Late winter in Bowen--chilly and rainy--and my mother-in-law, Florencia, can be found sweeping the tile patio with her curls pulled back in a clip, a large hand-knit scarf wound around her neck. Indio, the dog, keeps her company, busily barking at passers-by to let everyone know he's doing his job as protector.
Evenings are spent around the dining room table, as always, watching tv (football and more football--my father-in-law, Carlos, is a fanatic!) and chatting, the smoky smell of a wood fire burning in the fireplace, drifting on the air.
Florencia sends me out to the garage to get a jar of peaches. Long wooden shelves are lined with jars-tomatoes and sauce, peaches, plums, olives (cured from the tree in the front yard!) and preserves and jellies, all hanging behind a green and white checkered curtain. I'm amazed that she does this all herself--it's so much work! But the satisfaction of opening up a jar of peaches grown on your own farm, canned with your own hard work--that burst of summer in the dead of winter--makes it all worthwhile.
We spoon the peaches into old-fashioned pressed glass dessert cups. When Carlos gets his, he dredges it in the red table wine we had at dinner. I do the same, and the results are gorgeous! The bright color of the peaches clash against the bloody color of the wine, and the contrasts in taste are good, too--sweet fleshy peaches and the tannin flavor of the wine.
Pairing fruit and wine in the dessert course is nothing new, but it's a wonderful way to enjoy peaches--fresh if in season, canned if out of season--and it couldn't be simpler to prepare. It's pretty, refreshing, and a little unexpected somehow. Peaches and wine is the perfect dessert for a brunch, lunch or dinner with family, a casual affair, or even something surprising at a dinner party. (plus you don't have to spend hours baking the Perfect Dessert--something that is always difficult for me!)
Duraznos con Vino Tinto
Peaches with Red Wine
1 peach per person--canned halves or fresh peaches, pitted
1/2 cup strong red wine (Malbec would be ideal)
Place the peaches in dessert cups or bowls. Pour red wine over the peaches. Enjoy!