December 07, 2009

I'm in a blogging slump. For instance, I started this post back when fresh peaches were in season. How long ago was that? Even though cranberries are the fruit of interest at the moment, I somehow have to get past this peaches booklet in order to move on. Heaven knows I have a mountain of other material I'd like to write about.

Peaches were only one of the many fruits being canned by early California food processors in the late 1850s. California peaches were of excellent quality and weight due to California's temperate climate and fertile soil. California canned peaches were one of the canned goods that might have been eaten by some fortunate soldiers during the Civil War or served in fine dining rooms on the East Coast during that same time period.

The Peach Recipe Book - 101 Helps for the Clever Hostess and Thrifty Housewife (not dated, 24 pages) was published in the early 1930s by the California Canning Peach Industry. I can find no information at all on the CCPI. The booklet is filled with recipes, menus and other suggestions on how to use canned peaches any time of the year.

There were a variety of canned peaches from which to choose: halves or slices, whole, spiced, sweet pickled or in other special forms such as canned Fruits for Salads and Fruit Cocktail. Fruits for Salad was a convenient combination of California Peaches, pears, apricots, pineapple and Maraschino cherries in a suitable size for salad packed in a sweet syrup. Fruit cocktail was the same as we know it now, a blend of diced California Peaches, pears and pineapple along with seedless grapes and Maraschino cherries.

The Peach Trio Salad Plate pictured below looks similar to what I remember frequently seeing on the menu at the Woolworth's lunch counter although that was usually with fewer ingredients and was probably more commonly known as the diet plate, with only cottage cheese, lettuce leaves and peach halves.


Peach Halves (allow 3 for each serving)
Cottage Cheese
Raspberry Jam
Roquefort French Dressing
Crab Salad
Salted Almonds
Grapefruit Sections
Olives (Ripe or Green)

Serve each salad trio on a dinner-size plate. First, arrange 3 large, crisp, cup-shaped lettuce leaves shamrock fashion on the plate. In one, put a generous spoonsful of well-seasoned crab salad, top with a Peach Half, and fill the cavity with mayonnaise. In the second lettuce cup put a spoonful of cottage cheese topped with a Peach Half. Stick salted almonds into the cheese; fill the peach with raspberry jam. In the third lettuce cup arrange grapefruit setions to form a ring, center with a Peach Half, and fill the Peach with Roquefort French Dressing. Garnish with olives.

With all the fat in the mayonnaise and Roquefort dressing I don't think this could be considered low-cal.

How about this Ham Loaf with Peaches?

The Peach Meat Pie, one of the recipes on the pages above, calls for filling the peach cavities with tomato ketchup. The Ham Loaf recipe suggest filling them with chili sauce. Not a flavor combination that sounds good to me!


Peach Cobbler is a grand old way of serving Peaches--one that simply can't be improved upon. Hot or cold, with cream or top milk, it's always a favorite! These quantities serve 6 to 8.

1 No. 2-1/2 can Sliced Peaches
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
Biscuit dough

Places Peaches, sugar, spices and butter in deep pan and sprinkle with flour. Mix biscuit dough (prepared biscuit flour may be used, or your favorite recipe), roll out 1/2 inch thick and spread over top of Peaches. Bake in a hot oven (450°) for 30 minutes.

Can Measurement Equivalents:

Large or No. 2-1/2 can contains approximately 3-1/2 cups of fruit and syrup;
Medium or No.2 can contains approximately 2-1/2 cups;
Small or No. 1 can contains approximately 2 cups.

Okay, it's done! Perhaps I can get myself out of this slump now.


At 8:19 AM CST, Blogger T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Glad to see you back! I'm must confess a fondness for that Peach Trio Salad. Something about it says "the good old days" to me. Just the other day, I was remembering the Woolworths lunch counter!

At 9:41 AM CST, Blogger Kristen said...

I love the premise of your blog. I hopped over here from your foodcompanycookbook site. I was doing a search for old cookbooks in pdf format. Actually, I was looking for an old fashioned cake recipe to make into cupcakes. Anyway, I am bookmarking your site and will return in the hopes that your slump is over.

At 8:17 PM CST, Blogger Kathy said...

T.W. - When I was a kid I used to go with my dad to his office on Saturdays. I had a lot of fun in the downtown Houston Woolworths back in those days. As a newly working "adult" I would eat lunch at one in a shopping mall near my office. I guess Dollar Stores are the new dimestores. :-) You visit SF a lot--have you been to the Japanese dollar stores? I think they're so much fun.

Kristen - Wecome to my blog; hope you'll stay around. Did you find a cake recipe to make into cupcakes?

At 9:44 AM CST, Blogger ~~louise~~ said...

Hi Kathy!!!! Oh how I missed you. I'm so glad you are back and I do hope you will continue to enlighten us with your most informative posts!!!

I too remember the Woolworth's lunch counters although many Saturday's, my mom took us to W.T. Grants. They had a lunch counter too. We were "allowed" to have just one hot dog and a drink to share between myself and my sister. Oh the good ol' days!!!

At 2:43 AM CST, Blogger Rochelle R. said...

Glad to see you posting again. I have been in a blogging slump myself. I remember when you could buy canned pickled peaches, don't think they make them anymore.


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