I was a junk food prince as a kid, wrappers strewn across my room. I ate aimlessly and without purpose. I ate to make my teeth sore and to turn my tongue the unnatural shade of "blue raspberry". I ate because my father ate the same way. I ate because it was the only food in the house.
My sister's birthday is the day after Halloween; we'd always go to the dollar store to buy the discounted candy on our way to her birthday party. For Christmas, I would remind my parents every year that I wasn't partial to chocolate, but loved fruit snacks and gummies. When Nolan and I lived in California, I would make a stop to the 7-Eleven for Mike and Ikes when I was stressed from school or work. And when I was in kindergarten, I got an ulcer from stress, too, and my father brought me a candy bar when I wouldn't stop crying because I wasn't a very good reader at the time.
I'm a snacker, a grazer. I munch absentmindedly to pass the time between loads of laundry and replies to my emails. But I'm 25 now and my metabolism is changing and I change with it. I was nervous to reinvent anything from my childhood, but I was excited to use these blood oranges I bought on a whim. And so I made fruit leather, but they'll always be fruit roll-ups to me.
Blood Orange and Peach Fruit Roll-ups
A true blast from the past, these are my favorite kind of recipes. I love sharing with you what it was like growing up in Kentucky and Pennsylvania and the kind of food I ate there. These are so easily adaptable to any fruit, just replace the whole fruit with another of your choice and adjust the liquids and sugars accordingly. Keep in mind that the oven temperature is long and broad and to check periodically, especially the edges, which may burn a bit.
2.5 lb peaches, roughly chopped
Juice from 3 blood oranges, strained
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 lemon
Preheat oven to 200*F and prepare a half sheet with parchment paper
Combine peaches, orange juice, white sugar, water, and salt in a large pot and heat to boil
Reduce heat to a simmer and let simmer for 15 minutes or until peaches are tender
Puree in a blender or food processor until smooth
Strain into a large mixing bowl
Add lemon juice
Pour pureed mixture onto your parchment paper smooth out evenly with a rubber spatula
Bake for 4-6 hours or until it is not sticky to the touch
Peel and check the backs--if still sticky, flip over and bake an additional hour
Place on parchment paper, roll up, cut into segments and tie with string
Can be kept for up to a week in an airtight container, but may get a little stickier in high humidity