I'm in major spring cleaning mode in my house right now. Essentially, the house looks like a tornado went through it, dashing magazines, clothes and books all over, but kindly leaving little clear paths between the rooms for me to walk on. I know this sounds counter-intuitive and not at all like cleaning, but I'm not just moving things around, I'm actually getting rid of a LOT of the clutter. Stuff is being listed on Craigslist (and boy has THAT been a fun little experience), sorted into donation boxes, and packed up to give away to friends and family. The more I dig the more I realize that in just 6 or 7 short years that I've lived in my tiny little home, I've accumulated enough "stuff" to impress Madame Trash Heap.
Among the things being cleaned out is the fridge. All of the mystery jars and random little tid bits have been cleared out and I've moved onto the freezer. That will take some time, I have a LOT of frozen fruit I never got to still left over from last summer/fall. I guess this winter has been busier then I thought. The first to go was the leftover bag of peaches I had brought back from a camping trip to Michigan last fall. I don't like using frozen fruit for pies, but in this lightened version of Peach Bread, they were lovely. The bread itself is not too sweet, quite moist, and very flavorful. The perfect thing to go with a cup of tea in the morning, afternoon, or a late night cleaning marathon. Hard work requires a few rewards, after all.
Adapted from Honey & Jam (one of my new favorite blogs).
I increased the measurements by 1.5 because my pans are a bit bigger and I wanted taller loaves, but feel free to halve the amounts if you only want 1 loaf or decrease by 1/3 if your pans are smaller. I also left my peaches in bigger chunks and used a bit more then called for because I really love it when fruit forms little sweet pockets in the bread and it felt silly to hang onto just a half a cup of peaches. The batter held the extra fruit like a champ.
1.5 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup applesauce
3.5 cups roughly diced peaches, drain well if using frozen
4.5 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 teaspoon baking powder
1.5 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoon baking soda
2.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and lightly flour two 9 x 4 inch loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs lightly. Blend in the sugar, oil, applesauce and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; mix just to combine. Stir in the peaches. Pour batter into prepared pans.
3. Bake for about 1 hour, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
On a slightly unrelated note, a few weeks back I visited my friend's sister's house and got to meet her 4 adorable red-headed chickens. Her husband had built them an ingenious penthouse coop and I've never seen happier chickens then these. It was already getting dark and I didn't have my camera with me anyways, so sadly I don't have pictures of the girls for you, but I was lucky enough to be given 6 of the beautiful, super fresh eggs to take home with me.
I'm still thinking of what to do with them to really let the eggs shine, but the first two got made into breakfast. I wanted to keep it as simple as possible, so these are sunny side up eggs fried in just a slick of olive oil and with a hearty dash of sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
I may be biased considering I've met the chickens, but I think the whites were fluffier and the yolks were creamier in these eggs. I don't have room to keep chickens of my own, and considering all the baking I do buying local eggs is a bit out of my price range, but I think I'll need to splurge occasionally because these really were amazing.