Some people continually amaze and astonish me - in the best kind of way.
A lovely friend spontaneously stopped by the other day, to see if she could take my Mum, who is visiting from New Zealand, out for lunch. Not only is she one of the most thoughtful, kind and gracious people I know, but also consistently delightful to be around, with her enthusiasm for people and for life in general. I am also filled with admiration at her preserve making, bee keeping, hostessing and hiking skills - and I have a feeling there is still a lot I haven't yet discovered.
I was thrilled to offer her a cup of tea after lunch and to visit and gather ideas for our upcoming trip to Portugal, since she and her husband had visited there, and was so glad I had baked earlier in the day, so I could also offer this delicious Spiced Peach and Carrot Bread. It was almost as interesting, varied and surprising as my wonderful friend, and I enjoyed it every bit as much as I enjoy her company.
SPICED PEACH CARROT BREAD
3/4 cup chopped pecans
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 to 2 cups of chopped fresh, ripe peaches (mine had been frozen, thawed and cooked)
1 1/2 cups of freshly grated carrots
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Heat oven to 350F.
Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan for 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring half way through. Cool 15 minutes (if you have time).
Stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Add peaches, grated carrots, vegetable oil, milk and eggs. Add toasted pecans, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Spoon batter into a greased 9 by 5 inch loaf pan (I divided it in two, and it seemed there was plenty).
Bake at 350F for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool in a pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack and cool completely, about 1 hour.
Recipe adapted from Southern Living, July 2011