The Garden Harvest and Fresh Peach Pie

Proverbs 18:24
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Have you had a chance to take a look at my Home Page on this blog?  My home page, Pray, Cook, Blog has taken on a new look with the addition of a prayer, written by Pastor Allen Jackson of World Outreach Church.  I am excited because WOC is allowing me to re-post Pastor Allen’s prayers that he brings to us each week this year.  I believe prayer changes things.  I am living proof that prayer can set a rocky course straight, can keep a challenged family believing, and that God hears and answers our anguished cries through prayer.

When I first posted a recipe for Aunt Mildred’s Fresh Berry Pie, I posted a picture of the couple who gave me the recipe.  At that time I didn’t have any fresh berries to make a pie and share a picture.  However, the garden is a plenty with fruit and veggies and so yesterday mom and I froze white peaches, which were gift to us from Liz and Leon, beautiful sweet corn from my husband’s garden, and when the day couldn’t get any busier my dear gardener brought us basket upon basket of red beans to be shelled.  When the day was done, we were contented and tired all rolled in to one!

But, I digress.  In the midst of our day in the kitchen, Lee brought in a small basket of pitiful looking peaches from our own peach tree.  You see, this year the Cicadas bore into our peach trees leaving the limbs broken and the fruit dropped to the ground. When it was all said and done we had this one little harvest of large, but spotty peaches.  Well, as it turns out, once we got the skins off the peaches, they are wonderful  (who said “don’t judge a book by its cover?” ) So, our neighbors benefited with a Fresh Peach Pie and we dined on garden veggies and Fresh Peach Pie for dinner! I used fresh white peaches in the pie and made the mash out of the yellow peaches from our trees.  Ooo-la-la what a combination!

When I went looking through my blog for Aunt Mildred’s Fresh Peach Pie recipe I realized that I never posted a picture.  So, today … here are the pictures.  This recipe works for most berries and it really is divine.  I hope you will have your own fresh pie berry, berry, soon 🙂   Have a lovely day!

Summer’s Harvest Fresh Peach Pie
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A very simple yet delicious pie easily made from the summer's bounty of fresh fruits!
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 cup Fresh peaches, mashed
  • ½ cup Water
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3 tablespoon Corn Starch
  • 2-3 cup Fresh peaches, sliced
  • 1 Pie crust
  1. Bake pie crust and cool.
  2. Mix 3 Tablespoons corn starch in a bowl with ¼ cup of cold water. Set aside.
  3. In a pot mix 1 cup of fresh diced peaches with ¼ cup of water and 1 cup of sugar. Mash the pot of fruit while bringing contents to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes at a rumble (full rolling boil) stirring constantly.
  4. Add the corn starch mixture into the pot of boiling peaches all at once and stir until thickened (about 2 minutes). Pour hot peach mixture over 2 to 3 cups of fresh sliced peaches. Mix well and pour into the baked pie crust.
  5. Allow to cool/refrigerate for a few hours then enjoy. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream!

1. You can vary the amount of sugar depending on the sweetness of the fruit and to taste.

2.  You may use 1 cup frozen fruit to make the mash. Just thaw and follow the recipe.
3.  This recipe works equally well for other fruits and berries!

Although its botanical name Prunus persica suggests the peach is native to Persia, peaches actually originated in China, where they have been cultivated since the early days of Chinese culture. Peaches were mentioned in Chinese writings as far back as the 10th century BC and were a favoured fruit of kings and emperors. Recently, the history of cultivation of peaches in China has been extensively reviewed citing numerous original manuscripts dating back to 1100 BC.[2]

Its English name derives originally from the Latin malum persicum, “Persian apple”, which became the French pêche, then peach in Middle English.[3]

The peach was brought to India and Western Asia in ancient times.[4]Alexander the Great introduced the fruit into Europe after he conquered the Persians.[4] Then it was brought to the Americas by Spanish explorers in the 16th century, and eventually made it to England and France in the 17th century, where it was a prized, albeit rare, treat.[citation needed]

The horticulturist George Minifie supposedly brought the first peaches from England to its North American colonies in the early 17th century, planting them at his Estate of Buckland in Virginia.[5]

Various American Indian tribes are credited with spreading the peach tree across the United States, taking seeds along with them and planting as they roved the country.

