I grew up in Grand Junction, Colorado, very near the Utah border, where the sun shines hot and climate is “high desert.” Good, it seems for growing fruit.

These days, wineries have popped up in the area, adding wine tourism as a major revenue source and adding job opportunities to this picturesque area.

When much younger, my brother and cousins and I would pick peaches for extra money in the fall once the peaches and apples had ripened. We were not very good at it and may have eaten more than we picked. We would go home sticky and itching from “peach fuzz,” but happy with our extra money.

We picked alongside migrant workers, who were working for a living and not for pocket money. The workers, men and women alike, would bring their lunches in tin bucket and their children in tow. I thought they were a happy group, although looking back, their lives couldn’t have been easy. They played their snappy Mexican music in the peach groves.

I found this peach cake recipe compliments of Ina Garten. Maybe pair it with a nice peach wine?:

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar, divided

2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup sour cream, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 large, ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced

1/2 cup chopped pecans

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and 1 cup of the sugar for 3 to 5 minutes on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, then the sour cream and vanilla, and mix until the batter is smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix just until combined. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon.
  3. Spread half of the batter evenly in the pan. Top with half of the peaches, then sprinkle with two-thirds of the sugar mixture. Spread the remaining batter on top, arrange the remaining peaches on top, and sprinkle with the remaining sugar mixture and the pecans.
  4. Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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