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One of the many things I miss about Southern Ontario summers is the abundance of stone fruit available in late-July and through most of August — especially (my favourites) peaches. I’ve never seen a Manitoba-grown peach, and most of the time the peaches you can get here aren’t worth buying. BC peaches are lovely — in BC — but when I eat them here they always taste like poor imitations of the peaches I remember eating.

We are, however, in the midst of the two or three week period when Ontario peaches are both available and delicious, so it’s all peaches, all the time chez melanie and Andrew.

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Lately I’ve been reading all sorts of recipes that combine tomatoes with peaches. The idea never occurred to me, maybe because I think of peak tomato and peach seasons as not quite overlapping.

There are quite a few salads that combine the two, and earlier this week, I made my own variation (a half-dozen peaches, sliced and tossed with a pint of halved cocktail tomatoes, dressed with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper, topped with about half a cup of basil chiffonade…I might have added some sun-dried olives, if I hadn’t been making it for someone who dislikes them.)

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I’ve also seen a recipe or two for Peach and Tomato Gazpacho, which I’m not brave enough to try just yet. What if no one likes it? What if it does that thing that mediocre gazpacho does and just tastes like a muddle of flavours that just don’t quite work together.

And as of right now, there are a few pints of brandied peaches simmering away (recipe adapted from Food in Jars — I substituted brandy for bourbon because whiskey is really not my thing). When Marisa says to use freestone peaches, don’t disregard her advice. I did because I couldn’t get any, and my left palm and thumb are nicked up something fierce from trying to get peach-flesh off peach-stone without creating peach-mush.

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Up next is (probably) some Ginger-Peach Jam, and maybe some Blueberry-Peach Sauce. Or a pie. I haven’t made a pie yet this summer.

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