My family lived in New Jersey until I was thirteen, when we moved to Texas. Thanks to the powerhouse T.V. series The Jersey Shore and The Sopranos (R.I.P., Tony), we all know about New Jersey's abundance of hair gel, turnpike exits and Italian food. I don't think, however, that many are aware that the third state also boasts fantastic produce.........although the fact that it is called The GARDEN State should be a clue.
The local produce that we enjoyed during my summers in New Jersey was particularly memorable: ears of grilled super-sweet Jersey corn, thickly sliced beefsteak tomatoes (which my dad always sprinkled with salt), strawberries that we had picked ourselves and juicy freestone peaches. On some muggy summer nights, we would make an entire meal out of tomatoes and corn, finished with a dish of sliced peaches--simple, satisfying and refreshing.
At our roadside farm stands, my mom would buy bushels of peaches, which she would peel, slice and freeze for us to enjoy all year long, thawed and baked into crisps or spooned over ice cream. She loves peaches as much as I do (I even have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to them!), so whenever I am lucky enough to find good peaches in Las Vegas--usually at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods--I always think of her and what she would do with them.
I went to Trader Joe's last week and, eureka!!, they had flats of perfectly ripe peaches stacked at the entrance. I bought two, not considering that fact that I would be leaving for a week in Wyoming just a few days later. Oops. I had some options: 1. Eat nothing but peaches for the next two days. 2. Pit, peel and freeze, mom-style. 3. Do a whole lotta peach-centric baking for my blog.
Although option one would have most likely be possible (I can eat a lot of peaches), and option two was probably the most logical, I think that we all know which option I chose.
In other words, prepared yourself for a plethora of peach recipes over the next few weeks.
Today is my mom's birthday, so I am dedicating this first peachy-keen recipe to her. I was trying to think of fun things that I could do with a peach salsa recipe, so I experimented with my All-Butter Pie Dough to create a sweet play on savory chips and salsa. The flaky pie crust triangles, sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar, serve as the chips. It's almost like a deconstructed piece of pie!
Happy Birthday, Mom!! You're a peach (see what I did there?)
More peach recipes to follow........