Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Millions of peaches! Peaches for me... or on second thought, maybe for you...

The end of August is always a tough time because it means BACK TO SCHOOL. I dreaded those words as a kid because they meant spending long days of pretending not to notice the kids calling me Four Eyes or wondering aloud why I never combed my hair. (Answer: I DID comb my hair. My hair has its own agenda, though, and it is not amenable to persuasion.) Now, back to school means stacks and stacks and stacks of grading on top of wondering whether my hair is presentable enough that students won't gripe about it being distracting when they fill out their evaluations.

One of the few things that makes this time of year better is fresh peaches: sweet, meltingly tender, juicy peaches. We had a few peach trees when I was a kid and I remember spending the last few days of summer vacation helping blanch, skin, and slice pints of peaches for the freezer so we'd have a little summer sweetness all year round.

This is the long way of saying that today I'm writing about peaches. Today's entry comes from the 1955 pamphlet "Quick Dishes for the Woman in a Hurry." Of course, this is a cookbook from the '50s, so we're not talking about fresh peaches. Canned was the way to go:

What would you think of canned peaches stuffed with a bit of cream cheese? Sounds pretty good, right? Like a miniature fruity cheesecake?

Okay, how about canned peaches stuffed with a "horse-radish"-flavored cream cheese and mayo blend? With celery and green peppers mixed in for good measure? I'm sure my well-documented aversion to condiments makes this sound especially repulsive to me, but I have a hard time imagining that this particular combination sounds good to too many other people either. Even giving the peaches a bit of blush with red food coloring and a sweet glaze of sour cream, cranberry jelly, and peach "sirup" isn't enough to save this idea.

Maybe canned pears are a better accompaniment to horseradish mayo? If you think so, try the Pear Blush Salad. (Not included: a third variation called Apricot Salad. I'll bet you can't guess the recipe for that one!)

(Okay, actually I bet you can. I was being sarcastic.)

(I'm pretty sure you knew I was being sarcastic. I like to step on my own jokes sometimes-- crush their little spines because they're so weak to begin with. I'm sadistic that way.)

(But not sadistic enough to make this recipe. So there's that.)

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