Article: Peaches and Cream Time
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  1. #1
    Founder Sara Noel's Avatar
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    Default Article: Peaches and Cream Time

    During "Peaches and Cream" time, those golden globes with rosy cheeks begin ripening in orchards across the country. We've traveled from east to west, encountering peach orchards with fresh picked fruit at roadside stands or in neighborhood grocery stores.

    When I was growing up on the farm, we had a few peach trees, along with Father's apple trees, which yielded this delicious fruit. Mother always canned quantities of peaches for us to have for dessert in the winter. She often made fresh peach shortcake for summer eating.

    Peaches Grown in China

    The peaches first were grown in China, where it was a symbol of
    longevity. Often actual peaches or replicas in porcelain were given as friendship and good will gifts. Chinese porcelains and paintings often were decorated with peaches or peach blossoms.

    From China, the peach reached Persia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and then northern Europe. Peach pits were brought to the Caribbean by Columbus, and from there the fruit spread to Mexico.

    Long before the thirteen American colonies were established, peaches in abundance were growing wild in this country.

    Found in Florida

    In the 16th century, Spanish colonists began growing peaches in Florida. From there peaches spread westward and northward so rapidly that early English settlers were astonished to find them growing wild when they landed in Virginia.

    Today, next to the apple, peaches rank among one of the most widely grown deciduous fruits in the United States.

    PEACH SHORTCAKE was a treat I enjoyed as a child. Make shortcake from your favorite recipe, either biscuit or cake type. While warm, split biscuits or the cake and fill with sliced and sweetened fresh peaches. Spoon peaches over the top and serve with whipped cream or sweetened heavy cream.

    NO-BAKE PEACH PIE is a quick and easy dessert. Prepare vanilla pie filling as directed on package. When cooked and slightly cooled, fold in 2 or 3 peeled, sliced peach slices. Pour into baked pie shell or graham or vanilla wafer crust. Chill until well set.

    Before serving, top with whipped cream flavored with 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, if desired. Garnish with slivered almonds.

    PEACH CRUMB CAKE - Use 1 box yellow cake mix. Divide the cake mix in half. Prepare one half mix as package directs, using half the ingredients called for. Then measure out 1 cup of batter and set aside. Pour the rest of the batter into a greased 9-inch square pan.

    Combine the remaining half of the dry cake mix with 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg. Stir in 1/4 cup melted butter or margarine just enough to make large crumbs. Sprinkle half the crumb mixture over the batter in the pan.

    Arrange 2 cups sliced, unpeeled fresh peaches over the crumbs and batter in pan.

    With care, spoon and spread the rest of the batter over the peaches. Then sprinkle with remaining crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 40 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. You also can sprinkle confectioner's sugar over the top when cooled instead of using whipped cream.

    (c) Mary Emma Allen

    *****************

    (In addition to writing cooking columns, Mary Emma Allen writes for children. Her latest book is a coloring book to accompany her children's anthology, "Tales of Adenture & Discovery. Visit her web site to view more "Country Kitchen" columns:
    http://homepage.fcgnetworks.net/jetent/mea; mailto:[email protected])
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  2. #2
    Registered User Michelle's Avatar
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    Default

    Yum. I bought a ton of peaches yesterday---I'm going to try the no-bake peach pie.
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