One of our wedding gifts last October was a huge box of fun foodstuffs from our friend Ruth.

Ruth and I spent many years standing next to one another playing with food – she knew exactly how much fun we would have with all the different sauces and oils and tapenades and the like.

One of the goodies was a bottle of Martin Pouret Vinaigre d’Orléans avec du Jus de Framboise.  A French wine vinegar with raspberry juice. The Pouret family has been making vinegars and mustards in Orléans since 1797 and the company today is run by a 6th generation Pouret family member.  Talk about continuity.  And flavor.

I had been holding back a bit on opening it because I knew that once I did  I would find two dozen things to do with it and it would be gone.

Today I finally figured out that it’s okay to use it all up.  That’s what fun food and enjoying life is all about!  To quote Patrick Dennis in Auntie Mame “Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!” It’s time to Live! Live! Live!

I knew that dinner was going to be grilled chicken.  I also knew I was cooking some broccoli.  I had picked up peaches a few days ago and thought grilled peaches would go good with chicken and when I looked up into the cabinet, I knew just how good raspberry would go with peaches, as well.

A really simple marinade was born:  Raspberry vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Nothing else.  The raspberry vinegar is rich and fruity with a nicely-pronounced raspberry flavor.  It’s totally unlike most fruit vinegars I’ve had in the past.  It really tastes like raspberries.

I marinated the chicken for about an hour and then put it on the grill for about 20 minutes total.

The peaches received a light coating of olive oil before going onto the grill, themselves, for about 5 minutes.

Buttered broccoli and faux rice-a-roni completed the plate.

The chicken really was stellar.  It had a great raspberry flavor without it being overpowering.  There was just enough acidity to balance the sweet with the tart.  I’m really glad I resisted adding more flavors.  Garlic would have been fine and any number of different herbs or spices would have worked, as well.  But the simplicity of the raspberry alone made the dish stand out.

Naturally, the little gray cells are working overtime trying to figure out what else to make.  I’m thinking a full-fledged raspberry barbecue sauce might be in the running..

In the meantime, there’s a lot more peaches and the ice cream maker has gone into the freezer.  Tomorrow night is peach ice cream.

And maybe a raspberry sauce…