Peaches and Cream Dessert

This  peach dessert was a hit at the recent Extension Support Personnel conference held in Chilton County.  Linda Hays, a Chilton County Master Gardener, shared her recipe with us.



 8 oz. cream cheese
 8 oz. can Sweetened Condensed Milk
 12 oz. tub Cool Whip
 4 c. fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
 1 c sugar
 4 oz. package peach Jello
 1 c. water
 4 Tbsp. corn starch
 1 regular size package Pecan Sandies cookies


Mix 1 c. sugar with peaches and set aside (the juice it makes will be used in Jello mixture). Mix
cornstarch into 1 c. water in saucepan, stir until dissolved. Cook on medium, stirring constantly, until very thick.  Then add Jello and juice from peaches (no more than 1 cup). Stir well, set aside to cool thoroughly. After Jello mixture is completely cooled, add peaches.

Combine softened cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk with hand mixer till creamy. Gently fold in Cool Whip.

Generously grease a 9×13 glass dish with softened butter. Crush cookies (reserving ½ c. of crumbs for top) and press well into bottom of the buttered dish. Layer 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture onto crumbs, then ½ of peach mixture, then 1/3 of cream cheese mixture, then remaining ½ of peach mixture, then remaining 1/3 of cream cheese mixture. You will have the crust, 3 layers of cream cheese mixture with 2 layers of the peach jello mixture in between.  Sprinkle the top with reserved ½ c. of crushed Pecan Sandies cookies. Chill 2 hours or overnight. Must refrigerate leftovers.
YIELD 12-15 servings

Peaches and cream dessert on a serving plate

2016 Expo and Demo Garden Grand Opening

group of master gardeners cutting large ribbon
The Grand Opening of the Demo Garden was held August 6, 2016, just before the Farm, Home, and Wildlife Expo.  On hand for the ceremony was Eagle Scout Clay Vinson, and Girl Scout Hannah Childress. Clay’s project for Eagle Scout was the Demo Garden’s Pergola and surrounding Butterfly Flowerbed. Hannah’s project for her Gold Badge was the Keyhole Garden. The Expo is always a big event that the Master Gardeners look forward to each year. Master Gardeners are in charge of the ice cream  tasting, fruit tasting, corn on the cob hut, plant sale,  and of course, the Demonstration Garden. Go to Smilebox to see a slideshow of photos from the Expo and Demo Garden.



Peach Apple Salsa Recipe

canning jars filled with peach salsa

This unusual salsa was recently served at the Chilton Research and Extension Center’s annual Farm, Home and Wildlife Expo where it was well received. The recipe was adapted from the National Center for Food Preservation’s Peach Apple Salsa recipe.

  • 6 c. chopped Roma tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 c. diced yellow onions
  • 2 c. chopped green bell peppers
  • 10 c. chopped hard, unripe peaches
  • 2 c. chopped Granny Smith apples
  • 4 T. mixed pickling spice*
  • 1 T. canning salt*
  • 2 t. crushed red pepper flakes*
  • 3 3/4 c packed light brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 c. cider vinegar(5%)

* May substitute 2 T. Mrs Wages Spicy Pickle Mix
and 3 T. Mrs Wages Salsa Mix for the * ingredients.


  1. Wash and rinse pint canning jars; keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids according to manufacturer’s directions.
  2. Place pickling spice on a clean, double-layered 6 inch square piece of cheesecloth. Bring corners together and tie with a clean string. (Or use a purchased muslin spice bag.)
  3. Wash and peel tomatoes (place washed tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute, immediately place in cold water, and slip off skins). Chop into 1/2 inch pieces. Peel, wash and dice onions into 1/4 inch pieces. Wash, core, and seed bell peppers; chop into 1/4 inch pieces. Combine chopped tomatoes, onions, and peppers in an 8 or 10 quart Dutch oven or saucepan.
  4. Wash, peel and pit peaches; cut into halves and soak for 10 minutes in ascorbic acid solution. Wash, peel and core apples; cut into halves and soak 10 minutes in ascorbic acid solution. Quickly chop peaches and apples into 1/2 inch cubes to prevent browning. Add chopped peaches and apples to saucepan with the vegetables.
  5. Add the pickling spice bag to the sauce pan; stir in the salt, red pepper flakes, brown sugar and vinegar. Bring to boiling, stirring gently to mix ingredients. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove spice bag from pan and discard.
  6. With a slotted spoon, dip salsa solids into hot, clean pint jars, leaving 1/1/4 inch headspace. Cover with cooking liquid, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  7. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened, clean paper towel; apply two piece metal canning lids.
  8. Process in a boiling water canner according to the recommendations below. Let cool, undisturbed, 12 to 24 hours and check for seals.
  9. Process time for hot pack pint jars by altitude: 0-1000 ft.–  15 minutes; 1001-6000 ft.-20 minutes; above 6000 ft.–25 minutes.

Source: National Center for Home Food Preservation, University of Georgia, Athens. Thanks to Christy Mendoza, Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, Regional Extension Agent for the spice substitutions. 

Peeling Peaches for Expo Ice Cream

Peeling peaches for the peach ice cream to be served at the annual EXPO at Chilton Research and Extension Center is always a project the master gardeners look forward to. This year’s Farm, Home, and Wildlife Expo will be August 6 from 12-5 p.m. Pictured left to right- Trisha Williams, Pat Farmer, Harriett Jackson, Alice Broome, Treasia Bennett, Margaret Ennis, Anita McGee, Wally Walters, Margaret Goolsby, and Sondra Henley

Master gardeners peeling peaches