I can’t remember the last time I had a really good peach. I have eaten several apples dressed up like peaches. You know the ones that were picked way too early and in spite of your best efforts trying to ripen them on the windowsill they remain hard and crispy. Or the peaches that look and smell delicious only to leave you with a mouth full of stringy, mealy tasteless un-peach-like texture and flavor. I long for the peach that requires you to lean over the sink with juice running down your arm. Now that we live in beautiful East Texas where there are peach trees in abundance I have to admit I have been waiting all year for peach season. I have been looking through my Great Grandmother’s cookbook for peach cobbler and homemade peach ice cream recipes. I also think a peach margarita sounds divine as the temperature is creeping up into the 90’s.
So what’s a girl to do? Go to Efurd Family Orchards of course. The fact that it’s located in Pittsburg, Texas (get it – “Pitts”burg) means the peaches must be perfectly peachy right? I took my Mom who was in town visiting and our daughter. We met up with some friends and strolled behind the girls as they started the day off picking strawberries. We found plenty of petite ripe berries to choose from. Once we had full berry baskets we began our hunt for the prized peaches. You could buy whole flats of peaches or a small basket of 8-10. Peach season starts in mid May and the basket we chose didn’t have the giant Texas sized peaches I was expecting but then again it is rather early in the season and bigger does not always mean sweeter.
Once we settled on peaches we moved on to buy some big, juicy limes, cucumbers and an unexpected little bag of Southern delight……..purple hulled peas. I’ll come back to those. Arms full the young lady at the counter was friendly and efficient, loading our bounty into a box for easy transport. Note to customers: if you have several miles to travel I recommend bringing a colander or some type of vented container for your berries. Efurd’s packs them in a plastic bag and strawberries do not like that at all. I ended up opening the bag and putting our produce under the AC in the back seat rather than the way back of the car. The berries got a bit overheated on the drive but were still very tasty and nothing else suffered. Strawberries are delicate little things.
There is no shortage of stuff to look at like funky antiques, old signs, tractors turned water fountains, and much more. With tables inside and out you could comfortably bring a picnic lunch and supplement your snacks with purchases from the orchard. There were more varieties of cider than I knew existed. Plus syrups, sauces, jellies, salsa, dressings and of course ice cream. One of the best things about Efurd Orchards is the fact it has been a family owned and operated business since 1972. With more than 150 acres of peach trees and at least 2 acres of strawberries you can guarantee it doesn’t get any fresher than that.
Remember those purple hulled peas I mentioned? My mom cooked those up with onion, bacon, spices and chicken broth. I am not a fan of peas. In general they are mushy and don’t have a great flavor. I will never say that again! If you have only been exposed to canned or frozen green peas, think again. These little pearls of flavor will blow your mind. I have to give my Mom credit, the peas were a huge hit. We plan on coming back in the Fall for pumpkins. If we can wait that long.
Highway 271 South
Pittsburg, Texas 75686