This website is published through the courtesy of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Any opinions expressed, however, are totally my responsibility.
Jim Andris, Sept. 17, 2003.
Mom's Fruit Shortcake for Twelve
12 Midwest or Southern Peaches, ripe
Pit, peel and slice the peaches.
Make shortcake for twelve from the recipe on a Bisquick box.
Serves 12 people dessert after a good dinner, 6 people who want to gorge themselves on dessert.
Detailed Directions and a Rant
The Peaches, how to get good ones
First, let me rant about the frankly irritating things we find in Midwest and Eastern supermarkets that are called peaches. They're from California. Once in a while I buy a couple and I am always disappointed. They have been picked almost green and shipped across the country in refrigerated trucks. They are more often than not pithy, or almost inedible. Of course, if you cook them with sugar, you may not notice much of a difference. But, do any of you remember taking a freshly ripe Illinois peach in season (July 4-September 1) and just eating this excruciatingly delicious thing, juice dribbling down your chin, right off a tree or out of a roadside market basket? Nothing can compare to it. Unless, of course, you happen to eat a California peach, properly ripened, in California. Now those are pretty good.
The rant continues: This is an example of how marketing in this country sucks. Why do we have California peaches across the country all months of the year? Because the marketing system in this country has convinced us that we need peaches on demand. Local midwest farmers will tell you that it is almost impossible to get their delicious peaches into midwestern supermarkets, especially chains, even right in the middle of peach season.
The only solution I know of: Don't eat peaches October through June if you live in the midwest. Eat other fruit then. Eat apples and pears in the fall. Eat bananas and oranges in the winter. Then, go out to the local farmers market at least once a week for two months and eat your fill of delicious, healthy, properly ripened local peaches in middle to late summer.
You think I'm going excessive here, but in addition to the disgusting taste, these picked-green, too-long-trucked-and-refrigerated peaches from California are almost worthless as a food. Why? Because you have to properly ripen a fruit to maximize the phytochemicals in it, the anti-oxidants and so forth. Read up on this, and you will find that I am telling you the truth.
The Good Peaches: how to properly prepare them
Let's start by admitting that too much of this is not good for you. It contains white flour and hydrogenated fat. If you want to substitute for this shortcake one made of wholewheat flour and non-hydrogenated vegetable oil, you are being very smart. I checked on the web and there are many recipes for this (whole wheat shortcake, whole wheat shortbread).
But if you want to eat shortcake like your mommie used to make (which is what I'm talking about here), then you got to eat the bad stuff once and a while.