Drove out to peach country, gonna eat me a lot of peaches! I’ve had the song “Peaches” by The Presidents of the United States of America stuck in my head for days. I care for peaches about as much as Forrest Gump’s buddy cared about shrimp. Raw peaches, peach cobbler, peach ice cream, peach melba, peach crisp, peaches over vanilla ice cream, and grilled peaches. So many delicious possibilities for those fuzzy little fruits!
When you think of peaches, most people think of Georgia. Why else are the ladies of Georgia known as Georgia peaches? Perhaps though, you think of South Carolina, the other peach state. But what about North Carolina? I can almost see your look of confusion now. Most people do not think of NC when they think of those fleshy, juicy, tasty summer treats. You don’t know what you’re missing!! Peach country in North Carolina is located near the edge of the Uwharrie Mountains and the Sandhills in the south central part of the state.
Pee Dee Orchards are a family owned farm stand located right off Highway 74 West in Lilesville, Anson County. They have amazing peaches! I can eat them all day long. Usually, much like the last two weekends, I will buy a peck of peaches and devour them over the course of a week. Those perky little peaches are available from around mid-May to mid-September and worth the hour drive to buy them fresh. Another great reason to visit, in addition to loading up on fresh picked peaches, is the rocking chairs on the porch and the homemade peach ice cream made by the family. Creamy, peachy and cold, it’s the perfect way to cool off for several minutes in the dog days of summer.
Yesterday I bought a peck of peaches. Today I put up peaches for winter. I prefer my peaches frozen versus canned because I think they retain their freshness and juiciness better. But that is my personal preference. The syrup used to preserve these delicious peachy wonders is a simple syrup with sugar, water and Accent to keep the peaches from browning.
The piece de resistance this weekend though was the grilled peaches with the homemade vanilla bean ice cream I made, courtesy of the Pioneer Woman. The ice cream is so rich and creamy and the warm, grilled peaches slightly melted the cold, creamy ice cream. The vanilla bean ice cream is the perfect compliment to these sweet, tender peaches. What a perfect end to a fantastic weekend!