Food & Drink

Bonnie Aeschliman: Pretty, easy, tasty fruit pizza

When Florida granddaughters Stephanie and Hayden come for their annual summer visit, my goal is to make memories for them. They are teenagers now, and I thought it might be more challenging to entertain them this year. But, actually, it has become easier.

Both girls have made local friends during the years through a church youth group, with which they have participated in various mission trips. It is amazing how energized teenagers become when working with others to accomplish a goal. Are these the same girls that need to be reminded to hang up towels and to make up their beds when at my house? Something happens when working with other teenagers on a common project. The work ethic makes a 180-degree turn — they volunteer to climb the ladder and scrape the peeling paint. And they don’t even care that their fingernail polish peels off and nails break. They are having fun.

Because of friendships made, we had slumber parties with giggling and talking girls awake most of the night. There were movie nights and even a surprise birthday party for Hayden at my cooking school. Older sister Stephanie decorated it for a Sweet 16 birthday party. In lieu of a traditional birthday cake, I made Baked Alaska — most of our guests never had experienced that and were amazed that the ice cream did not melt as the meringue browned in the oven. Being the teacher, I had to discuss the merits of the meringue and why the meringue browned and the ice cream stayed frozen.

Both Hayden and Stephanie loved hanging out with me at my business. During cooking classes, they were very capable assistants and were quite helpful. Other times, they enjoyed cooking or baking in my kitchen and required little supervision from me. One of their favorite things was baking a fruit pizza. It is easy, delicious, looks stunning and is versatile. You can use almost any fruit as the topping. If using fresh peaches, be sure to dip in Fruit-Fresh or sweetened lemon juice to preserve fresh color.