I remember Ms. Farnum for more than just her dislike of chocolate or her handwriting, of course. Middle school was a tough time for me, as it is for many people, I think. I was incredibly shy with braces and acne (never a winning combination) and was excluded on a regular basis by the class's group of "popular" girls (it really is shocking how nasty a group of pre-adolescent females can be). I spent most of my tween years trying to blend in, go unnoticed, and get by. During a time where all I wanted was to fit in, Ms. Farnum made me feel included, always quick to offer a kind word, a compliment, or a listening ear. During free periods, she would look over my Math homework (always a disaster) and she would help me prepare for the next history test during free periods. She was a good listener, and told me not to bother with the mean girls -- that things would get better next year, once I got to high school, and this wouldn't even matter when I was older (she was right).
Ms. Farnum ended up moving away not long after she started working at my school -- I suspected a broken heart had something to do with it -- but thirteen years later, I still remember her as being one of the kindest teachers I've ever encountered. I bake a lot of super chocolate-y desserts -- this cake, these macaroons , these cupcakes -- but whenever I prepare the rare chocolate-free dessert, I inevitably think of Ms. Farnum. These summer-y and light Honey Cinnamon Peaches are most certainly Ms. Farnum-friendly, and a great dessert for that one person in your life who has never taken a liking to
HONEY CINNAMON GLAZED PEACHES
4 large peaches
4 tablespoons butter, melted, plus a little extra for the baking pan
3.5 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits. Place the peaches in a lightly buttered baking pan. Whisk together the melted butter, honey, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Brush the glaze evenly over the peaches. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the peaches are juicy and slightly softened. Serve warm with scoops of vanilla ice cream. Serves 4.