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Ideas for fresh peaches

If a recipe calls for peeled peaches, use the ''tomato'' method. Put peaches into boiling water for about 30 seconds, then transfer immediately to cold water. The skin will slip right off.

For an easy peach shortcake, slice fresh peaches onto slices of pound cake; top with nutmeg-scented whipped cream and chopped nuts.

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Peach halves are delicious grilled. Roll them in brown sugar with a pinch of ginger added, then thread on skewers and grill until sugar caramelizes. Serve as an accompaniment to barbecued meat, fish, or poultry.

Here is a quick recipe to make for breakfast or brunch with fresh peach halves stuffed with a mixture of cream cheese, nuts, and dates.

Peach Salad

6 fresh peaches

Juice of 1 lemon

2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sour cream

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1/4 cup chopped almonds or other nuts

1/4 cup chopped dates

2 tablespoons chopped cry stallized ginger, optional

Fresh mint sprigs, optional

Halve and pit peaches but do not peel. Sprinkle with lemon juice to keep from darkening. Chill.

Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, almonds, dates, and ginger. Spoon mixture into peach halves. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.

Watercress or parsley may be used in place of mint. Cream cheese mixture can be made the day before and refrigerated until needed. Serves 6.

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