Peach Crisp – And Standing Up For Yourself

Peach Crisp - And Standing Up For Yourself

Today I’m sharing the first recipe I ever made, when I was three years old!

Back then, whenever Mama was in the kitchen, I was right there with her, usually underfoot. One day, Mama sat me down at the kitchen table and put all the ingredients for peach crisp in a big old bowl. She let me pour the peaches into a baking dish and then showed me how to mix up the topping before letting me “cook” on my own.

I was so proud that night at supper when Mama brought dessert to the table and declared it to be “Christy’s Peach Crisp!”.

This is a classic recipe, easily adjusted to work with whatever fruit you have on hand – fresh, canned, or frozen, and you can throw it together last minute as well. Before I get into the recipe though, I have a little tale to tell ;)

Back before old SouthernPlate.com was created, I spent my days taking care of kids, running a house, and substitute teaching in elementary school. I used to only sub at my son’s school, for convenience, and having got my fill of big bullies in high school, I also preferred to teach children that were smaller than me.

One day I’ll never forget was when I was teaching a second grade class in a small town in North Alabama. I have my own creative ways of getting my students to “sparkle” in school by building them up with positive reinforcement from the very moment I walked into the door. I used to make it a point to take the one student that caused the most problems for the teacher and see if I could turn them around by the end of the day.  I realized that while the teachers had to deal with everything day in and day out, I could serve as a “fresh horse” so to speak, so I tried to use that to be helpful.

There was one student in that second grade class who began the day being disruptive and got progressively worse as the day went on. I won’t go into detail on her behavior but suffice it to say, it was real bad in a real bad way. Eventually, I was unable to teach and told her that I needed her to go sit at the back of the class while I finished the lesson. This seven year old girl stood up, put her hand on her hip, swung her neck around a bit and said “You don’t know who you’re talking to!”

Boy, was she right. To have a seven year old child with that kind of boldness and lack of respect for authority, I truly had no idea who I was talking to.

I think about that girl from time to time. She would be in high school now, in her junior or senior year, I hope things got better for her at home. I hope she got some encouragement and direction in her life, and I hope she learned the value of an education and stayed in school.

But then sometimes I think of her in a different way – which may throw some of y’all here but hang in there with me.

I think of her boldness. For a seven year old child to do something that I, in my decades upon this earth, would have a hard time doing. To stand up and say “You don’t know who you’re talking to.”

Yes, it was wrong of her then, but how many situations have I been in in my life where such behavior would be entirely appropriate and yet I’ve sat there and smiled instead?

When we are right about something – such as the way people are and are not allowed to treat us, what causes us to sit still? I know a lot of people like to pin this on the Southern upbringing but I don’t fault it in the least. Our upbringing has taught us to show grace to others, to be kind whenever possible, and to assert ourselves in ways that often get much better results than pushier methods.

I think it is because we don’t show ourselves the same protection that we show others. Think about it. If you are a parent and someone verbally attacks your kid – how fast does your Mama or Papa bear come out? But if they attack you, a lot of folks take time to weight the attack and try to decide if it is deserved or not.

Lawd chile, you know better than that. Stop letting people bully you. Stop letting folks talk down to you and treat you disrespectfully. Every human deserves respect.

I have a significant birthday coming up soon and I’m proud to say that, although it has taken me more than a few decades, today I can stand up when someone mistreats me and channel my inner rebellious seven year old when I say “You don’t know who you’re talking to.”

Hey, if a seven year old can do it, I certainly can!

Give it a try next time the need arises :).

Now lets make peach crisp.

Peach Crisp - And Standing Up For Yourself

 You’ll need: Oats*, Brown Sugar*, Peaches, Butter or Margarine*, Flour*, and Cinnamon. 

*Oats – Quick or old fashioned, whatever you have.

*Brown Sugar – dark or light, whichever you prefer

*Butter or Margarine – Whichever you have on hand and/or can afford. Ignore anyone who judges or complains, if they have free time for that then they have time to cook for themselves.

*Flour – All Purpose or Self Rising, either one will work just fine for our purposes here.

Peach Crisp - And Standing Up For Yourself

Drain your peaches and pour them into the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish, or a pie plate. Whatever you grab out of the cabinet first. 

Peach Crisp - And Standing Up For Yourself

 Place all of your other ingredients into a mixing bowl. 

Peach Crisp - And Standing Up For Yourself

 Mix ‘em up really well with a long tined fork or pastry blender if you’re fancy.

