The peach entry should have been the beginning of my blog - it still is- but there are over 3 months worth of photos, drawings, recipes and travelogues missing. My aunt died just as I was about to press "publish" for that entry. Instead I got completely distracted with taking care of her estate - then my old friend, procrastination came for a visit. I went to Nantucket for a week, then way, way upstate New York (Schoharie County) for almost 2 weeks, back to Nantucket, almost sold my New York City apartment and moved to Hudson, New York. I didn't sell my apartment, the buyers backed out so I went to Argentina. Now I'm back to my blog. I'm leaving the peach entry on it - save the recipe for next June. My first NEW entry is about one of my favorite place on earth, the Seychelles Islands. I haven't been there in more than 30 years - but I did live on La Digue, the smallest of the 3 public islands (there are 88 islands in the Seychelles archipelago - almost all privately owned) for a year. Most of the time I was stuck in the trance that sets in when you live smack on the equator with temperature and humidity both hovering at 88 degrees F. 24/7. I ate the most delicious, inventive, highly-flavored, and bright food - made with the few scarce ingredients found in around(spices and onions dropped off by ships plying the Indian Ocean between Karachi and Mombasa)the islands - that I've ever consumed. The recipes continue to inform the food that I make to this day.
Here's a memory of my first sight of Grand Anse beach on La Digue. It takes 30 to 45 minutes to walk there from La Passe- the business and residential center of the island - on a beaten, palm frond path that twists and turns through a kind of jungle. The path comes to an abrupt stop when you are almost blinded by a combination of the breathtaking turquoise-pale lavender Indian Ocean, super-fine sugar sand and a carpet of green vines dotted with shocking pink flowers.
SUSANSIMONSAYS: make fresh fruit chutneys all year 'round a la Seychelloise. In the summertime toss chopped, fresh peaches or cantaloupe; apples or pears in the fall; pineapple in the wintertime; and mangoes in the springtime with sliced onions, soaked in salt water then squeezed dry. Add a sprinkle of hot pepper flakes, a pinch of sea salt and a drop or two of a neutral oil. The chutney is the perfect accompaniment for roasted or grilled meat, poultry or fish.