A couple of weeks ago, locally-grown peaches arrived in my supermarket. Fragrant, juicy Georgia-variety peaches grown just miles from my Florida home - I felt like I struck gold! Wary at first of my treasure, I bought only a few to taste. As soon as I got home, I cut one open; the flesh was bright orange, juice oozed out and it promised perfect sweetness as it perfumed the air all around me. A first taste did not disappoint - sweet as sugar, the girls and I quickly devoured our loot. The next day, I brought home a bag full and sliced them up for dessert with homemade whipped cream. Bliss!
So my plan was to return over the weekend and fill a basket. I was planning to make peach jam, slice & freeze some, oven dry some... but I was sidetracked. The culprit was the fiery-red, vine-ripe tomato. You see, the local food goddess called with news that the local u-pick was offering all-u-can-pick for $1. Yes, you read that right, one dollar for an endless supply of on-the-vine Romas. That's another story -which I will share - but the bottom line is my week was stolen by about 75 pounds of ruby-red jewels. The golden peaches would have to wait.
By the time I returned to the supermarket, the Florida peaches were gone. "Season's over," I was told. "We'll have California peaches here in a week." California?!? Oh the horror. I could have cried. Even the jars upon jars of canned tomatoes and sauce cooling on my counters could not console.
Then yesterday I happened upon some Georgia-grown Georgia peaches at a farm stand. For only 99 cents a pound! Happy days again... Georgia suddenly seemed local enough and I quickly bought up several pounds. Last night, I made peach jam, smiling the whole time. And still more peaches line my counter top, ripening and awaiting their sweet golden fate.