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Posts Tagged ‘Breakfast’

Palisade, Colorado Peaches by Cathy Ulrich

It’s peach season here in Colorado. I hail from the Peach State, Georgia. I know, it’s sacrilege but Colorado peaches are, in my opinion, the best on Planet Earth. I’m not kidding. It don’t know what it is about growing peaches here, but I’ve never had a bad one.

Most of our peaches are grown in Palisade, Colorado in a fertile river valley just to the west of the Rocky Mountains . We Coloradans are so passionate about our peaches that we pretty much consume most of them here. That’s why anyone who lives outside the state has probably never experienced their special flavor. Imagine sweet, tart, buttery flesh of a perfect texture with a thin skin – that’s our peach.

What I didn’t know was that peaches grown right here on the eastern side of the Rockies are just as good. Last weekend our neighbor, Doug, came knocking at our door. He held a flat box of little jewels that he had grown himself – gorgeous white peaches. We’ve been eating them all week. I sliced up some of the last ones to go on a Dutch-Baby pancake this morning. You can find the recipe for the pancake here.

Doug’s gift was a harbinger of things to come. Every year, Peter and I order a box of peaches from Palisade through a local Rotary club. The club brings in several Semis loaded with peachy goodness and they use the proceeds to buy a dictionary for every third-grade child in the Fort Collins school district.

What am I going to do with all of these peaches? Well, I see a peach cobbler in Peter’s future (yes, I am psychic). As well as a few simple desserts of broiled peaches. I split them, remove the pits, sprinkle them with brown sugar and cinnamon and broil them until the brown sugar starts to bubble. Then top with lightly sweetened whipped cream. I’ll probably also make some peach salsa with mint and peppers from the garden to go on grilled chicken or steak and I’ll freeze the rest for our enjoyment later

Here’s a preserving tip: Did you know that you can freeze peaches whole? I put them, skin and all, into Ziplock Gallon freezer bags. When I’m ready to use them, I just rinse under cold water and the skin slides off. Split it, remove the pit and slice. They’re the closest thing to fresh peaches I’ve ever found with the added benefit of no additional sugar or the need for pectin to keep them from turning brown.

So if you’re not fortunate enough to live in Colorado, I’d suggest you plan a trip out here in August to try our delectable peaches – maybe even a road trip. Because I suspect you’ll want to take at least one large box back home.

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With the arrival of quarts of fresh berries from my little strawberry patch, I had to decide what to do with the precious jewels. There’s something so special about harvesting my own berries and honoring them…so I made a Dutch Baby pancake.

The backstory of this little package of scrumptiousness comes from my childhood and my mother. When my sister, Becky and I were kids, Becky wouldn’t eat eggs. Mom found this recipe in the paper and thought it would be a great way to get eggs and some protein in my little sister, so she would make this pancake for us most mornings before school. A few years ago, I came across the same recipe online realized that it must have been the same one my mother used.

So here it is along with my own commentary:

Dutch Baby Pancake

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and place a 12 inch seasoned cast iron skillet in the oven when you turn it on

Ingredients:

2 large eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup all purpose flour (I like to use King Arthur”s White Whole Wheat flour – it adds a little nuttiness to the flavor)

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the milk. Add flour and whisk, then cinnamon and vanilla. There may be some small lumps of flour, don’t worry about these.

When the oven reaches temperature, remove the skillet, add butter and olive oil. Swirl the pan to melt and disperse the butter.

When butter is melted, pour in the batter and return to the oven.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and enjoy.

I often top with my favorite marmalade or preserves but I decided to use my precious strawberries and a little sweetened sour cream.

This recipe makes a generous two servings. You can double the recipe and use a 16 inch skillet for a family of four. I usually serve this recipe for breakfast, but I’ve often thought it would make an elegant dessert as well – maybe baked in small individual pans.

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