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Jam Time, Ya’ll


On my way back from Foodways Texas BBQ Summer Camp, I bought a box of sweet and juicy two inch-size Hill Country freestone peaches for $33 at DiIorio’s farmstand in Hempstead. I had hoped to make peach preserves and brandied peaches with them, but I am fighting a losing battle trying to keep the rest of the family away from them. The peaches are so good, it’s hard to stop yourself. So I may have to make another trip to Hempstead, unless someone can suggest a store in Houston with peaches this good.The freestone season will be over before you know it, so don’t put it off.

Of course, a trip to Hempstead would give me a great excuse to pick up a couple more watermelons. These little babies by the side of the road are a great bargain at three bucks each, but I shelled out $6.99 for a giant Black Diamond–my favorite variety of watermelon. The melon I took home was very good, but I suspect the watermelons will keep getting better between now and the 4th of July. Hard to predict though, the entire growing season was two to three weeks ahead of normal this year. The tomatoes in my organic garden have stopped making new blossoms. I figure I have another two weeks, tops.

There were five kinds of fresh field peas for sale at DiIorio’s, I bought a couple pounds of purple hull peas. There were also fresh pintos, black-eyed peas, cream peas–I am drawing a blank on the fifth one. I cooked my peas in chicken stock with one pepper, five baby okra pods and a slice of country ham. (Okay it was actually wild boar speck, but close enough.)

Along with the box of peaches, the watermelon and the peas; I got some cukes for pickling, a lot of okra, great looking tomatoes, red jalapeños, and a couple of other odds and ends. Best $75 dollars I’ve spent this month.

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