A few summers back when I was a punk-ass kid, a few friends and I were driving from Germany to Switzerland. The trip itself was an utter fiasco, but one highlight was stopping at a store and finding some peaches for sale. True to our arrogant form, we were all like, "They have peaches here? Whatever. The best peaches are from Texas."
But, they looked good, so we tried them and to our amazement, those peaches were fantastic. I had to lean out the open car door (still parked) to let the juices run down my arm and drip off my elbow.
But Byron just had to sit there and watch unable to eat peaches on account of his allergies. Well, he wasn't suppose to eat a peach.
Soon enough, though, he shot the bird at his medical condition (which, in Germany means nothing, so it was totally nonaggressive). We all gave him a "You sure about that, Buddy?" And yet...
About 10 minutes later, just before his throat completely swelled shut, he took half a package of some small pink pills and for the rest of the day, as we drove through the breathtaking Swiss Alps he slept. Through the alps. All day. Asleep. For one good peach.
So, I was driving through Stonewall the other day. Oh God, Stonewall peaches! Flip out, right? It's peach Mecca. I stopped at a roadside place backed up by acres of peach trees and picked out a big $9 bucket from the front of the store. Did I mention that the store was exactly right in front of an orchard? A peach orchard.
As I was paying the teenage cashier in her Nike tempo shorts and ironed hair, I nodded to the peach orchard (literally outside the back door), and just for the hell of it asked, "These are all from here, right?"
"No. They're from East Texas."
Just drop the mic on the stage. Thanks for mentioning that, Farm Girl. I thought about leaving, but went ahead and bought the imports. East Texas peaches are probably fine. Whatever.
But then, she pointed to two small baskets and said, "Those are our peaches over there?" Sensing redemption, I headed over to the table where she was pointing at to find only 10 things that looked more like prunes then peaches.
So, yes, we're in a drought. It's awful. Peaches need water. And we ain't got any. Water ponds across the state, and especially in south Central Texas are huge empty craters in dried out pastures. Where is a hurricane when we need one?
I tried the East Texas peaches and they were all dried out and bland. Really? You can't even truck in good peaches for the store that sits in front of a peach orchard?
The moral of the story -- don't judge a peach by the orchard behind it.
Use that as inspiration today.
I've bought some peaches at local stores around here that were great, but my best peach encounter was last week at Fireside Pies on Henderson. Their seasonal dessert special right now is "Market Peach Cobbler."
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Do you see the picture up there? Isn't it amazing? Just look at it. My words won't do it justice. As fabulous at it looks, it tastes even better. One of my favorite places in the world is where fresh-from-the-oven cobbler coalesces with cold ice cream. A big spoonful of warmth mixed with coolness, smooth yet textured, succulent fruit and buttery crust.
To make the cobbler, Fireside Pies uses peaches from Cooper Farms in Fairfield, which are tossed in a white peach puree sauce. Then they load it up with an oatmeal pecan streusel and finish it off with a fat scoop of Henry's Homemade Pecan Praline Ice Cream. That's good livin'.