basil-vanilla poached peaches

At this point, according to my farmer’s almanac, the atmosphere should be answering the call of fall, but a startling heat wave is throwing everyone into confusion.

The herb garden has been abandoned in this lonely town, but I was delighted to see that the chives have blossomed all on their own.

The bounty of September produce is overwhelming. Where are you today? Do you dare to eat a peach?

Today, I poached four peaches. Out of the limitless opportunities you and your peaches have together, consider a gentle poach, allowing subtle fragrances to blend gracefully in a simple syrup and soak into sweet peaches.

As we move into the second half of September, soothe your confused nerves with a ripe stone fruit, and don’t abandon your herbs if the sun is still shining where you are.

(And thank you for being here. The Dolly Parton links will stop soon, I promise.)

Basil-Vanilla Poached Peaches
from Martha Stewart

4 firm, ripe peaches
1 cup sugar (Martha calls for 2 cups, but my 1 cup against 4 peaches was plenty)
1 vanilla bean, split (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract: what I used because I’m cheap)
strips of 1 lemon
2 sprigs of sweet basil (or mint, or thyme?)
4 cups water

  1. Using a paring knife, lightly score an X into bottom of peaches (this will help with peeling later). In a large saucepan, combine sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, basil, and water. Cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add peaches and enough water to cover. Bring to a bare simmer, and cook, turning occasionally, until peaches are easily pierced with a skewer, 6 to 10 minutes, depending on ripeness of peaches.
  3. Remove peaches with a slotted spoon; let cool slightly. Using a paring knife, peel peaches; return to syrup. Serve with basil sprigs.
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