Although Thomas Jefferson had peach trees at Monticello, United States farmers did not begin commercial production until the 19th century in Maryland, Delaware, Georgia and finally Virginia. California today grows 65% of peaches grown for commercial production in the United States,[6] but the states of South Carolina, New Jersey, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Washington also grow a significant amount.[7] Italy, China, India and Greece are major producers of peaches outside of the United States.

In 2010, a team of researchers at Clemson University, USA, announced they had sequenced the peach tree genome (doubled haploid Lovell).[8][9]

Sour Cream Coconut Delight

Psalm 71:19   Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens, You who have done great things.

This is an original recipe of mine.  For years my sister-in-law, Liz, has made Sour Cream Coconut Cake for her family holiday dinners.  We all love this cake recipe, but recently I was thinking of my newly purchased trifle bowl and what I could make to fill it.  We had family coming for a visit and I thought about the Sour Cream Coconut Cake recipe that can be made up to 7 days in advance and each day that goes by the flavor just melds.  At the same time Liz and I were talking about the Buttermilk Cake that she made and topped with fresh strawberries and real whip cream.  That got me thinking about making the cake and using the sour cream coconut filling.  Well, that lead me to this recipe.  It did get rave reviews from my family and the little bit that was leftover didn’t last through another day.  You really wouldn’t have to use a trifle bowl, but it works really well and it is so pretty.  If you like coconut, you’ll love this yummy dessert!

Ingredients for cake:

  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose or pastry flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour two 8″ or 9″  round cake pans and set aside.
Combine sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl or food processor.
Beat at medium speed until well blended.
Add eggs, one at a time, making sure to beat well after each addition.  Add vanilla.
Add flour, baking soda and salt to the sugar mixture.
Pour in buttermilk and beat well.
Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool pans 10 minutes on a wire rack, then remove cake from pans.  At this point one layer of cake can be wrapped and frozen for use another time.  This recipe will only require one layer of cake to fill a Trifle Bowl.

When cooled completely tear into small bite size chunks.


  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 package frozen coconut, thawed
  • 8 ounce Cool Whip
  • ½ cup flaked coconut

Mix sour cream, sugar and thawed coconut together.

Starting with one-third of the bits of cake, cover bottom of bowl.
Layer one-third sour cream mixture over cake.
Spread one-third Cool Whip over cake/sour cream mixture.

Continue layering two more times.
Finish with Cool Whip and sprinkle top with ½ cup flaked coconut.

Cover tightly with lid or plastic wrap.

At this point the dessert can remain in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days before serving.  The longer the time, the more the flavors meld together.

Wonderful by itself or with fresh fruit on the side.

Sour Cream Coconut Delight!

 Trifle Bowl

Traditionally, a trifle is a dessert that is layered in a glass bowl, as to display each layer. The glass bowl is called a trifle bowl. Punch bowls are also used, which is why trifles are also known as Punch Bowl Cakes. The layers consist of a cake, such as sponge cake or ladyfingers. The cake may have jam spread on each piece. Sherry is then sprinkled on, and allowed to soak in. (The use of liquor is sometimes why these desserts are Tipsy Cakes.) A fruit, like strawberries, would be the next layer. Next, there’s a creamy layer; like a custard. Whipped cream is spread on top. Lastly there are garnishes of fruit, chocolate and/or nuts. The dessert is finished in the refrigerator.

Today, a trifle can consist of just about any item you choose. The cake layer may be pound cake, angel food cake or even brownies. The sherry may be skipped entirely or a wonderfully flavored liqueur, like Kahlua, may be used. Instant pudding, in various flavors, can be a substitute for the homemade custard. Layers can also consist of fresh fruit, crumbled cookies, crushed candies and nuts. All trifles seem to have whipped cream, but the cream may be of the artificial topping variety.

Trifles are a favorite of mine. Anyone can make one. Even if you don’t have a trifle or punch bowl, they can be purchased for less than $10.00 USD. You can spend as much time or as little time as you wish on making one. The layers alone make it a naturally pretty dessert. Trifles allow for creativity from the ingredients used to the mixture of textures. The sky or the bowl is your only limit.

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hebrews 11:6  Without faith it is impossible to please Him.

Hebrews 11 is one of my favorite chapters of the Bible. This chapter recounts the many characters of the Bible that walked by faith.  It pleases God when it is by faith that we learn to say “the battle is the Lord’s!”  I encourage you today to take those steps and walk by faith!

