Skip to main content

A Lesson In Picking Peaches

Written for the River Current Publication, September 5, 2013

Sunday I went down to OSU and brought my niece Abbey home with me.  She had called saying that she "wanted to spend a part of her Labor Day weekend with her Aunt Con in the country’".  I suppose you could say that this area is very much “country” to a young girl who grew up in the greater Los Angeles area!  
She enjoys coming to my home as a sort of respite from the chaos of her sorority house and most often tucks a large bag of laundry into my trunk before we leave Columbus.   Regardless of the reason, I always enjoy her company and am thrilled when she asks to come and spend some time with me.
Since she had been home in California for the summer, she wanted to first stop and visit with my parents (her grandparents) on our way home.  I always find this to be such a sweet gesture.  Some teens would not so graciously include this additional stop as a part of their agenda.
Every time that I have stopped to visit with my father recently, he has reminded me that his peach trees have been very productive this year and that I should go out and pick some of the peaches to take home with me.   For one reason or another, it seems I am always in a hurry and/or on my way to somewhere else and have admittedly ignored his offer. 
When he suggested the peach picking again on Sunday, I eagerly volunteered Abbey to go out and help me.  Prior to heading out to the back yard, my father told Abbey that all she needed to do was “shake the tree and the peaches will just fall to the ground”.
I had forgotten this comment until I was bent under the tree picking up some of the peaches that were already laying on the ground.  All of a sudden and with no warning, I found that we were both being pummeled by falling peaches!  Unbeknownst to me, Abbey had stepped up to the tree and given it a firm shake or two (just as Grandpa had instructed).  I’m sure it was quite a sight to see us both running and screaming in opposite directions…trying our best to dodge the falling peach bombs! 

My LA girl was a little traumatized by the whole experience.  Besides the peach bombs, she said that there were “way too many bugs out here!”  Picking peaches and other fruits from my father’s tree was a part of my growing up and I was delighted to have shared the opportunity with my California girl.  

Summer peaches are the essence of summer…fresh, healthy and delicious. Peaches are low in calories (about 60 each), contain no sodium or cholesterol and offer a nice helping of vitamins and antioxidants…which are thought to protect the body from aging, heart disease and some cancers.
These summer fruits are beautiful to look at and easy to serve. Toss some in your morning yogurt or breakfast cereal, bake some into a pie or tart, experiment with savory recipes for main dishes or sides, or merely eat them on the go…juice running down your chin and without a doubt, a smile upon your face.

Prolific Peach Tree Bars
1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds or hazelnuts) or old-fashioned rolled oats, divided
3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (see Note)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Fruit Filling:
6 cups chopped peaches
1/2 cup orange juice (I didn't have any oj, so used water instead)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. To prepare crust: Combine 3/4 cup nuts (or oats), whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar and salt in a food processor; pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add butter; pulse until well incorporated.
2. Whisk egg, oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla and almond extract in a small bowl. With the motor running, add the mixture to the food processor. Process, then pulse, scraping down the sides, if necessary, until the mixture begins to clump, 30 to 45 seconds (it will look crumbly). Measure out 1/2 cup of the mixture and combine in a bowl with the remaining 1/4 cup chopped nuts (or oats). Set aside for the topping.
3. Preheat oven to 400°F. Generously coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
4.To prepare fruit filling & assemble bars: Combine 4 cups chopped fruit, orange juice, sugar and cornstarch in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is very thick, 4 to 5 minutes. (It may take up to 10 minutes to get a thick result if you start with frozen fruit.) Stir in the remaining 2 cups fruit and vanilla.
5. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking dish. Spread evenly and press firmly into the bottom to form a crust. Spread the fruit filling over the crust. Sprinkle the reserved topping over the filling.
6. Bake the bars for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° and bake until the crust and topping are lightly brown, 25 to 30 minutes more. Let cool completely before cutting into bars, at least 1 1/2 hours.
*Note: Whole-wheat pastry flour is milled from soft wheat. It contains less gluten than regular whole-wheat flour and helps ensure a tender result in delicate baked goods while providing the nutritional benefits of whole grains.
Nutrition per bar:  197 calories;  9 g fat (  1 g sat ,  1 g mono );  19 mg cholesterol;  28 g carbohydrates; 11 g added sugars; 3 g protein; 1 g fiber; 69 mg sodium; 147 mg potassium.
Carbohydrate Servings: 2


  1. I loved that she shook the tree, lol.

    And I love me some peaches :) Glad you two had a good visit.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Supplement Store Grand Opening!

      SUPPLEMENT STORE GRAND OPENING   Well here it is....finally!  I have aspired for the longest time to make an addition to my website where you can order quality supplements.  REAL supplements vs. the pretend ones you pick up and throw in your shopping carts along with your toilet paper, light bulbs and frozen green beans at Wallie World! As a Certified Nutrition Therapy Practitioner, I am super excited to be able to offer these quality products to you.    Why do I want to make Biotics products available to YOU ?  Because they are REAL my friends, and to state it simply and honestly...they will make you feel great!  These superior products are all natural, organic, plant and animal based.   If you want to run like the wind from 6 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. every day like me...I suggest you give them a try!          More nitty gritty on these fabulous products:   Biotics Research Corporation has been a leading manufacturer of specially designed nutritional p

Pumpkin Doughnut Pleasure

Written for The River Current Publication      I think I have said this before, but I just have to say it again…I love all things pumpkin!   If one doesn’t share my love of pumpkin around this time of year, I suppose it could be a difficult thing.    All that one could do I suppose, would be to sit back and wait for the pumpkin madness to subside!   As we have slipped into the magnificence of a Mid-Western fall season, you will find in my kitchen simmering pots of pumpkin chili, pumpkin breads, pumpkin pies, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin coffees…well, I think you get the pumpkin picture!     For the last couple of weeks I have been craving a good pumpkin doughnut.   I have always been a huge fan of doughnuts, but in my quest for eating healthier, doughnuts are now a ‘once in a blue moon’ kind of treat for me.         I decided to try my luck at baking my doughnuts, rather than the typical fried version…making them a much healthier option.   What can I say…p

11.12.13 Random Anniversary Thoughts

Last week was a shit storm of unpleasantness for me.  For the last week it seems, I have fought back tears and sadness.  Silly things such as a looney ex-husband, rudeness, rejection and the death of a friend's husband; they all seemed to pile up on me like the autumn leaves in my back yard....or cow shit out in a pasture...they just kept piling up!   Perhaps also tucked in the back of my mind were the memories of the beautiful wedding weekend that Rick and I shared two years ago today.  I shared on my blog, Marital Status: W  last year, how I have always been fascinated with the unique sequencing of numbers on a calendar...weird, I know.  Special dates that will never occur again.  Rick and I had teased each other when trying to select such a numerical sequence for our wedding day.  Today the uniqueness of 11/12/13, for some silly reason even brought tears to my eyes.  What a cool date...Rick would have liked it, just as I do.   It is almost unimaginable that it has b