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WHAT'S COOKING? Readers request more peach ideas
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WHAT'S COOKING? Readers request more peach ideas

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Teresa Hatchell 2005

Teresa Hatchell

Way back in July of 2004 I received an email from long-time Times and Democrat reader Margaret Clemmer, who shared some compliments and then shared what has become one of my treasured peach recipes.

Margaret wrote: "Now that peach season is in, I would like to share this recipe with you. It is my family's favorite this time of the year. You can be sure when you carry it to a covered dish meal that you will not have much, if any, left to take home."

I've published Margaret's recipe a few times over the years and made it myself several times each year. But I had not tasted the recipe prepared by someone else until my wonderful friend Rosie prepared a nice large dish of it for a get-together two years ago. Rosie did a perfect job making the dessert and everyone was thankful she had gone through the effort to prepare something very special. Peach Delight is much like Chocolate Delight except for the third and fourth layers, which contain fresh fruit and dry Jello-O, so its takes a bit more effort to prepare. That said, I encourage those of you who want to create some real-life smiles on the faces of your friends and family members to take the time to prepare this especially peachy cool and creamy Southern delicacy.

WHAT'S COOKING? Sweet 'projects' yield much happiness

Peach delight

First layer

1-1/2 cups self-rising flour

1 stick margarine, melted

1 cup finely chopped pecans

Mix these ingredients together and pat the “crust dough” into a 9x13 baking dish. Bake this crust on 350 for about 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned around edges. Cool it completely.

Second layer

8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

2 1/2 cups 10X powdered sugar

8 oz. container Cool Whip

Cream together the cream cheese and 10X powdered sugar. Blend in the Cool Whip. Spread this over cooled crust. Refrigerate the dish until the next layer is ready.

Third layer

4 cups fresh peaches, cut into pieces

Fourth layer

1 cup sugar

3 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

4 tablespoons dry peach Jell-O

1 cup water

Mix well all ingredients of the fourth layer and cook them on "simmer" in a small saucepan until the mixture is thick and clear. Cool this mixture completely. (I cook this while my crust is cooking so it will cool while I am preparing the second and third layers. In fact, you may want to refrigerate the Jell-O mixture in the pot to cool it more quickly.) Spread the peaches over the second layer and pour this cooled Jell-O mixture over the peaches. Refrigerate this dish until it is congealed. Spread additional Cool Whip over it and chill it for several hours or overnight before serving. This recipe makes approximately 15 servings.

WHAT'S COOKING? Peaches yielding flavor, nutrients

Peach-strawberry summer salad

2 small boxes strawberry Jell-O

3-1/2 cups boiling water

2 cups slices of peaches that have been peeled, sliced

2 cups strawberries, washed and cut into small pieces

1 large tub Cool Whip

1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese

4 tablespoons of orange juice

2 eggs

1 tablespoon flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Pour the boiling water into a large bowl. Pour the Jell-O in and stir it until it is well dissolved. Add the peach slices and strawberries. Pour this mixture into 13- x 9-inch glass or plastic dish. Refrigerate until firm. To make the second layer, mix Cool Whip and cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread on top of the Jell-O layer. For the third layer, use a small saucepan to mix and cook (over low heat) 4 tablespoons orange juice, eggs, flour, sugar and lemon juice. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Allow this mixture to cool almost completely. Spread it on top of the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with finely chopped pecans if you desire, and/or top it with slices of peaches and or pieces of strawberry. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve it.

WHAT'S COOKING? Customized salads yield great taste

Simply delicious boiled peanuts

(This is a basic recipe that may be doubled, tripled as needed.)

2 to 3 pounds of green peanuts

About 1/2 cup salt, or more depending on how salty you like your peanuts

Water (amount described below)

1 teaspoon sugar, optional

In a basin, bowl or other large container wash the peanuts thoroughly until the outer hulls are totally clean. Put the peanuts in an appropriate-size pot. Cover the peanuts generously with water. Add the salt (and sugar) and stir gently for a minute or so. Bring the peanuts to a boil, cover and lower to a simmer. Simmer for one to two hours. Conduct a taste test by removing a large peanut, setting it aside to cool for a minute, opening it, and testing the peanut within for “doneness” via its texture. When the peanuts are “done” remove them from the heat and let them “sit” in the water for at least 15 to 30 minutes so some of the salt (or seasoning) will soak in to the hulls before you drain the water from them. Again, allow them to cool a few minutes if you and your crowd are ready to devour them. Let them cool completely if you plan to bag them up and freeze them. Use thick, quality freezer bags and seal them well so none of the goodness will escape.

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