Monday, 28 September 2009

Peaches for Me!

Well, I don't have ninjas attacking me, I'm not moving to the country, they weren't free, nor did I get millions, but I did find peaches - peaches for me (or, well sort of...)! (and yes, I have had that song running through my head for the past few days!!)

After looking for peaches in the local grocery stores without any success I figured I'd have to give up and wait for next year to make Andoh's Poached Peaches in Lemon-Ginger Miso Sauce. But with an old friend from high school in Tokyo with her husband, U offered to drive us all to Mt. Fuji for the day. It was a bit cloudy, so we didn't get the greatest views of the mountain, but we had a great time enjoying the mountain air, visiting a shrine, soaking in the hot springs, and enjoying the local food. Lunch was a Yamanashi speciality: hoto - thick chewy hand-made udon noodles cooked in miso broth with kabocha squash, cabbage, carrots, and all sorts of other veggies.

Yamanashi prefecture also happens to be known for grapes and PEACHES! Yay! I had forgotten this fact, and got very excited when we drove past a roadside stand selling fresh local fruit.

We ended up splitting a box with my friends, and coming home with 3 fresh peaches. One got cut up into slices for breakfast the next morning. I was really excited about this, and wanting to properly enjoy the treat of fresh peaches, decided to enjoy them all by themselves, after I had eaten my granola. I savoured one slice, and had just speared my second when U asked me a question, to which I wanted to look up an answer. I responded "wait a sec..." and turned around to my computer. It hasn't been feeling well recently and is really sluggish, and 5 minutes later when I turned back to the table having found my answer I was shocked as the table had been cleared of everything - except for my half-drunk coffee. "Where are the peaches?" I asked U, dreading the answer already. He had eaten them of course, including the one that had been skewered by my fork and had a bite taken out of it! My peaches! Aaaaa! I was annoyed because he had been the one arguing for not getting so many peaches, we didn't need any to eat fresh, just the ones for the recipe, he had said... I proceeded to give him nasty looks for the rest of the morning, to which he responded with admirable generosity (at one point half-seriously offering to drive back to Yamanashi to buy more!). U pointed out that as the eldest of three, if you wanted yummy food you had better claim it fast before it disappeared... this only child has learned her lesson!

The other two peaches (one white and one yellow) were cut into slices and turned into poached peaches (it is quite possible that some of the slices didn't make it to the pan to be poached, but I'm not admitting to anything! ;) ). I was really worried about this recipe, despite having read the good reviews. I didn't want to get to the end of it and regret having "wasted" the yummy (and expensive!! eeek!) peaches. But of course I should have trusted my fellow Washoku Warriors, and Elizabeth Andoh herself too! These were delicious - tangy and sweet and gingery, with a lovely hint of saltiness from the miso. But none of the flavours was overpowering and so the taste of the peach itself still shone through. Definitely not a waste! Mmmm!

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