Thursday, June 20, 2019

A Sweet and Spicy Crisp for Summer Days

Cave In and Savor a Fruity Crisp!
By Cal Orey
Yeah, the trees and flowers finally bloomed. Warm air is here. Wildlife is out and about. On the South Shore the environmental change affects mood and how we eat. I’ve been doing the vegan, raw food diet for what seems like forever. And it was time to cave for a day.I tossed in the Stone Age grub and baked us something to celebrate summer.
This week I noticed the big peaches on the kitchen counter were ripe. I didn’t really want to bake peachy muffins or scones. And while a deep dish peach pie or health nut smoothie could work those ideas were tossed out, too. I decided to whip up a peach crisp with a cinnamon twist to remind me that autumn (my favorite season) will return in a few months.
The other morning, when chopping peaches it took me back to one summer day in the cabin. I recall baking a peach pie early in the day when it was cool. Walking out into the kitchen I heard a hissing sound; actually it wasn’t the first time. I walked to the fireplace, removed the metal cover and was welcomed by a frisky mom and her three raccoon babies. “Hiss!” It took a day or three to find a brave human soul to safely remove the furry family, one by one, outdoors. And a screen was put on top of the chimney. That night, when eating a slice of pie I was amazed how resourceful our wildlife can be to find comfort and solitude during tourist season.
This sweet and spicy peach crisp is dedicated to the South Shore raccoon family that paid me, the hermit-ess author a visit. It’s a classic recipe. I changed it up a bit with extra cinnamon and mint to keep it flavorful and lighter.
Summertime Peach Crisp
3 to 4 peaches, cored, peeled, chopped into small bits (you can use cherries, too!)
¼ cup granulated white sugar
¼ cup all-purposed flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar (you can make this yourself, or buy it)

Crisp Topping
½ cup self-rising flour
1/4 stick European style butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
¼ cup old-fashioned quick oats (not instant)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Mint sprigs for garnish
Vanilla gelato (optional)

In a bowl, place chopped peaches. Add sugar, flour, and cinnamon sugar. Set aside. In another bowl, combine flour, butter, sugar, oats, and cinnamon. Dish fruit into ramekins or a baking dish of your choice to fit the mixture. Top each with crispy topping. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until peaches are tender and bubbly. Serve warm with mint. Makes 4-6.
So this time around I enjoyed the sweet summertime peaches. No furry visitors but that’s okay. I did discover that the raccoon is a good omen: It’s a sign to accept gifts from the universe; and be open to new things and challenges. This light fruity dessert can be dished up for family, friends, or a sweet solo treat. One serving of peach crisp served with iced coffee, tea or water will keep your seasonal diet on track. 

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