If you are a peach, you live a lonely life.
You can't hug or touch your boyfriend or girlfriend. You can't be on the top or on the bottom...(take your mind out of the gutter.) You have to sit alone, away from your buddies.
Otherwise, you get bruised, mushy, soft, and will face a sudden death.
I didn't know of their delicate (or high maintenance, depending on how you look at it) lifestyle at first, so I piled them in a bag after picking them when we went to Fishkill Farms last weekend, and then put them all in a basket when I got home. In fact, I put some of the unripened ones in a brown grocery bag to ripen them, as I've been told to do so before, from somewhere.
Then, a day later, I saw the sad peach genocide happening, right before my eyes. In one day!
So I did some googling and learned that you have to handle peaches with kid gloves. You cannot squeeze them (yes, it is hard so don't squeeze it unless you want to take that baby home!) because once you indent the skin and bruise it, it's over. Those spots, even the spots that touched other peaches, will get soft and become brown; not ripen, but just ugly brown bruises will appear all over them.
And they don't ripen in brown bags either. Really? Really.
Then, how do you ripen peaches?
Cover a pan or a table with cotton cloth or linen. Put the peaches on the cloth, with stem side down, and away from other peaches. Then, cover them with a cotton cloth on top. In a few days, peaches will ripen, without bruising, all sweet and juicy.
Isn't it a revelation? It was to me.
So what did I do with all those bruised soft peaches? Make peach cobbler, of course!
This is an adapted recipe from Paula Deen, the butter queen from GA. I figured, a chef from GA must know how to make Peach Cobbler, right? Well, she uses way too much butter and way too much sugar for this Northeasterner (is that a word?)
So I adapted her recipe to fit this New Yorker's palate.
World's Best Peach Cobbler Recipe
4-5 C Skinned and sliced ripe white or yellow peaches
¾ C Sugar
¼ C Water
1½ C Self Rising Flour
1½ C Milk
6 tablespoon Butter - cut in pieces
Preheat the oven to 350°
Make peach syrup by combining the sliced peach, sugar, and water in a saucepan. Stir to coat the peaches with sugar and simmer until peaches are soft and liquid is syrupy.
While peach syrup is simmering, combines flour with milk, mix to prevent clumping.
Place the butter pieces on a 3 Quart baking dish. A Pyrex glass pie pan or a deep casserole dish is good too. Even ramekins will work too. Whatever you use, put it in the oven and melt the butter.
Pour the flour batter on melted butter pan. Do not stir. Pour peach/syrup mixture on top of the batter. All of it. Even if the syrup looks like it's too much, it's not. Put the pan on a cookie sheet, just in case peach goodness juice overflows. Bake on the center rack for 30-45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and bubbly. If you are using ramekins, they will bake faster than a pie pan.
Serve immediately with ice cream. Or not, but eat immediately while it's warm.