I am a big fan of making my own liqueurs. In the winter, when Seville oranges are in season, I make vin d’orange, to be enjoyed over ice during the summer months. Conversely, in the summer, when the crabapples start falling off the trees, I make crabapple liqueur for Christmastime cocktails. Both of these liqueurs require several months to steep so, while they are delicious and very rewarding, they also require a fair bit of patience.
Patience and foresight.
The first few months of 2015 were so busy that I almost missed the very brief Seville orange season. I just barely managed to squeeze out a batch of marmalade with the bitter oranges, but by my next visit to the green grocer, the last of the season’s oranges were gone. No vin d’orange in vintage for 2015. Now I have to wait an entire year to start a new batch! Oh well.
Work and life have both been so busy that I find myself missing out on all sorts of seasonal produce. As my fellow food bloggers eagerly posted blood orange everything a couple weeks back, I realized I had been eating out of my pantry far, far too often. I had missed blood orange season, the year’s first tender shoots of asparagus, the few small punnets of fresh morel mushrooms in the market… I was missing everything!
I had to make it a priority to visit my local grocers more often. It is easy to boil up a bunch of pasta on a weeknight and call it a day, but I was trying to be a food blogger here!
So today, with this glorious day off, I am going grocery shopping. I am on a search for the best the local farmers have on offer. I’m actually rather excited about it. It’s April, the daffodils are out, even the air smells fresh and green.
In the meantime, however, let’s revisit pantry living, and not having foresight and not planning everything out flawlessly all the time.
It’s something relatable to many, I’m sure. I read a lot of food blogs and think “they make it look so effortless! Everything in their life must be so perfect and clean and organized and beautiful and happy and delicious…”
It wasn’t until last weekend, when I met up with some friends I hadn’t seen in months, that I discovered that’s how they have been seeing ME via Port and Fin. It was a shocking revelation to me because, well, I know what my life actually looks like. Chaotic and a little messy. Anxiety, doubt, wine, pasta, melted cheese, fixing my dog’s recurring eye infections, the inability to fit into pants or keep my feet adequately moisturized…
What I’m saying is, even Gwyneth Paltrow doesn’t have it all together, no matter how perfect Goop.com looks. No matter how effortless and curated and lovely things may seem, on the internet we’re all just cropping out the mess. The actual, physical mess of course, but also the emotional mess, the psychological mess, every kind of mess.
No one has it all together all the time. Maybe not even most of the time.
This recipe, this is for you.
For the people who wore the same pants to work three times this week, but thought maybe if you wear a different shirt, no one will notice. The people who almost went to the gym yesterday, but instead just watched Netflix in a sports bra. The people who forgot to pick up toilet paper on the way home. The people who swore to themselves they would never let their children watch TV, but then turned on Sesame Street for an hour because they just couldn’t stand to read The Very Hungry Caterpillar again. The people who are writing essays and exams right now, who promised themselves this year they would not leave everything to the last minute, but then totally did.
Everyone’s fighting a hard battle. So yeah, I missed blood orange season. And I don’t wear flowy white dresses over my effortlessly slim frame while sipping perfectly chilled white wine and picking bushels of fresh produce out from my local farmer’s market to put in my ultra-twee woven basket (why am I drinking wine at a farmer’s market? It is run by Ina Garten? Oh, that would be so awesome. I want to go to a farmer’s market with the Barefoot Contessa!)
This jar of liquid heaven is 100% delicious, only requires 24 hours of foresight, and can be made entirely with pantry staples. Yes, fresh peaches would be nice, but they’re not in season right now. Furthermore, I actually think canned peaches work better in this recipe since they are already peeled and blanched and so the flavours meld really quickly. In my experience, using fresh peaches for this- while delicious- does require a longer steeping. Just sayin’… no one’s judging you for using canned this time around.
|Peach Spiced Whiskey|| |
- 1 tin sliced peaches in juice, drained
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 vanilla bean, split
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 375 ml whiskey
- Place peaches, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean and peppercorns in a clean jar. Fill jar with whiskey. Let steep for 24 hours.
- Enjoy, strained, over ice with sliced peaches to garnish and a splash of soda water.