While training for my first 100-mile bike ride last spring, I developed a terrible habit. Although I stocked my saddlebag with the finest in sports goos and my back pocket with peanut butter-and-banana sandwiches, I couldn't help but plan the huge meal I would eat as soon as I got home. When you have twenty miles left in a bike ride, then a drive from the exurbs back to South City, this is probably not the most motivational way to look at your day.
On the upside, I developed a special place in my heart for a well-made torta, or my elaborate smoothie ritual, or whatever highly specific meal would help out with my caloric deficit.
I don't question my hunger, I just obey.
Now that I'm back in grad school, without the constant snack flow of cubical life, the eight-mile ride home is sometimes inspiration enough. Last week, it was the peanut butter-chocolate chip cookies from Black Bear Bakery, conveniently sold in the campus coffee shop. This week, it was a peach pound cake.
I can't explain how a food I've never eaten in my life can develop a kung-fu grip over my entire existence, but this was one of those occasions. For most of July, a friend had been raving about a pound cake recipe that she was going to make using blackberries. That, coupled with a disappointing peach mini-loaf thing that I picked up out of the day-old bin, got my subconscious juices flowing, I guess.
These are the waning days of peach season, so this is an excellent reason to stock up on the last of these lovelies. A warning, though: The nice ladies with the peach stand who had taken up residence on the corners of both the Tower Grove and Maplewood farmers' markets seem to have disappeared with all of their wonderful white-fleshed peaches.
There is hope, though: Joe Ringhausen, who also claims a corner at the Tower Grove market, next to City Seeds, still has some peaches beside -- in case you wanted to be reminded of how fall is creeping up on us -- his expanding apple selection.
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, also crept up on me this year. As soon as my pound cake loaves went in the oven, I remembered apples and honeycake, and another idea came to me, as if on a bike ride: apple honeycake! Of course! So I bought some Grimes Golds from Ringhausen, and went to town.