(It’s just as okay to be fancy as it is to be plain)

Peach Crisp - And Standing Up For Yourself

 Sprinkle that over the top of your peaches. 

Peach Crisp - And Standing Up For Yourself

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.

 Serve warm, with ice cream if you like. Enjoy! 

Peach Crisp

Ingredients

  • 29 ounce can sliced peaches, drained
  • 1/2 cup flour (all purpose or self rising)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (dark or light)
  • 1/2 cup oats (quick or old fashioned)
  • 1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Pour peaches into 8x8 baking dish.
  2. In large bowl, place all other ingredients. Mix will with a long tined fork or pastry cutter. Sprinkle over peaches.
  3. Bake at 400 until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Serve warm.
  4. Excellent with ice cream.
http://www.southernplate.com/2014/02/peach-crisp-and-standing-up-for-yourself.html

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~Unknown.

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Comments

  1. Katie says

    Oh Christy, I had a second grader like that in my class. Every day she’d come to school (usually late) with a scowl on her face. I made sure that every time she walked into my classroom she was greeted kindly with a smile. She had a rough home life and I was probably the first kindly person she’d encountered each morning. She’d be in 11th grade now, and I often wonder how she’s doing and pray for her and her family.

  2. Pat Payne says

    Thanks Christy. I too have a problem standing up for myself and always try to weigh how big a deal it is to make my voice heard. And I love your stories, your inspiration and your JOYFULNESS!

  3. says

    I certainly appreciate two thing: your story and the peach crisp.
    Outspoken, head strong children have gifts which older adults can only appreciate after a lifetime of being incessantly “polite” when you want to yell. I always say about my daughter – whose bullheaded ways get us into more tangles than a bag of yarn – her firm, self-reliant, independence will be useful when she is older and “out of my house”.
    Mmmm. I am loving the prospect of making some this week! I’m not a fan of “fruit pies” (sorry, just me) so apple pie, apple cobbler, berry this or that, raspberry, rhubarb (not a fruit, but close). But PEACHES? I had peach cobbler once and I fell in LOVE with peaches. So to try Peach Crisp? Yummy.
    Love your blog. Keep it coming. Brightens my day each time. Just had to comment on this one.

  4. Lina beavers says

    Christy, A lady has to EXPECT to be RESPECTED.
    Once, a supervisor was talking extremely crudely during coffee break…WAY crude..i ignored him..but, he persisted..all full of IT.
    After 3 times of “sharing”..I turned to him and smiled, saying:
    “Don’t I look like a Lady”.”.I am a Lady.”..
    And took my cup of coffee..turned my back on him..left him standing there..
    and went to my table.
    In stores..if treated less than one would expect…I smile..and say, [sincerely]..”Are you having a bad day?” I hope it gets better…
    A Smile goes a long way..It is CONTAGIOUS..So, is a frown.
    In working with kids..I came across a few like your little girl…
    I always said, while gently nodding my head [affirmative]…”You are so pretty.
    …And, Pretty girls don’t act [or talk] that way.”
    AND..as my precious Mama always said :”That’s my story…and I’m sticking to it”..LOL..

  5. Patty says

    Fortunately, I’ve never had a problem standing up for myself. However, I’ve brought unnecessary stress & misery by standing up ALL OF THE TIME. In my “later” years and especially when dealing with my daughter, I’ve learned to “pick my battles”. Life is much more pleasurable now. I didn’t realize until later that by speaking up ALL the time, for myself and others, I made myself a lightening rod and actually diluted my inputs. Since I was the one to speak up always, people were ignoring me half of the time (blah, blah, blah). When I speak up now, I almost always am paid attention and my input is measured and appreciated. So yes, speak up, but pick your battles. Allow room for others to speak up too.

    • Wanda from TX says

      Patty, I totally agree! There is a fine line between standing up for yourself and being a rude bully. As in all things, moderation seems best! Susan said something about grace coming into play and that is SO true! I’m afraid I would not appreciate being talked to like that by the little girl, so I would have responded to her with a bit of authority…”Yes, I know very well who I’m speaking to, and you should be mindful of who YOU are speaking to”! I know that is not a popular response these days, but sometimes it is necessary.
      As a mother, grandmother, and former teacher, I have 60 plus years of experience in dealing with others. Most of the time, a spoonful of sugar DOES go a long way! My dear Dad always said, “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar”! I know there are those who do not respond to kindness, and I have come to accept the fact that I cannot “reach” all people. Everyone has their own “issues” and we cannot possibly know the inner turmoil someone may be going through and why they act as they do.
      I probably do not always stand up for myself as I should, but I always weigh the cost of saying something. Plus, it depends on the people involved and the situation, as well as the setting. Perhaps it all boils down to self-esteem and confidence and some of us do not have that in abundance! I’m still working on it at 64 yrs of age! Sorry I have gone on and on here! In closing, I love Christy’s stories – reminds me of some of my own – and I love her recipes! I have her first cookbook and love it! I need to get the second one, but was sidetracked with cancer and major surgery. Now I’m ready to cook and eat again! Blessings to all of you!!

