Thursday, March 7, 2013

My Goodreads Obsession and The Peach Keeper

If you are an avid reader and have not yet wandered over to – don’t. You will not be able to tear yourself away. If you are anything like me it will become a huge time-suck, far surpassing any other social media. Even – gasp – Facebook.

I discovered Goodreads last Spring while researching ways to promote The Never King. What I found was a social media network of book lovers like me who do nothing but talk about books. It’s Facebook for bibliophiles! So why I am poking around Goodreads when I should be doing a million other things? I have met (in the virtual sense) so many like-minded people with which to discuss favorite books, what I’m reading and what I should read next. Looking at the virtual bookshelves of friends (real, live ones) gives me interesting insights into their personalities I didn’t have before. It’s also the perfect place to catalog all the books I’d like to read, but haven’t yet. No more emails to myself when I read or hear about a book I’m interested in or taking a photo with my phone of a book cover in Costco so that I can remember to get the ebook either at the library or on amazon (yes, I really did that). Here’s what I’m reading (don’t laugh, we all need a bit of fluff now and then, right?). What are you reading?

One of the many benefits of Goodreads is discovering books you might not have read otherwise. I just read The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen as part of a “pen pals” read for one of the Goodreads groups I belong to. I was paired with a lovely woman from Australia. She chose The Peach Keeper for us. I probably never would have read it if she hadn’t.   

This the first book I've read by Sarah Addison Allen and what a wonderful introduction it was to her! A nice, light, feel good story about coming to terms with ghosts of the past (both figuratively and literally) and finding true happiness. The characters are well developed and you find yourself caring about them and how their various stories end. It’s a good read about the meaning of true friendship
. It’s basically chick lit, and the story and its eventual happy ending aren’t all that original. What makes this book is Allen’s writing – the story flows seamlessly. And of course, because I love being in the kitchen as much as I love reading, this book got me thinking about what I can make with peaches. It may be snowing up here in Boston but I’m thinking of nice, ripe summer peaches!

Berry Peach Cobbler with Sugared Almonds


3 6-oz packages fresh blueberries (it’s winter – I won’t tell if you use frozen)
3 6-oz packages fresh blackberries (ditto on the frozen)
3 medium peaches, peeled and sliced (I’m jealous if you can find nice, fresh peaches this time of year. I’m using frozen)
2/3 cup sugar
2 ½ TBS cornstarch
3 TBS fresh lemon juice (I will tell if you try and use bottled)
1/8 tsp salt


1 cup flour
¼ cup sugar
2 TBS cornstarch
½ tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
6 TBS chilled butter, cut into small pieces
½ cup half and half
1/3 cup sliced almonds
3 TBS turbinado sugar (I have often used plain ‘ol brown sugar in place of this)
1 TBS egg white

Preheat the oven to 350®.

Prepare the filling by combining blueberries, blackberries and peaches in a 13x9 inch baking dish that has been lightly coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle the 2/3 cup of sugar, 2 ½ tablespoons of cornstarch, lemon juice and 1/9 teaspoon of salt over the fruit; toss gently to combine.

Prepare the topping by combining the flour, ¼ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, baking powder and 1/8 teaspoon salt, stirring well. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with two knives until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the half and half and gently knead the dough until just moistened. Drop the dough by spoonfuls evenly over the top of the filling. Combine almonds, turbinado (or brown) sugar and egg white. Sprinkle over the top. Bake at 350® for 50 minutes or until the topping is browned. Serve with ice cream.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What's On Your Plate?