the peaches are in!


"it's already getting hot out there" he said, as we shuffled into the kitchen. he stood at the table fixing his breakfast, already having finished his run, showered, and dressed before we had even conceded to the call of daylight. "i just did an easy eight because i didn't want to push it in this heat", he continued with the proud air of failed humility. eight MILES, i'd correct him in my head. why does he always leave the "miles" out, like the rest of the world knows what he's talking about. barely conscious, grouchy, and a teen, i was annoyed with my dad and his unflagging pep. he ceremoniously went on with his preparation though, oblivious to (or more likely, ignoring) my bad attitude. he loaded his bowl beyond the brim with cereal and then carefully topped it with fresh fruit. there's no way he's going to fit the milk in this time, i maliciously thought and watched incredulously as he put his hand on top of the heap, slowly poured the milk, and then carefully removed it without any spillage. my dad, defying archimedes and the law of displacement before 9am. 

summer was a bountiful time at our house growing up. there were tart cherries in june, raspberries and blackberries in july, and as the final send off to the season, blueberries. that was only the beginning though because once my dad had a taste for fresh fruit from the garden, he wanted more. so he built an orchard in the back and lined it with rows of peach, pear, and apple trees. i remember how proud he was of those little saplings when they arrived, hopeful of the bushels of fruit they would one day bear. it seemed like a frivolous pursuit at the time since it was just him and my mom at the house. it takes years for fruit trees to mature. i think he only got to enjoy one yield before his passing, but who was i to ever criticize a man who loved his fresh fruit.

my mom called last week, excited to tell me that the peaches were in and producing almost daily by the bucketful, so we made plans for a visit on the weekend. august happily picked peach after peach and before long our bucket had reached maximum capacity. as we walked back to the house with our heavy load i thought all the things i could make with the peaches. cobbler, of course and i could probably find an easy ice cream recipe. preserves are a no-brainer. maybe muffins of some kind too? and that's when i remembered my dad's go-to cereal topping. i laugh at the memory of his breakfast ritual now and my heart swells with every detail of his idiosyncrasies. if he were alive, i'd join him for his early morning run and afterward, we'd each fix a giant bowls of fruit-topped cereal, but for now, i bake pecan peach bread. 
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup pureed peaches 
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

preheat oven to 350. combine butter, sugar, eggs, and peaches in mixer; add cinnamon, soda, and salt. mix until combined, then add flour. pour into greased loaf pan and sprinkle the top with some raw sugar. bake for 25 minutes and set to cool. best enjoyed the next day, along with a cold brew and the little owner of two chubby hands and the sweetest voice that asks for "uno mas paaaaan?"




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