  6. Susan the farm quilter says

    Timely post! God certainly guides you in your posts and stories! We do need to stand up for ourselves, sometimes loudly, sometimes softly. If we don’t respect ourselves, how can we expect anyone else to respect us? It is hard to correct another adult when they disrespect us – I know I am always so shocked when someone is rude and hurtful, that I’m shocked to silence (surprised?? me too!). I need to learn to say, softly, that they really didn’t need to say _____. Amazing how long those stinging words stay with you. That’s when grace has to come in to play! Thank you for another great story and recipe!!!

  7. lynn says

    I am a very good listener. I learned that from my Mom but after listening I know when to speak up. I learned that from my Mom to. Of course now that I am 70 I can say I’ve had a lot of practice.

    Eve

  8. Ruth Nesbitt says

    My Dad and Mom worked in the cotton mills in Gastonia, NC and we lived on what was called ‘the mill hill’. Small houses built when the mill was built to allow families to live close to work. All of us were poor but well fed and very happy! My behavior was influenced by this atmosphere! All of the kids were in and out of each others houses and ate where we found dinner on the table!!! If I misbehaved bad enough at Mr and Mrs Taylor’s house or any others, they would immediately call me down and, if bad enough, swat my behind!! Then when I got home.. and if they called Mama.. I had another scolding and usually a SWAT!! I am 67 and have had so many people tell me that I was ‘raised right’..I thank God every day for my upbringing and the lessons on how to treat people!!!

  9. Kim in Minnesota says

    Thank you, Christy, for both the recipe and the story. After you set up the story as an illustration in getting people to “sparkle,” I read the recipe instructions incorrectly – substituting “sparkle” for “sprinkle.” Or maybe that is the right way… it is how my son has been referring to adding extra shredded cheese on anything (Mom, did you sparkle it with cheese?)!

    Often when I recall a particularly troubling time in my life, I realize that I started to get better when I started to stand up for myself. Right now, I am standing up for myself in a friendship and am hopeful that the friendship will remain while leaving behind some hurtful behavior. We’ll see if “sparkling” succeeds! Probably best to balance my sparkle & sass with a good dose of respect for this friend, though!

  10. Vicky Williamson says

    Thank you Christy for the good story. I taught school for forty-two years and am thankful to say that I never had a child talk to me like that. I detest that kind of behavior. It all goes back to the home. Parents must teach their children to respect adults and each other. I am very worried about children of today. I pray young parents will wake up and start teaching respect at home. But what frightens me is that a lot of young parents do not respect older adults. I started seeing this before I retired almost four years ago. It is going to be one of the downfalls of our society.
    I love your peach crisp and make it a lot. It is an easy, quick and delicious dessert. Thank you for sharing your good recipes and words of wisdom.

    • Teresa Jones says

      Vicky, thank you for your forty two years of teaching. I volunteer two days a week in my grandsons first grade class. It is an eye opener to see just how much true dedication goes into teaching. A good teacher is like a calling to the ministry! Thanks again!

  11. MARSHA G says

    Wow you hit home today! I worked at a school many years as an aide and it was a poor district, we had many students that couldn’t wait to get to school and come up to you for a hug then made sure they got as many hugs as they could throughout the day then made sure they got one on their way out to last them through the night. Also many of these students knew their last meal until the next morning was their lunch and they licked their plate clean. We always tried to keep a few packages of crackers in our pocket to slip them on their way out. So Christy you are so right we never know what is happening at home. I love how you make all of us that read your blog think about ways to be a better person. i loved the recipe too.

  12. Kentucky Lady 717 says

    Loved that story Christy…..but what did you say to the little girl when she said that to you ? Did you notify her parents ? Did you send her to the principal’s office? You probably couldn’t send her, she would have run out the door…..but I would have called the principal and had him/her come to your room take her to his/her office and deal with it…..
    When she said you don’t know who you are talking to !!!! maybe it was the principal’s daughter……and she thought no one could touch her…..I want to know more about this story :) very interesting…….can you fill us in more ?

