August is National Peach Month – 31 days to savor those slightly fuzzy, ripe and juicy fruits of summer (and hey, remember this rockin’ ode to the versatile fruit). How do you take your peaches? In pie or ice cream, paired with blackberries or blueberries, canned or jammed, grilled or “straight up”? Yes, peaches go both ways – sweet and savory – and we love that about them. I’ve bookmarked a few peach recipes to try in my own kitchen this month:
- Simple Summer Peach Cake via Food 52
- Peach Ice Cream with Sour Cream and Black Pepper
- Grilled Peach, Vidalia Onion and Bacon Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
- Crisp Pork Belly with Sweet Peach Salsa via Serious Eats
- Carolina Peach Sangria
- Nancie McDermott’s Peach Pie (if you don’t own her book already, I encourage you to seek out a copy of “Southern Pies” at any of our local, indie bookshops; it’s the only pie book you’ll ever need).
Peaches are everywhere! In July at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh, Peach Day yielded three prize winning recipes (here). This Sunday at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, the author of “Peaches” (A Savor the South® cookbook) shares peach history and offers advice for selecting, storing as well as cooking with the South’s favorite fruit. Naturally, you’ll find many of the ingredients (and all the peaches) you need to make your favorite peach dish at local farmers markets this weekend:
- At the Carrboro Farmers Market, you’ll find the chef of City Kitchen, one of Chapel Hill’s newest restaurants, at market, sampling a dish made with local ingredients. While at the market, see if you can find Sari Sari Sweets‘ booth and make sure you take home a peach-y dessert, perhaps a pie or galette or doughnut.
- Eno River Farmers Market celebrates Tomato Fest this Saturday (8am-12pm) – look for your favorite heirloom, or three. At 10 am the Kids at the Market Cooking Club gets underway and between 9 am and noon shoppers will enjoy music from Durham Ukulele Orchestra.
- Down Pittsboro way, the new bakery in town makes an appearance at Chatham Mills Farmers Market. Phoenix Bakery will have breads (including boules, sandwich loaves, braided loaves, hamburger buns – both white and wheat), cinnamon rolls and beer bread muffins. And since you’re in the neighborhood, make sure you stop by Starrlight Mead to help them celebrate Mead Day (maybe take home a bottle of their Sweet Peach Mead if available).
- Have you ever tried peach salsa? Not sure if they’ll have that variety to sample at South Durham Farmers Market this Saturday, but there will be plenty to sample during Salsa Day. Once sampling is complete, stick around for for more salsa in the form of hot dance moves (starting around 10 am). Plus, there will be a special guest appearance by her royal highness, the reigning Beaver Queen, Furrabella-Conchita Carramba!
By the way, National Farmers Market Week kicks off on Sunday, August 4th. Make sure you get out to celebrate your favorite local market (you can always find hours of operation and more market info on the Triangle Localista Farmers’ Market Map and Calendar whenever you like). As always, thanks for keeping it local… and peach-y!