Sure do love your peaches!

Strawberry and red raspberry season has faded, but you can’t complain when there is such an abundance of peaches and blueberries.  Early one foggy morning, I visited Blueberry Hill Farm and within about an hour and a half, picked two gallons of blueberries.  I gave away a gallon, ate a bunch over the week and froze the rest.  Now, the most delicious peaches are in season.  A juicy tree ripened peach gets you pretty darn close to heaven.  Here’s a great spot to get some.

Flipping through an issue of Real Simple, I found a recipe that combines blueberries and peaches.  Have you ever noticed how fruits and vegetables that pair well together also are in season at the same time?  I don’t think it’s a coincidence.  Peach and Blueberry Buckle — recipe is here.  Culinarily, buckle is an old American term for a simple, single-layered cake usually made with blueberries, although it can be other berries.  Most recipes also have a crumb topping.

What I love about this recipe is the ratio of fruit to batter.  There is at least twice as much fruit as batter.  Yum!

Fruit

When I mixed the fruit into the small amount of batter, it crossed my mind that it might not work.

batter

Seeing the blueberries bubbling in the oven, gave me hope.

ovenNotice that in this recipe the sugar laden crumb topping is replace with sliced almonds and a dusting of powdered sugar.

serving

How yummy is this!  The lack of sweetness gives it a very European taste.  A scoop of good vanilla ice cream would push it more into the American dessert category.  Regardless, I’m adding this recipe to my summer favorites.

Chicken Creole Connection

When I was writing this post about my life long love affair with a chicken creole recipe, my mind was traveling back to those days in the 70’s on Gazette Avenue.  Our next door neighbors, Ric and Judy Seaman, were in school and in much the same financial boat.  We would take turns making a special dinner, so that we had the feeling of eating out.  I still have recipes from Judy.  And this is the wonderful thing about the internet.  Out of the blue, I receive this note:

“Connie, somehow I just jumped onto your recipe blog page for Chicken Creole. I almost died when I read it!  We still use that recipe too!  Such good memories of us buying chicken when it went on sale and using it every way we could think of… I recall it going down to $.10 a pound on rare occasions and of jamming our little freezers as full as we could. To this day Ric won’t use tarragon because I made him eat so much Chicken Tarragon, but we all still do love Chicken Creole. Our kids were raised on it too!  How funny (yet great) are those memories of our little apartments on Gazette!”

She went on to mention the ducks I raised on our deck; I hadn’t thought of them in ages.  If you read this, you’ll see that some things never change!  Those were times of no computers (computers only lived in large, climate controlled rooms!), no smart phones, and no television.  Televisions were invented, we just didn’t have one.  Recreation was hikes in Red River Gorge (photo above) and canoe trips.  Do I want to go back to those times?  Nope.  I love my technology.  And I love being able to afford to go out to eat occasionally.  But it was nice to visit those times through a recipe.   And more importantly to connect with someone who shared those times and Chicken Creole.  Do you have a recipe with a story?

Forty Years of Chicken Creole

There is one thing that my ex-husband was right about and I was wrong.  Chicken Creole.  It was the early 1970’s.  He was a medical student and I was a graduate student.  We lived on my teaching assistantship; we lived on very little.  Chicken was about 25 cents a pound, so we were always looking for recipes.  He found a recipe in my aunt’s “Fairyland Cooking Magic” cookbook, copyright 1955 by Fairyland P.T.A., Lookout Mountain, Tenn.  I love my aunt’s Fairyland cookbook which I still have along with a Watkins Cook Book copyright 1943.

“I may eat the chicken, but that sauce sounds terrible.”  I ate those words along with licking the dish clean.  That began my love affair with chicken creole.

I typed the recipe on my college, portable Smith-Corona typewriter, as I did with all of my favorite recipes.  As the years went by, changes were made to the recipe.  I started using diced boneless chicken.  I wanted that sauce covering as much of the chicken as possible.  When I’m wrong, I’m really wrong.  It became a family staple.  My children were raised on chicken creole, starting with it being ground in my little baby food grinder.

In 1984 I shared the recipe in our church cookbook.  It was probably the only recipe in the Baptist cookbook with alcohol.  The amount which by the way, over the years had doubled from the original recipe.

 

When my children became adults, I delighted when they called wanting to know how to make chicken creole for a special occasion.  The recipe continues to evolve.  Made with fresh, ripe heirloom tomatoes, green pepper, fresh herbs and a bottle of dry white wine captures a summer garden and is my current choice.

All this talk of chicken creole and I can almost taste it right now.