    A great and easy recipe today and I love Peach anything…..for sure I will be making this one…..

    • Karen Pollard says

      Fellow Kentuckian, that was a cry for help from a child who had experienced nothing good in her life. Punishment is never the answer, unless she is a danger to herself or to others. Kindness will win the battle and the war time and again.

    • Mary says

      Interesting questions, Kentucky Lady. Time to answer them might take us away from the point of the example, but it does seem that the girl had a bad case of what today is being called “entitlement.” Someone seems to have led this girl to believe she is entitled to anything she wants. A sad way to go through life.

      I believe I’ll make this delicious peach crisp and think about it. I know that my family thinks it is entitled to something delicious regularly. =-)

  13. Lisa Valentino says

    SERIOUSLY, it is a complete neck and neck tie of what I look forward too in your
    posts…your recipes or your stories/messages. This is truly one that I needed to have pounded into me lately!! And peach crisp?? Who wouldn’t go for that??

  14. Vicky Williamson says

    Thank you Teresa. I always say that teachers like preachers are called by God. I enjoyed my forty-two years and my prayer each morning was to ask God for patience and to let me make a difference in at least one child’s life that day.
    I was truly blessed last year when one of my third graders named me as her Star Teacher because of the life lessons that I taught her. We never know how much influence we have on the children we teach. It truly is a calling by God.

  15. Karen Pollard says

    Having taught for almost 30 years in schools were we were about 75% free and reduced lunch, I can assure you that attitude was probably the way that child had learned to survive at home and in her own environment.

    You are right on target when you talk about how to win those difficult children over to your side. It would be almost impossible to do in one day, but building a relationship based on trust and care is how to influence a child like this and that takes time.

    You can almost always make more progress with kindness, caring and a few hugs thrown in here and there to teach a child about loving and pleasing others. Positive reinforcement works 99% of the time with children like this, at least it did with me. For some, I believe I was the first person they learned they could trust. It made a huge difference for me and for them. Many of them are still in contact with me, although they have long graduated high school.

    One of my worst little convicts, who stole money and everything that wasn’t locked down, is now the manager at a local restaurant where we often go to eat. I am SO proud of this child whose mother taught him to steal and thieve.

    You have a good heart, Ms. Christy!!!

  16. kaye says

    Sounds delicious. . . my Mama also taught me, at a very young age to make the one, one, one, one peach cobbler… one large can of peaches w/syrup, I cup sugar, one stick of BUTTER, yup (it’s the GOOD stuff,) l cup of Self rising flour!!!

    This reminds me of that one. . . I’m sure you know “all” about the one, one, one cobbler… you can substitute all kinds of “canned in syrup fruits!!” My family LOVES these. I change it up using peaches and cherries. . . GREAT STUFF!!

    Blessings to you, Christy ; ))

  17. CHERYL BONE says

    You would think having been a police officer, I would not have this issue. I didn’t on the job but off the job was different until my kids got to school and encountered some very ridiculous situations. Joining the PTA ladies, who were all Marine and Navy wives, stopped that immediately and I learned to stand up for myself and my kids in a ladylike way but definitely not backing down. Our PTA group had a very good reputation in protecting our kids and I remember once when being bullied by a school official I said those very words “You don’t know who you are messing with. I am not alone!” Yes, in the months after that, he did indeed learn that military wives do not back down easily and they all know the chain of command to the higher officials. Glad you don’t back down either.

  18. Deborah says

    Love it, Christy! I’m with you…when I subbed I wanted the elementary age students. No high schoolers for me, either!…HAHA I, also, had some pretty wild little ones. You’ve got to wonder if they have any discipline at home. If one of us pulled some of the things they do nowdays, or if my children would have acted like that we would have been in big trouble when we got home!!
    Blessings to you!

  19. Paula B. says

    Great story, of course, it was very thought-provoking. As a teacher for my entire working career I saw some students like this and you do wonder what has gone on in their young lives to cause such belligerence and hardness. Beyond that, I am also facing a (really big) birthday and still have difficulty showing gumption upon occasion. I think it’s how we were raised as women and that certain traits were deemed inappropriate (and I became a teen in the “liberated” late sixties). Really enjoyed reading all the comments here, knowing so many of us share the same concerns.

  20. Dee says

    Hi ‘Christy
    Wonderful story as ususal. Don’t know if I like your inspirational thoughts or your recipes best! Misread the amount of sugar required when I made this for dinner last night – wound up with 1/2 cup instead of the 3/4 and it was still very sweet. Will make it that way again.
    Hope you’ve made a full recovery from your accident.

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