On the town square yesterday area farmers were selling their produce from their trucks. The open-air market was a menagerie of purple hull peas, sweet corn, okra, tomatoes, yellow squash, and cucumbers. One of the most aromatic areas of the market was a peach stand. I ended up purchasing a big basket of those Elberta peaches.
To me the scent of big fresh mellow peaches is definitely the scent of late summer. The aroma of the fresh picked peaches delicately permeated the air under the ancient oaks of court square bringing back childhood memories of this delicious summer fruit.
When I was a kid I remember one annual event was the sun-drying of fresh picked fruit including apples and peaches. A sunny spot was selected out in the back yard and two saw horses would hold big wooden frames of stretched cheese cloth on which the fresh fruit would be placed and then delicately covered with another layer of cheese cloth. The drying process would last two or three days and during that time the aroma around this area soothed the senses. It was also a place where bees would congregate, smelling the fresh fruity scents.
The dried peaches would be used over the winter months for fried peach pies. Those delectable “half-moon” pies would be slow fried in a black iron skillet. A plate staked with crispy and buttery fried peach pies made from scratch would be a special culinary treat that would quickly disappear around our house.