It was a blistering hot Sunday afternoon, the 3rd of July. Charles and I had thoroughly enjoyed the day before with grandchildren at Wild Adventures, had stayed over in Valdosta to visit a friend’s church and now were taking the long way back to Cairo. We both became sleepy and were looking for some neat shady spot where we could pull off the road and take a nap. The fields of tobacco, cotton, and corn were beautiful but our eyes were heavy.
And suddenly on that quiet road we spotted an active market advertising peaches. Lawson Peaches, it said. Charles said with sudden alertness, “Let’s have some peach ice cream!”
A rambling, open kind of building with a generous porch and various levels, the place was thriving with activity. A sweet jolly lady served us ice cream and we found just two empty rockers left on the porch where we sat enjoying our treat. Across the road we could see peach orchards. Other visitors rocking slowly commented on how good the ice cream and what a neat place this was.
We talked about whether or not we’d buy a gallon of peach lemonade to take home. Then we ambled over to the market area and knew for sure we’d buy peaches. These were Fort Valley peaches, we were told, because the season for Morven peaches had ended. A spirited lady informed us that the peach crop had been very good except for the ones which should have been coming in just now. She waved toward that particular orchard on the rolling landscape and explained that there hadn’t been enough winter for those trees.
We chose a peck of peaches. I was examining a jar of bread and butter pickles when Charles said I just had to come on around the end of the building. I quickly saw why. There were luscious buckets of blueberries, nicely displayed fresh okra, tomatoes both green and ripe, yellow plums, Vidalia onions, cantaloupe, and everywhere friendly helpers ready to bag up whatever we wanted. I went wild! I think the only thing I didn’t buy was the pickles and that was just because everything else was too good to leave behind!
We packed everything into the car and left feeling very rich! I remembered how my mother used to get so excited when we’d come to one of those open markets and she’d say, “Here, Honey, go buy some tomatoes–and maybe a cantaloupe and some cucumbers.”
Our next stop on the way home was with dear friends Jerry and Barbara Smith in Funston, Georgia. We talked a mile a minute. They’re the kind of friends you never get completely caught up with and with whom you can pick up a conversation six months later as if you’d never stopped spilling tales. We left there with a dozen of their yard hens’ eggs added to our loot.
Our grandson, Charles D, was at our house to greet us and was quite eager to have some pan fried okra. And on the Fourth, you probably know what I made to contribute to the cookout at our granddaughter Amanda’s: a peach berry cobbler. That’s a recipe from way back that all our children greatly enjoy. We dined sumptuously on grilled hamburgers, hotdogs, and fixings, then cobbler and ice cream while waiting for dark to come so Jared could begin the fireworks.
I hope you, too, had a wonderful family time for your celebration of our country’s 240th!
Peach Berry Cobbler
(an old recipe published in a collection from Clarkesville, GA, the book now stained and coverless but recipes still good!)
Preheat oven to 375. Baking time: 40 to 45 minutes
Combine in saucepan: 1/4 c. brown sugar, 1/4 c. white sugar 1 tbs. cornstarch. Add 1/2 c. water and blend. Cook until thick and translucent stirring constantly. Add 1 Tbs lemon juice. Then add 2 cups sliced peaches and 1 cup blueberries. (I usually make a bigger pie, just add more of everything!) Pour into 9 x 13 baking dish.
Topping: 1 c. self-rising flour, 1/2 c. sugar mixed. Use pastry blender to add 1/4 c.or 1/2 stick soft margarine. Mix with 1/2 c. milk to a batter consistency and pour over fruit.
Last touch: mix together 2 Tbs. sugar and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg. Sprinkle over cobbler. This is a touch you won’t want to miss. It smells so good baking!