It has come to my attention recently that there literally dozens of foods that I was too stubborn to try growing up that have now been elevated to weekly staple status in my kitchen. When I think about how long I went without enjoying delicious ingredients like avocados, sweet potatoes, artichokes, and even mushrooms I get so annoyed with myself. Tastes definitely change as you age, and things you found intimidating that you labeled “icky” at the age of 7 might actually be quite amazing if you give them another try now.
Peaches were another item on my perpetual “do not eat” list. I had cultivated a completely absurd notion that peaches were disgusting when I was a kid (essentially this means that they weren’t bananas and therefore I wouldn’t touch them) so I never bothered buying them. Ever. I actually think I finally realized that peaches were pretty awesome after CK’s grandmother served some to me cut-up as a side dish at breakfast a few years ago. Initially I was just trying to be polite when I ate them, but then a little light bulb went off in my head and I thought, “Oh my God. These are scrumptious!” And promptly shoveled some more into my face.
In addition, If I’d never learned that I liked peaches I wouldn’t have bought this hilarious peach with a beak last summer at Russell Orchards on the way home from Crane Beach in Ipswich. It’s seriously one of my favorite photos ever (even though I took it on the iPhone). So have you had any food awakenings over the years? I can’t be the only former plain pizza eating Miss Priss on the block.
PS: This muffin recipe is excellent, but you don’t have to take my word for it. CK’s co-workers called them “Re-dunk-u-lous.”
Fresh Peach and Oat Muffins
Originally published in Muffins and Other Morning Bakes by Linda Collister
Makes 12 muffins
1 1/3 cups rolled oats
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
12 oz. almost ripe peaches, rinsed, pitted, and flesh cut into large chunks
Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Put the rolled oats and the buttermilk in a large bowl and let soak for 10 minutes. Add the lightly beaten egg, melted butter or vegetable oil, and sugar and mix well.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices onto the soaked oat mixture and stir briefly. Quickly fold in the chopped peaches. Do not beat or over mix; the batter should look slightly streaky. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin pan, filling each cup about two-thirds full.
Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch. Let cool in the pan for 1 minute, then turn out onto a wire rack. Eat warm, immediately or within 24 hours. When thoroughly cooled, the muffins can be wrapped then frozen for up to 1 month.