tomato sauce recipe below)
- sweet onion, chopped fine
- fresh basil, chopped
- farmer cheese grated
- For Serving
- crushed red pepper flakes
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Sherry Vinegar and Rosemary Marinated Peaches
- Gently combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and let marinate at room temperature for at least 20 minutes and up to 24 hours.
- (After marinating, you can refrigerate the peaches for up to 1 day)
- Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 425° F
- Once the dough has risen in a baking sheet, dot the pizza with tomato sauce, add onion, basil, bacon, and tomatoes. Top with grated farmer cheese
- Bake until golden brown and crisp on bottom and sides, 15-20 minutes.
~ Adapted from Bon Appetit
Tomato Pizza Sauce
- 1 (28 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
- 2 anchovy fillets, packed in oil and drained
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 Tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the tomatoes, anchovies, garlic, oil, and basil.
- Puree until smooth (some texture is good)
- Season with salt and pepper
~ Adapted from Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
- 1 ¾ cups lukewarm water
- ½ Tbsp granulated yeast
- 1 Tbsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp dried oregano
- a drizzle of honey
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- Mix the yeast, salt, sweetener, olive oil, and water in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (though not airtight) container
- Mix in the remaining dry ingredients without kneading using a spoon or a mixer (with a dough hook)
- Cover with a flour towel & allow the dough to rest at room temp until it has risen and collapsed (flattened on the top). About 2 hours
- The dough can be used right away, after this initial rise, though it's quite a bit easier to handle when it's cold. Refrigerated in a lidded container and use for pizza or flatbread over the next week.
- (Alternately, the dough can be stored for a month in the freezer (in ½-pound portions)
- When using frozen dough, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before use.
- On baking day, roll out or stretch the dough into a thin round & finish with your favorite toppings.
- Cook at 425° F for 10 minutes (or until the crust is browned and the cheese is bubbly)