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Prime time to use peaches for cooking and baking
Fruit can be used in recipes ranging from pies to tacos
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Peaches hang from a tree Saturday at Jaemor Farms in Alto. The farm had a smaller peach crop this year because of late freezes. - photo by Erin O. Smith

Overall champion: Peach Tacos

SALSA

  • 1 cup fresh peaches
  • 1/2 cup grilled or roasted corn
  • 1/4 cup scallions
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Juice from half a lime
  • Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

 GLAZE

  • 1 cup fresh peaches, diced small
  • 1/2 cup peach marmalade
  • 1/3 cup sweet BBQ sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon jalapeno powder
  • Juice from half a lime
  • Salt and pepper

Combine ingredients in a medium sauce pan over medium heat and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes. Blend with a stick blender until smooth.

TACOS

  • 1 pound thick-cut peach-glazed Buck board bacon (may substitute thick cut store-bought bacon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil/cilantro oil on the tortilla

Fry bacon until 3/4 done. Brush with peach glaze and continue frying on low heat. Do not let the sugar in the glaze burn.

Let cool and cut into a small dice. Reapply 1 teaspoon of glaze and set aside.

Assemble tacos on a fresh corn tortilla (preferably homemade) by spooning bacon into tortilla, then topping with salsa and small dollop of glaze.

Garnish with cilantro and squeeze of lime juice.

Source: Jacques DeLock of Demorest

For more winning peaches recipes, click here.

 

An old wooden sign on the side of Cornelia Highway displays a message in red paint and all capitalized letters: “JAEMOR FARMS — PEACHES — 4 MILES”.

Chances are, if you’re from Northeast Georgia, you’ve seen that sign. And you know just a few minutes of driving separates you from the welcoming sight of Jaemor Farms and a bushel full of peaches.

“They are so versatile,” said Evanda Moore, longtime Gainesville resident and peach buyer.

She’s been visiting the Alto farm for years now and she likes her peaches fresh. She said she make her own concoctions out of the sweet fruit.

“Nothing better than peach on yogurt,” Moore said, adding she makes peach cobbler, peach-flavored ice cream and peach preserves.

Moore is not alone in her usage of Jaemor’s peaches for homemade concoctions. Several home cooks bake or cook a variety of dishes using peaches. And the

family-owned business had a peach cook-off Aug. 8 to discover the best recipes.

The overall champion was Jacques DeLock of Demorest with his peach tacos.

DeLock, who entered the competition for the second consecutive year, was expecting to take home top honors in the “other category.”

“When I didn’t win — and I thought it was pretty good — I was a little down,” he said. “And then when they said I was the overall winner, I was shocked. I really was.”

The Demorest man deems himself as a “wannabe chef,” enters area cooking contests including the peach cook-off at Jaemor Farms and the “Chop” competition at the Apple Blossom BBQ Festival in Cornelia.

“If it is a cooking competition, I am all over it,” DeLock said. “If I’m not at work or church, I’m watching the Cooking Channel or researching food.”

Other winners in the peach cook-off contest were: Other category champion Joyce Dean with her peaches and cream bars, cake/pie category champion Andrea Roper with her peaches and cream coffee cake and youth dessert champion Eli Stroud with peaches and cream pie.

Most of these recipes can be found on Jaemor Farms’ website (www.jaemorfarms.com/peach-cook-off-recipes).

And while these contestants make sweet treats at home, Jaemor is known for creating its own homemade version of peach ice cream for its customers. It is one of the many variations of the fruit the store sells.

“It’s definitely our most popular flavor,” Kristin Harris said.

The 17-year-old has worked at Jaemor Farms for a year and lives in the neighborhood next to the establishment. She said she sees people from all across the nation walk up to her counter for the refreshing treat.

“They come from just about everywhere,” Harris said, pointing out the small peach turnovers for sale as well.

Among the aisles of the farmers market-style store, peach bread is available for purchase.

Jeremy Echols likes to cut up peaches and throw them in a bowl with some sugar before snacking on them.

His wife, Ashley, prefers to use the fruit in a cobbler. Sometimes her husband attempts to make the baked good himself.

“It was pretty easy,” Echols said. “You just throw it in the oven.”

The 32-year-old has been working in the fields and store for years, but this year has been different. The crop, which runs from July to September, is running lower than normal. Unusually cold March temperatures wiped out a lot of their crop.

“There was a late freeze,” Echols said. “They were in full bloom.”

With the depletion of the 200-acre peach crop, Echols and his crew pick a peach variety every three or four days instead of every day. Jaemor Farms also had to order shipments from South Carolina to supplement the harvest.

Since Echols only picks once or twice a week now, he spends more time in the store, restocking the fresh fruits and vegetables.

When Echols and his team arrive at the store with the produce, they pack the fruit into boxes, baskets and cups. The store tends to sell more peaches in the $4 cups, but some of his older customers prefer to buy larger quantities.

They also sell a $9 gallon bucket and a $16 peck basket, which holds two pecks per basket. Two baskets is a bushel.

“We’ll be lucky if we get 100 bushels this year,” Echols said.

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