Part Deux, how do you do? Welcome back to the ramblings of the self-proclaimed “Brutal Gourmet”, Tony Spatafora. Our little show, Dish It Out! (DIO!) is sponsored in part by Melissa’s Produce!!! DIO! is in it’s second season and bringing comedy into the kitchen by the bushel. Our latest episode is here for your joy. Today we speak of jamming aunts. That’s not a band from Boston, it’s about inspiration in the family. Speaking of inspiration, bliss and harmony- stone fruit season continues! We have a great recipe to maximize your bounty that is perfect for summer eating, Grilled Peach Relish!!!
Growing up my aunts were a wonderful influence on me. There were a bunch of them, in different shapes and sizes. Aunts full of life & color and every last one of them an amazing cook. Focus on my Aunt Eva.
Aunt Eva was a dietitian turned home economics instructor. She raised her family to understand that food was never thrown away. You always have ingredients in the fridge for stuffed mushrooms. She frequented rummage sales, traveled the world and made the finest PICKLES. I actually inherited The Pickle Recipe from Aunt Eva and was sworn to never ever ever give it out. Her personality was so formidable in this world, I am not going to risk her ire from the next world. I have shared another pickle recipe that she gave me. It’s been remarked how Aunt Eva fancied bright lipstick. Pink. Bright pink. Her purse heavy from little sample lipsticks she would collect in her travels. And that lipstick was going to be a brand if you will, of the love she felt for you. A bright pink neon on your cheek. In the instances when Aunt Eva hadn’t seen you in a while, you just knew there was going to be a lot of love coming your way in a big pink smear. I digress.
Aunt Eva was an amazing cook, gardener and fisherman. Our visits were at a little house on the Cape that allowed her all three sports. The pickles chilled in the fridge, right near a box of bait. Her lobster pots were checked daily. The garden was always heavy with tomatoes, peppers, beans, squash, cucumbers and herbs. She grew rhubarb and made a beautiful strawberry rhubarb jelly so awesome in color and taste. Look at Aunt Eva, orchestrating farm to table mentality for the kids to learn from. There was plenty right around you to eat and create from. With a lot of effort and love, you could make plenty grow. Eva grew up with a large brood on a farm in Millis, MA. These ideals were instilled early. Thanks for sharing Aunt Eva!
I think of Aunt Eva whenever I pickle or make jam. I love pulling our her old recipe cards with the crazy side notes she’d leave. She would really jam on this recipe (you knew there’d be a pun soon) for it’s southwestern flavors. It’s from another aunt of mine, Martha Stewart. Though we are not blood related, or even properly introduced at this moment, Auntie Marty (she lets me call her this) has a simple, tasty seasonal relish recipe that’s super easy. From her Everyday Food magazine:
Grilled Peach Relish
4 peaches, quartered and pitted
1/2 medium white onion, halved
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo (seeds removed for less heat if desired)
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice (our addition)
1 teaspoon sugar
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Drizzle peaches and onion with oil and rub to coat. Fire up grill or a grill pan over high heat
Oil grates of grill with paper towel and tongs.
Grill peaches and onion until peaches get a light char and skins begin to loosen, about 10 minutes, rotating occasionally. Let cool.
Remove and discard peach skins.
Chop peaches into medium chunks and onion into smaller chunks. Combine in a bowl with remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper.
Auntie Marty recommends this relish with grilled chicken, pork or duck. We broke it in on a lamb burger and licked the dish.