Grilled Peaches + Vanilla Sour Cream + Orange Whiskey Caramel | TENDING the TABLEWhile I’m generally happy to be home on my own for long stretches, and prefer silence to chatter and solitude to crowds, I recognize that community is essential to maintaining a sense of well-being. My sense of what community means has changed and evolved over the years but one things has remained constant: community is what gives me the strength and inspiration to continue evolving as a person. Growing up, my family gathered together with friends for parties, music, home theatre and more potlucks than I can count. My childhood community is still where I  turn when I need a mother’s advice, a father to lend a hand, or a sister to confide in. When I moved away for college I left my childhood community behind but quickly developed a new community in Vermont. This new community evolved, not out of social interaction, but out of shared experience. We learned about each other by sharing a daily yoga practice together, breathing together, sweating together and praying together. I still appreciate the quiet strength of this community and miss it dearly. I now spend most of my time alone, cooking and taking pictures, but occasionally, through a collaboration now and then, I get to experience the power of community once again and am reminded that I am indeed fine on my own, but I’m better with others to inspire and support me.Grilled Peaches + Vanilla Sour Cream + Orange Whiskey Caramel | TENDING the TABLEGrilled Peaches + Vanilla Sour Cream + Orange Whiskey Caramel | TENDING the TABLE | Photo by The Modern ProperPhoto by The Modern Proper

I recently collaborated with the lovely ladies behind The Modern Proper. I first met Holly, when she generously provided hand-made linen napkins for one of my benefit brunches. Then, a few weeks ago, I met Holly and her partner Natalie for a day of cooking and picture taking. Together we made these grilled peaches with vanilla sour cream and orange whiskey caramel. These gals are both so incredibly sweet, smart and funny and make a great team. It was so fun to get to know them a little better and they taught me about working with others with grace and ease. You can see their photos from our collaboration on their blog, here.Grilled Peaches + Vanilla Sour Cream + Orange Whiskey Caramel | TENDING the TABLE


Serves 4

Caramel Recipe Adapted from Renee Kemps/Hummingbird High



4 peaches

canola oil


2 vanilla beans

½ cup sour cream

¼ cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract


1 1/3 cups sugar

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup maple syrup

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes

1 teaspoon salt

zest from one orange

1 tablespoon whiskey



Preheat a grill or grill pan until hot. Slice the peaches in half and remove the pits. Brush each peach half with oil then grill the peaches, cut side down, until grill marks appear and the peaches are warm and beginning to soften.


Slice the vanilla beans in half lengthwise and remove the seeds with the dull side of a knife. Add the vanilla bean seeds to a medium bowl with the sour cream and whisk until smooth.

In a separate bowl whip the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form.

Fold the heavy cream into the vanilla sour cream.


Place the sugar in a medium pot over medium heat. As the sugar begins to melt, gently stir it. Meanwhile combine the cream and maple syrup in a small pot over medium low heat and bring to a simmer. Once the sugar has completely dissolved and turned a golden brown, remove it from the heat and pour in the cream. The mixture will bubble up, then subside. Stir until completely smooth, then add in the butter, salt, orange zest and whiskey.


Top each grilled peach half with some caramel, a scoop of the sour cream and garnish with nuts or cocoa nibs.