Sunday, 7 September 2014

I Skin Eleven Peaches

It's rare to find good peaches in the UK, so when I saw some yesterday - large, ripe, plump and mellow - I had to buy them.  I was looking for inspiration for a pudding for a friend's leaving do, and then, there they were, sitting on a supermarket shelf, all soft and peachy, demanding my attention.

I bought twelve.

Whenever I buy peaches, I think of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's Frog and Peach sketch, and of TS Eliot's  The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

Baked peaches are best skinned, so I put the first six peaches in a bowl and poured boiling water over them.  Not much happened, and then I remembered that to skin a peach, it's necessary to score a line around its circumference.

I must have listened to the Frog and Peach sketch two dozen times and it still makes me laugh.  It's not the jokes - there are some.  It's the absurd audacity of Peter Cook's character and his lament over his catastrophic restaurant, which serves only two dishes (Frog a la Peche and Peche a la Frog), that I love.

As I was preparing the second batch of six peaches for skinning, I decided to keep one back.  Having remembered the scoring technique, the skins slipped easily off the remaining five.  I halved and stoned the eleven peaches, arranged them in a dish, sprinkled them with cinnamon, a little sugar, and a lot of sherry.

Whilst they cooked (forty minutes at 180 degrees C, if you need to know) I  thought of Prufrock's self-conscious wondering about whether to attempt to hide his bald patch / wear white flannel trousers / eat a peach.

I ate the twelfth peach over the sink, juice running down my chin, onto my blouse.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful- a perfect start to a Sunday- a neat, sweet blog post, Pete, Dud and Prufrock. Thank you!