…because we were meeting in-person for the first time!
My friend (Codename: Vinegar) and I became friends when we started chatting with each other through an online game we’ve both been playing for approximately five years. Several weeks ago, Vinegar informed me that he, his boyfriend, and their friend were coming to Chicago for a weekend and asked if we could finally meet up. “Of course!” I exclaimed. I was excited to meet the voice with whom I’ve had countless conversations with debating politics, arguing game strategies, and gossiping about other players. I imagine this was the same excitement and anticipation Julia Child felt when she was meeting Avis DeVoto for the first time after two years of exchanging 120 letters back and forth!
We agreed to meet for breakfast because, unfortunately, my schedule wouldn’t permit otherwise. At 8:30 A.M., I waited at the restaurant anxiously, hoping I’d be met with an instant stamp of approval from my good friend. When the three of them arrived, I immediately identified Vinegar because of our shared trait of black hair. A strong embrace was followed by a dual exaltation of “It’s finally good to put a face with the voice!”
As we sat down, the four of us couldn’t stop talking, especially me and Vinegar. We talked so much that the waitress had to come by four times to get our order, and this was only after we made a conscious effort to stop talking and pay attention to the menu! The meal was so memorable that I still remember what everyone had. Vinegar had an omelet and fruit (barely ate the omelet but ate most of the fruit), his boyfriend (now fiance!) had three strawberry crepes and ate two of them, and their friend had the Ironman omelet. I ordered something more simple: oatmeal with roasted peaches.
The roasted peaches were sweet, soft and perfect in my oatmeal as it successfully warmed me up from the unusually chilly June morning. Even though the guys ate most of their food, I only had about four bites of mine. It was delicious, but we talked so much that eating was secondary to our gathering. Plus, (and I’m a bit ashamed to admit this) Vinegar, his fiance, and their friend are three of the most gorgeous men I have ever met, so it was weird eating in front of them! Now, I’m a very confident woman, but having three funny, witty, intelligent, gorgeous, and unavailable men eating a meal with you makes you utter a soft curse under your breath and no amount of soft, delicious peach topping can console you.
However, the four bites of peach topping I did eat was pretty fantastic. Soft slices of roasted fresh peaches with a slight sugar glaze and walnuts sat perfectly atop my bowl of steaming oatmeal. I’ve been thinking about my new friends and this oatmeal ever since. So much that I’ve been anxiously awaiting the appearance of peaches at my farmers market with this peach topping in mind.
When the market rolled around this week, I eagerly searched through the stands, but none of them had any peaches. Just as I was giving up my search, I saw one stand I had overlooked. As I walked closer, I could see baskets of the fleshy stone fruit. Whee! These peaches were soft to the touch, perfectly colored, and smelled so fragrant!
Early the next morning, I sliced the peaches in quarters and rolled them in a mixture of cinnamon sugar. I also chopped some pecans on the same cutting board as the peaches so that the peach juice would lightly coat the nuts and then sprinkled more of the cinnamon sugar on them. I placed the peach slices and the nuts in a pie pan lightly coated with Smart Balance and baked for 20 minutes at 450 degrees.
The smell of the roasted peaches was heavenly!
I took the peaches and half of the pecan mixture and set them aside while I stirred the other half of the pecan mixture in the oatmeal. Then I spooned the oatmeal into two bowls, sprinkled brown sugar on both, and placed the rest of the pecans on top.
Finally, I placed three slices of roasted peaches on top of each bowl.
I even had two peach slices leftover for a snack!
I think this is now my preferred method of eating oatmeal because it will always remind me of meeting my new friends for the first time! Love you guys!