Over the past year and a half one of the delights of my life has been to meet my neighbors, The Hughes. David and Gaye Hughes have four wonderful children, who are some of nicest, most well mannered children.  One of their daughters, sixteen-year-old Abigail, is also one of the finest young cooks I have ever met.  Abigail loves to treat her family not only to dinner meals that she prepares, but her favorite is to bake cookies and desserts!  Lucky for us we have been the recipients of many of her creations.

Now I have been making chocolate chip cookies since, well – a long time!  But along comes Abigail and her cookies put mine to shame.  They are perfect in size, crispy on the outside but oh so moist and sweet on the inside.  The bottom line is that not all chocolate chip cookies are created equal.  Thank you Abigail for sharing your passion!

The cookies in these pictures came from a batch mom made last week before John and Jeanne and the girls arrived.  Together – we ate them all!

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies perfected by Abigail Hughes

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 – 12oz. package of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  • Combine flour, salt, baking soda and cornstarch in bowl and set aside.
  • Combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, softened butter and vanilla.  Beat until creamy, then add eggs and beat.
  • Add dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Are they ready yet?

Drop mixture by rounded teaspoons (it really is best to keep them small) onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Notes from Abigail:
The cornstarch is optional I just added that because it makes them rise more without making them heavy.  It works with a lot of cookies. 🙂

The original recipe only calls for ¾  cup of brown sugar but I add a little more. If you are looking to cut sugar, you can back it back  to ¾ cup but they won’t be quite the same.

I only bake the cookies for 8 minutes but they are a little gooey when I get them out of the oven.  If you know you’re going to have leftovers for later, I would make them gooey like that because when they cool and dry out a little, they’re JUST right.  🙂

 Food for Thought:

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve;

I was made weak, that I might learn to humbly obey.

I asked for health, that I might do greater things;

I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.

I asked for riches, that I might be happy;

I was given poverty, that I might be wise.

I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men;

I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life;

I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I asked for, but everything that I had hoped for.  Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.

I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

Anonymous Confederate Soldier


Monkey Bread and The Sensitive Cook

Galatians 5:25  If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

The best synonym for self-control is “discipline.”  Interesting word self-control. We use it often but rarely analyze it, even when we come across it in the Bible. Self-control means “inner strength.”  The fruit of the Spirit is self-control. Self-control frees us from slavery. Self-control stops bad habits. It checks us. It halts us. When it comes to retaliation, self-control restrains us. Without it, we gear up to get even.    (thoughts by Charles Swindoll)

Recently we were gathered for a family wedding and as often happens conversation turned to food and favorite recipes.  In our family “Monkey Bread” has been a favorite breakfast treat for years.  The first time I made this after my husband and I were married I waited anxiously for him to say how he liked it.  He ate up a hefty portion, but didn’t say anything.  Finally, I couldn’t stand it any longer and I said, “well, what do you think?”  He smiled and said, “I think you should keep practicing.” As is his nature, he was trying to be cute and tell me he wanted me to make it often, but of course I got indignant and said “practice??!!! – this monkey bread is perfect!”  To this day he will ask me to put in some “practice time” and make monkey bread – and I’ve been practicing ever since. 🙂 He says this blog should really be named   “The Sensitive Cook”!

This is so darn easy and your family will LOVE it!

 A Family Favorite
4 cans of biscuits – cut each biscuit into quartersShake in bag with:

  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • Nuts optional

Place biscuit pieces in a greased Bundt pan.  Sprinkle layers with nuts, if desired.

Bring to boil:

  • 1 ½ sticks margarine or butter (3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanillaPour mixture over the biscuits and bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Invert on serving place.  Pull apart and eat!!!

Monkey Bread Fresh From The Oven!


Cinnamon has been known from remote antiquity. It was imported to Egypt as early as 2000 BCE, but those who report that it had come from China confuse it with cassia.[4]

The Hebrew Bible makes specific mention of the spice many times: first when Moses is commanded to use both sweet cinnamon (Hebrew קִנָּמוֹן, qinnāmôn) and cassia in the holy anointing oil;[5] in Proverbs where the lover’s bed is perfumed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon;[6] and in Song of Solomon, a song describing the beauty of his beloved, cinnamon scents her garments like the smell of Lebanon.[7] Cinnamon was a component of the Ketoret which is used when referring to the consecrated incense described in the Hebrew Bible and Talmud. It was offered on the specialized incense altar in the time when the Tabernacle was located in the First and Second Jerusalem Temples. The ketoret was an important component of the Temple service in Jerusalem.

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