Breaking News: I baked. And lived to write about it.



Fresh peaches. From Washington (the state). I’m familiar with the fuzzy fruit. I can spot a bad peach a mile away. I know how to rotate them so they don’t mold. How to squeeze them to test for eating readiness. How to air them out. How to carry multiple boxes of peaches – lifting from the knees – and unload them from a refrigerated semi-truck.

What makes me a peach expert? Nothing. I just know all of this because I’ve been around my fair share of peaches. My aunt and uncle were growers for many years in CO. Then moved to WA. Now they broker and sell peaches for other growers. And I reap the fruit of their labor.

So, the picture of the peaches sitting in a fridge? Those are the peaches that just arrived (last Thursday – or was it Friday?) from WA. Three boxes of peaches. That’s a lot of fruit.

What does one do with all that fruit? Eat it. Plain. Cut up over vanilla ice cream. In cereal. AND in delectable desserts.

But desserts require that one bake. And I don’t do that. Except. I did. Tonight.

Since I am no ace in the kitchen, the other day I enlisted the help of a fellow blogger and former college classmate, and friend, Lindsay, who writes a fabulous “food” blog – Pinch of Yum. I often read her blog and drool over the many things she whips up. I remember hanging out at her place in college to study and work on big projects and she’d cook up something for dinner that was always delicious – especially since my idea of eating in college was a box of Kraft Spiral (has to be spiral) Mac and Cheese (I really did eat better than that).

Via facebook she sent me the link to a great “food” blog. called Smitten Kitchen. I made a “deal” with Lindsay that if I used her recipe – in this case the recipe she recommended – I would feature it on my blog. Hence the breaking news about me – baking – and blogging (I really am taking a break though). I needed a great dessert recipe to use up some of my peaches and Smitten Kitchen via Pinch of Yum did not disappoint.

I’m a. too tired to type out the entire recipe. and b. not thinking smart or I’d copy and paste.  To view the recipe check out Smitten Kitchen and then look up the Peach Shortbread recipe. I should be in tech support, I know. I’m that detailed.

Back on the trail here, I viewed the recipe and jotted down two items I needed from the grocery store: fresh nutmeg and unsalted butter.

After a long, rainy-gray day, sitting in meetings and rush hour traffic, I headed home to change into my jeans, Hunter’s, and arc’teryx before zipping off to the grocery store. I was in the mood to bake. Not really. I was in the mood to eat and needed a way to de-stress. Although, baking is not the activity I should use to un-wind. I would be better off practicing the piano, folding laundry, or raking leaves.

The grocery store provided the first set of problems. I couldn’t figure out where fresh nutmeg was. Then I found it and felt silly for not figuring it out sooner. Home, I pulled out the ingredients and set them before me. Since I don’t bake and I don’t blog about baking, I’m not sure if what I’m going to write about my baking experience is going to measure up to other blogs on baking, but here goes.

Nutmeg.

Micro-planed nutmeg. Smelled wonderful.

Smitten Kitchen's recipe says to brown the butter. I did. This was the result. I stuck it in the freezer like the recipe said. Then it became a fifth grade science experiment.

Since I clearly didn’t brown the butter properly, I used Smitten Kitchen’s plan b and cut up 1 cup of unsalted butter to mix into my flour mixture. And wrote myself a note-to-self never to brown butter again.

There were a few other close calls. Like how I almost used powdered sugar instead of baking powder. Simple case of mistaken white-powder identity. But I saw the error of my ways before any measuring occurred.

Measuring, something I fail at, went smoothly. No glitches.

I set my "finished" product in the oven and crossed my fingers it would turn out. I was concerned that I didn't know how to tell if the mixture was crumbly enough. So, I paced the entire time it was in the oven.

I also checked on my "browned butter."

And pulled out my next baking project to do with my best friend, Betty Crocker.

And loaded the dishwasher.

And after 32 (recipe says 30) minutes, a bowl of Costco-bought New England Clam Chowder and Alexia garlic bread, I ate a piece...or two...of the Peach Shortbread. And it was good.

It doesn’t look like the pretty pictures on the Smitten Kitchen website. Sue me. But it tasted delicious. Something I could serve without fear of poisoning my guests. Something I will share with other peach lovers. Unfortunately the recipe only calls for two peaches. Guess I need to find more peach recipes.

* Apologies for my lack of sentence structure, awkward wording, and lack of “flow.” I’m tired. _____________________________________________________

I ask. You answer.

  1. Baking woes?
  2. Your last baking success? Your last baking failure?
  3. Do you like peaches?
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2 thoughts on “Breaking News: I baked. And lived to write about it.

  1. Thanks, Linds! Haha. Well, maybe I will! I have a ton of fresh nutmeg sitting around….but will need to get more unsalted butter due to the butter browning incident. I have been eating the bars – let’s just say I did not cut mine into small squares – for breakfast!!! Thanks for the tip! It will be a while before I do another baking blog! 😉

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