Peaches, taste of summer

Peaches are almost my favorite fruit. They definitely rank in the top three. The perfect mango or luscious strawberry is hard to beat, but fortunately, I don’t have to stay awake nights ranking fruit preferences. I can enjoy any and all without pressure.

Some summers are better than others for fruit, or a particular fruit. Peaches are iffy. Some years I’ve enjoyed a seemingly endless parade of peaches through my summer breakfasts and desserts, appearing every way from bare and minimal presentation to delicate pastries and hearty cobblers to jams and chutneys. Well, some years you get lucky.

This summer, so far, I’ve had a few good peaches. But I’m far from satisfied. I haven’t reached the point of feeling I could spare any fruit for stashing in the freezer. That only happens when I’ve hit the jackpot with both flavor and quantity, and the best opportunity for that is a visit to a farm stand, where you can sample the fruit and decide if you want to buy enough for a meal or two, or a more substantial amount that will translate to jams and supplies for the freezer.

Ketchikan doesn’t have farm stands, and the grocery offering is variable. Sometimes the peaches are heavenly, sometimes a waste of money and effort. But next week I’ll be in Arizona, and I’m hoping to do a little peach eating while I’m there.

If you are lucky enough to find yourself with excess peaches on your kitchen counter, here’s a little tip for having a taste of summer next winter: Peel and slice peaches, as many as you want, to fill freezer bags (whatever size works best for you, gallon or quart). Sprinkle fresh sliced peaches with lime or lemon juice to prevent peaches from browning, then fill bags with fruit, press the air out and seal, and pop in the freezer. Next winter when you want a reminder of a summer day, take out a bag of peaches and make a peach cobbler or peach crisp. Trust me, you’ll be able to close you eyes and think you’ve stepped back to July. The flavor will be summer, all over again.

Here’s a good way to use those frozen peaches:

My mother’s peach cobbler

1 gallon bag of sliced frozen peaches, partially thawed
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Mix fruit, butter and sugar, and heat to melt butter. You can microwave or do this step on the stove top. Put hot fruit mixture in a deep baking dish.

In a separate bowl, mix:

1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup granulated sugar
Milk (use anything from fat-free to whole milk, your choice) to make a pancake-batter thickness (should be a pourable consistency, but not too thin)

Pour the batter over the hot fruit mixture and bake at 375 degrees, until the batter mixture has bubbled up and browned. (My mom’s recipe doesn’t have a baking time listed; you just “keep an eye” on the oven.) Serve warm with ice cream and prepare for a little heaven on earth.
Reheats nicely too!

Enjoy!

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3 thoughts on “Peaches, taste of summer

  1. Pingback: Putting up peaches « Happenings on the Hill

  2. I can smell Betty’s kitchen if I close my eyes. I used to envy you all for keeping your margarine in your cabinet instead of the refrigerator. It was always ready to make cookies or a cake. We had to get the butter/ margarine out of the refrigerator first and let it come to room temperature. Now I keep butter on my counter at all times so it is ready to use. I’ve never had it spoil. One of these days would you give me your mother’s recipe for fried rice? That was always one of my favorite meals she’d make when she had a crowd to feed.

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    • I never had a problem with butter spoiling either…not sure if that’s because we go through it too fast, or it’s just more stable than people think!

      I’ll have to send you the fried rice recipe. I have a copy of it somewhere in my recipe collection, but when I make it (and it is never as good as my mom’s, but that’s probably true for most “mom” dishes that anyone tries to duplicate!) I don’t follow a recipe, I just put it together from years of watching her do it.

      I’ll bet your mom had some killer dishes…what do you make that you learned from her?

      Happy Monday!

      Sheila

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