The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Peach surprise

Lucy eating a peach

White peach"Lucy, where did you find a brand new tennis ball?" I asked our frugivorous dog, catching sight of a yellowish sphere in her mouth.  She dropped...the first peach from our kitchen window peach tree.  Then promptly gulped it down, pit and all.

I had smelled the scent of ripe fruit wafting from the tree as I walked past earlier that morning, but I was so sure the peaches weren't ripe.  You see, I had planted a Loring peach in that spot three years ago --- a yellow-fruited variety with a nice red blush on the skin.  And the fruits on my tree were steadfastly pale yellow with white flesh.
Center of a white peach
But Lucy likes her fruit ripe, so I went back to check again.  Sure enough, the peaches were just barely starting to ripen, even though the flesh was pale as can be.  What's the statute of limitations on complaining about being given the wrong tree variety?

The trouble is, I adore yellow peaches, while white peaches are considerably lower on the totem pole --- like the difference between strawberries and blackberries.  Luckily, I have another peach tree out back that's one year younger but already gave me four little peaches with great flavor and bright orange flesh.  By next year, I should be glutted with yellow peaches.  But what to do in the meantime?  Perhaps I need to check out some recipes for peach leather?  Now's your chance to shower us with your favorite peach recipes.

Our homemade chicken waterer is perfect for chicken tractors --- it never spills on uneven terrain.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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why not grill them? you don't even need to wait for them to be fully ripe. maybe make a chutney?
Comment by kevin Sun Aug 8 15:00:05 2010
Never heard of that! We may have to give that a shot. Is it a main course or a dessert?
Comment by anna Sun Aug 8 16:48:23 2010

chutney is more of a condiment. think savory, spicy fruit salsa. you could eat it with bread and cheese, top chicken with it, finish a nice veg. stir-fry with it...

here's a pretty good one that i think you have most of growing: Servings: Makes about 8 cups


Peach Chutney

* 1 large shallot , cut in half
* 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger , peeled
* 1 clove garlic , peeled
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 tablespoon lemon zest
* 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
* 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
* 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
* 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
* 2 large peaches , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
* 1/4 cup finely chopped green scallions
* 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
* 1/2 teaspoon salt


In a small food processor, combine shallot, ginger and garlic. Pulse until finely chopped.

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté shallot mixture until tender and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Continue cooking 20 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt, if needed. Let cool to room temperature. Serve with flatbread and goat cheese or with roasted or grilled meats.

(Chutney can be made 1 to 2 days in advance and refrigerated. Bring back to room temperature before serving.)

Recommended technique: To peel a peach easily, quickly plunge it into boiling water for 5 seconds, remove it, submerge it in ice water, then peel.

Comment by kevin Sun Aug 8 19:57:33 2010

Actually . . . I've never eaten grilled peaches . . . I have, however, heard a number of different recipes involving grilled peaches which I keep meaning to try, so I'll second a vote for grilling them as a good cooking method if you want a variety of recipes from which to choose! Most of the recipes tend to involve sugar and be intended as a dessert, but there are quite a few for side dishes involving pairings with various vegetables and/or cheeses.

I like peach cobbler, personally, and of course I make sauce out of them (but I'll sauce just about any juicy, in-season fruit, as fruit sauce makes a good mix-in for yogurt, base for sweet and sour dressings, and occasionally I've used fruit sauce in various roasted, grilled, or curried meat recipes - plus it's just good to eat on its own :) ). My favorite way to use peaches, however, is simply to cut them from the stone, slice 'em, and eat 'em (once or twice a year I'll put a little powdered sugar and thick cream on top for an extra treat).

By the way, I must say that I agree with you as far as yellow and white-fleshed peaches go: a ripe yellow peach is nectar of the gods; a ripe white peach is edible . . . if that's the only peach you have . . . ;)

Comment by Ikwig Sun Aug 8 20:42:42 2010

Kevin --- One of these days I may try chutney, but I'm pretty basic about my condiments --- ketchup, with a little mayonnaise in egg salad and tuna salad. :-) It looks like a good recipe, though --- and I'm glad to see the quick peach peeling option. I was wondering if something like that would work, as I carefully peeled each peach with a knife to make a sample batch of fruit leather.

Ikwig --- I'm intrigued by the non-dessert versions. Do you remember any recipe names? I agree that just eating peaches is the way to go, but even my fruitaholic self can't imagine eating every peach on that tree before they go bad. Or, rather, I could when I thought they were yellow... :-)

Comment by anna Mon Aug 9 07:49:45 2010

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