Last weekend the beau and I randomly decided to head north into western Maine towards Rangeley Lake. Albeit mildly comfortable and somewhat romantic, we decided that car camping wasn’t an option (again) and opted for tent camping instead. Unprepared, hungry, and a tad bit bored we hit the local minimart for food, firewood, and… whiskey. One would think that after several flavored alcohol fueled hangovers that I would have learned to steer clear of such evil evil elixirs… “I’ll take a bottle of that Canadian Club Dock no. 57 blackberry whiskey, please!” To say the least, only about half the bottle was consumed and I won at our rendition of whiskey cribbage.
Back in town Monday morning I found myself thinking, “What the hell am I going to do with the rest of this fire syrup?” Later that morning, while getting my muffler looked at in Barrington, NH (apparently logging an average of 300 miles/weekend on a 40yr old car is problematic), I happened to pass a “peaches” sign which led me to Union Lake Peach Orchard. I drove 5 miles off the beaten path to realize that I had no cash in my wallet and that country orchard stands don’t typically take plastic (surprise). The quick trip back to the ATM was well worth it as the 6lbs of yellow peaches that I I brought home were some of the best I’ve tasted in years. Word is that the orchard is debuting their white peaches next week!! Not only were these pickled peaches the answer to my left over whiskey woes, but I’m looking forward to cracking open a jar during the duldrums of winter hoping the blast of summer flavor will revitalize my palate and remind me of why… oh why… I moved to the frigid Northeast. Enjoy!
Happy Labor Day… happy September! Did you know that peaches and nectarines are the same species?!? Late night science here: while peaches are characterized by a fuzzy skin, nectarines are characterized as a fuzz-less fruit. “Genetic studies suggest nectarines are produced due to a recessive allele, whereas peaches are produced from a dominant allele for fuzzy skin.”
Smack dab in the middle of peach season here in New Hampshire and I’ve had a pretty hard time resisting stopping at every farm stand labeled PYO peaches that I come across. There is nothing worse (OK, maybe there’s a few worse things) than splurging on a ripe’ish peach to find an un-sweet and mealy fruit. But a great peach… a great peach is stopping by a roadside stand, buying the biggest and juiciest fruit possible, and then slicing off peach pieces in just the right way. As a matter of fact, just last night I led a previous peach naysayer towards peach enlightenment with just one bite of a locally picked peach. When it came time to put up this peach and corn combo., I was having a hard time deciding, if not deciphering the difference, between a corn salsa and a corn relish. I ended up going the salsa route as I didn’t think adding sugar was necessary with the sweet peach flavors.
Except for the bell peppers, the rest of the produce used in this salsa came from a cornucopia (can you tell I’m ready for fall?) of local sources: peaches (Applecrest Farm Orchards), corn (Barker’s Farm), jalapeños (Wake Robin Farm), tomatoes (beau’s garden), and white onions (Black Kettle Farm). Stay tuned for more peach’tastic recipes.