Saturday, August 5, 2017

Peachy, but not always keen

It's that time of year when we get overrun with little creatures so chubby and fuzzy I almost feel bad when I butcher them. They never resist much (unless they're of the clingstone variety), so the guilt fades pretty quickly. I'm talking, of course, about peaches. What should (or shouldn't) you do with these furry little guys?

Your best bet comes from Rival Crock-Pot Cooking (1975). The recipe is a shameless plug for the brand's Bread 'n' Cake Bake pan accessory, but it sounds yummy:

Packed with brown sugar, spices, and of course the titular peaches and pecans, Peach Pecan Coffee Cake sounds like the kind of recipe that will make the house smell so good you will magically levitate when the aroma wafts through the house.

If you need your sad gelatin mold fix, Better Homes and Gardens Good Food on a Budget (1971) offers Spicy Peach Mold:

Made with orange gelatin, crushed pineapple, various spices, and the always-questionable addition of vinegar, the mold might pretty effectively hide the peaches, but how much can you expect from an old-time Jell-O salad? At least it doesn't have American cheese and celery too.

If you want something with an innocuous name covering a dark secret, The Stuart Simmers Cook Book (The Pine Needles Mothers' Association of The Pine School in Stuart, Florida, ca. 1970) offers Georgia Peaches:

The name sounds sweetly southern, and the recipe starts out as a fairly typical pickled peaches recipe. (Peaches in vinegar are emphatically NOT my thing, but I get that some of you think they're acceptable. Who am I to judge people who like perfectly good fruit that tastes like it's been lightly seasoned with barf?) However, even if you like pickled peaches, I doubt that you ask for them to be broiled with cinnamon-covered onions before serving.

Here's another inexplicable twist on a peachy classic from Woman's Day Collector's Cook Book (1960):

Cheese-Peach salad takes that dieter's standard of cottage cheese and peach halves on lettuce, and makes it exciting (and not so diet-friendly) with mustard mayonnaise thinned out with whipped cream. In short, an unexciting low-cal lunch is made simultaneously less tasty and more caloric, a trick that will please no one.

If you're just looking for straight-up odd, then check out this recipe from Robert Ackart's Cooking in a Casserole (1973):

If you've ever thought fish (the book recommends sole or flounder) cooked in brown butter needed to be punched up with (or maybe just punched by) a ginger-peach syrup, this is the recipe for you! It's basically a sundae with fish instead of ice cream. What could be more summery-- except, perhaps, asking "Why the hell not at this point?" and just adding a scoop of ice cream too. Filets with Peaches and Ginger à la Mode it is...


  1. I started reading this post & thinking "Ooooh peaches, my fave stone fruit! Hey, this retro recipes aren't so bad" Then I kept reading. WOW!
    Great job as always, Poppy!

    1. Thanks! I tried to make it sound like it wouldn't be so bad at first... Looks like the trick paid off!

  2. For some reason I keep thinking that the peach/onion combination sounds like something you would find in a 4-H book. There was nothing like the anticipation of getting your 4-H project books, followed by the inevitable disappointment of actually having to choose the least objectionable recipes to make.

    1. Now that you mention it, it does seem like something we could find in a 4-H project book... Maybe as a dessert to a terrible tuna-based casserole. Get your fruit and veggies together!

    2. At least the 4-H books were new enough (or maybe just not hip enough) to have all of the aspics and jello molds in them. Maybe the books were really from that era, but the writers knew children wouldn't go as far as actually eating those things.