Monday, September 14, 2020

Peach Cobbler + Epitaph for a Peach #FoodieReads


Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm is hosting the Festive Foodies in an event all about peaches. She wrote: "When Peaches are in season I buy them by the bushel.  There is nothing better than a tree ripened peach.  But then what do you do with them all.  Share your favorite peach recipe with me....sweet or savory...preserved or fresh....the possibilities are endless."

So, hopefully you, too, will be inspired to grab some summer peaches and create some deliciousness. Here's what the bloggers are sharing to inspire you...


  • Fresh Peach Iced Tea from Palatable Pastime 
  • Keto-friendly Danish with Fresh Peaches from Our Good Life 
  • Peach Cobbler + Epitaph for a Peach from Culinary Adventures with Camilla 
  • Peach Cobbler Dump Cake With Fresh Peaches from Our Crafty Mom 
  • Peach Cobbler Moonshine from Our Crafty Cocktails
  • Peach Crumble from A Day in the Life on the Farm
  • Peach Upside Down Cake from The Redhead Baker  
  • Peachy French Toast from Making Miracles 
  • Summer Peach Bundles in a Sweet Mascarpone Sauce from The Freshman Cook

  • I was inspired by two things for this post: the farm on which D worked this summer was going to the Masumoto farm to pick peaches for us and, second, I wanted to reread David Mas Masumoto's Epitaph for a Peach.*


    One of my very favorite field trips to chaperone with my boys was the Pebble Beach Authors and Ideas Festival. Back in 2015, I noted that we learned to celebrate mistakes, to jump off cliffs to sprout your wings, and we watched 'Hamlet in 90 seconds'. I loved the field trip when I went with R's class; I loved it just as much when I went with D's class two years later. Then a friend invited me as her guest to the full weekend of activities, not just the one-day event for the students. And it was at that event that I heard David Mas Masumoto speak. Afterwards, I bought all of his books they carried at the event bookstore! 

    Epitaph for a Peach

    Epitaph for a Peach chronicles a year the Masumoto's family farm in the California's Central Valley and opens with a prologue that was published in the Los Angelees Times where Masumoto laments having to bulldoze his beloved Sun Crest peaches to make room for a more popular, recognized, and therefore profitable peach variety.

    "Sun Crest tastes like a peach is supposed to. As with many of the older varieties, the flesh is so juicy that it oozes down your chin. The nectar explodes in your mouth and the fragrance enchants your nose, a natural perfume that can never be captured" (page ix).

    Masumoto is a third generation Japanese-American peach and grape farmer who has inherited the family orchard from his father. He has resolved to not only grow his heritage Sun Crests, but to do it organically which is challenging in the face of quick commercial fixes for pests and more. This book encompasses a year and details his land's need to heal and replenish its nutrients after years of abuse.

    It's a beautiful homage to his land and his family while at the same time teaching readers the less-known history of Japanese farmers in the Valley. He includes rich imagery, a sound philosophy to be a steward of the land, and a healthy dose of nostalgic flashback. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in food history, farming, or the vanishing California landscape.

    "The change of season connects me with the surrounding wild, a wild I work within. I grow crops from the earth and have discovered that the best soil is also wild. This past year I have learned that productivity is little more than managed chaos, wildness the source of fertility. In the fog I can hear the voices of farmers before me. Once I believed their old stubborn ways had no place in the progressive world of modern farming. But now they sing of traditions that have a place in my winter season more than ever" (pg. 197).

    Peach Cobbler

    I was fortunate enough to get several pounds of peaches from Masumoto's farm this summer. They weren't Sun Crest - honestly, the book isn't clear if he's still growing them after that season - but they were hand-picked from his farm and were delicious.


    Filling Ingredients
    • 5 cups sliced organic peaches
    • 1/2 cup lightly packed organic dark brown sugar
    • 2 Tablepoons flour
    • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
    • 2 Tablespoons butter, shaved or thinly sliced plus more for greasing dish

    Topping Ingredients
    • 1 cup flour
    • 1/2 cup lightly packed organic dark brown sugar
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 3 to 4 Tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 egg
    • 1 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
    • Optional: ice cream to serve the cobbler à la mode


    Procedure
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and butter a baking dish.

    With a wooden spoon mix all of the filling ingredients until thoroughly combined and the peach slices are all coated with the other ingredients. Spoon the filling into the prepared pan and dot with 2 Tablespoons butter that's been shaved or sliced.

    For the topping...stir until all the ingredients are combined. The consistency will be like a crumble top. Spoon the topping over the fruit and use a spatula to spread it over the fruit. 

    Bake the cobbler for 40 to 50 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve hot with ice cream if you want cobbler à la mode.


    *This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.


    Click to see what everyone else read in September 2020: here.

    5 comments:

    1. Your cobbler looks delicious and the book sounds intriguing.

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      Replies
      1. Thanks for hosting. I have to find the other book by him that I haven't read yet. Fascinating.

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    2. I always love food and books, two of my favorite things. The cobbler looks delicious.

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    3. I am looking for a copy of that book now - it sounds like a wonderful read. Your peaches look perfect; what a delicious dessert!

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    4. The book is on my amazon list as of this minute. Sounds wonderful. I don't know what to do with peach recipes, though, I just can't find enough peaches to do anything but eat them right up!

      be well... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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