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Archive for August, 2012

Palisade, Colorado Peaches by Cathy Ulrich

It’s peach season here in Colorado. I hail from the Peach State, Georgia. I know, it’s sacrilege but Colorado peaches are, in my opinion, the best on Planet Earth. I’m not kidding. It don’t know what it is about growing peaches here, but I’ve never had a bad one.

Most of our peaches are grown in Palisade, Colorado in a fertile river valley just to the west of the Rocky Mountains . We Coloradans are so passionate about our peaches that we pretty much consume most of them here. That’s why anyone who lives outside the state has probably never experienced their special flavor. Imagine sweet, tart, buttery flesh of a perfect texture with a thin skin – that’s our peach.

What I didn’t know was that peaches grown right here on the eastern side of the Rockies are just as good. Last weekend our neighbor, Doug, came knocking at our door. He held a flat box of little jewels that he had grown himself – gorgeous white peaches. We’ve been eating them all week. I sliced up some of the last ones to go on a Dutch-Baby pancake this morning. You can find the recipe for the pancake here.

Doug’s gift was a harbinger of things to come. Every year, Peter and I order a box of peaches from Palisade through a local Rotary club. The club brings in several Semis loaded with peachy goodness and they use the proceeds to buy a dictionary for every third-grade child in the Fort Collins school district.

What am I going to do with all of these peaches? Well, I see a peach cobbler in Peter’s future (yes, I am psychic). As well as a few simple desserts of broiled peaches. I split them, remove the pits, sprinkle them with brown sugar and cinnamon and broil them until the brown sugar starts to bubble. Then top with lightly sweetened whipped cream. I’ll probably also make some peach salsa with mint and peppers from the garden to go on grilled chicken or steak and I’ll freeze the rest for our enjoyment later

Here’s a preserving tip: Did you know that you can freeze peaches whole? I put them, skin and all, into Ziplock Gallon freezer bags. When I’m ready to use them, I just rinse under cold water and the skin slides off. Split it, remove the pit and slice. They’re the closest thing to fresh peaches I’ve ever found with the added benefit of no additional sugar or the need for pectin to keep them from turning brown.

So if you’re not fortunate enough to live in Colorado, I’d suggest you plan a trip out here in August to try our delectable peaches – maybe even a road trip. Because I suspect you’ll want to take at least one large box back home.

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