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Monday, August 15, 2016

Peaches and Variety

I remember the peaches of my youth. Mama and Daddy always bought certain things. I knew the name because they mentioned it often between themselves and to me.

For years, I have been sorely disappointed with most of the peaches I buy. When I finally hobbled back to the market, I bought peaches from one woman who assured me they were delicious and ripe. No, they were not delicious and not ripe. They were hard as a rock and a beautiful red and gold. They never ripened. Maybe they would be okay cooked, but I still did not have the peach experience I wanted.

About two weeks ago, I went to a different woman who volunteered she had several different varieties and showed me which were which. I had already spied the ones that looked right. She said they were Alberta. Or is it Elberta?

I paid $6 for 6 peaches. I thought it was an outrageous price but did not hesitate. Well, I did have a coupon. When I came home, I ate four of them at one sitting. Don't ever do that! I was stuffed.

Last week, I bought another basket of six and have eaten one each day for breakfast. There is one left. I am sad because the woman said they were gone this week.

Next year, I will be canning peaches, only Alberta/Elberta. My whole grocery budget for the month will lie in peaches. If I can find them anywhere else this year, I will can them in pints, maybe half-pints. That way, I won't be eating a whole quart in a day and a half.

If you have never had an Alberta/Elberta peach, you really need to try one. They are neither rock hard nor mushy as some ripe peaches are. They don't have really firm flesh, just a nice bite texture and great mouth feel. Of course, the flavor trumps all.

These have lasted for a week without going off at all. That counts for something when you want to leave them on the counter instead of refrigerating a peach to keep it edible. Of course, they come out of the basket and lie one layer on a platter.

My intention was to make a peach cobbler. Now, I would just as soon use store-canned peaches.

Your turn
Have you ever had Alberta?Elberta peaches? Are you ever aware of the variety you buy? Do you love the experience of eating a fresh peach never refrigerated? What is your favorite way to eat/prepare peaches.

12 comments:

  1. We have red haven peaches here. The only thing I care about is if they are freestone. Peaches that are picked too soon go from hard to pithy. A good peach with juice running down your arm is a joy.

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  2. carol,
    Since I have had such bad peaches from the market and from the store, I was thrilled with these. Yes, the juice ran down my arm. I sat with a plate under my chin and a huge towel under the elbow holding the peach. I was happy, joyful and just washed up good afterward. I felt like a kid.

    I can see that would happen to a peach picked too soon.

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  3. I love peaches but have a difficult time buying them. They always feel like hard balls, and when I finally cut into one, they are rotten. What is the trick to letting them ripen at home.

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    Replies
    1. tana50,
      I have no idea how to ripen them at home. Maybe someone else knows. That was one of the problems--buy hard ones but let them ripen, and then they rot.

      Delete
  4. Ok. ripen on the counter. How soft are they supposed to be before we can eat them?

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    Replies
    1. tana50,
      I just eat one now and then until the rest rot. It is frustrating because supermarket peaches are not really good. Like the first I bought at the market, not much better. Try to get Elberta or Alberta, whichever it is.

      Delete
  5. I buy Alberta/Elberta and have no idea which is correct. I have some frozen but did not can any this year. If I eat them slightly thawed they taste just like fresh from the tree peaches in the middle of January. Yum!

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    Replies
    1. Anne,
      Once mama got a freezer, she froze peaches instead of canning. We loved them slightly thawed. As much as we loved pies, cobblers, and fried pies, we preferred them slightly thawed. Where do you buy them? I want bushels!

      Delete
    2. I buy them at the farmers market on Findlay in north birmingham. Of course I veg out at niki's before I shop though

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    3. Anne,
      I figured that is where you got them. Mama and Daddy always went to the huge Farmer's Market in Memphis and could find things the smaller markets around. I have a doctor's appointment in Birmingham next week.

      Delete
  6. I love peaches fresh from the tree, nice and ripe. Peel and slice then drizzle a little heavy cream or 1/2 & 1/2 on them and a light dusting of sugar. Some people also like a little cinnamon too.

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    Replies
    1. Crystal,
      I will have to try that. I never had peaches in cream. Thanks for that suggestion.

      Delete

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