MEATWATCH: Sixty One Peaches

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Look, we know what you’re thinking: This is by far one of our worst pun-based ideas. But Greg gets real pissy if we don’t let him just go to town roasting something, both literally and figuratively, every thirty days or so. And so we present: sixty one peaches.

Reader, I’m a mess. I got greedy, and in my hubris, sank to a level of decadence I never thought possible. My hands are slick with juice, the skin wrinkled from a week of grabbing things from an ice bath, and my fingers gnarled from peeling. My kitchen is becoming ever more gummed up and the floors are stickier than fly paper. I have made some mistakes in my day, but here I stand among the fallout from the biggest and juiciest of them. I have flown too close to the sun, and suffered for it. Ah, but I have flown, at least.

I purchased sixty one peaches from the back of a truck. A half-bushel of the nicest peaches I have seen, picked and refrigerated and driven up the coast from Georgia and sold to me for cash in a Best Buy parking lot, in the culmination of what I assume was a lighthearted and exciting Smokey and the Bandit type of adventure. 

The peaches were, well, you’ve had peaches, you know what they are. Sweet, juicy, shaped like the butt emoji, all of that. That part is fine. What’s less fine is the logistics of buying that amount of them all at once. You ever tried to eat sixty-one pieces of fruit, let alone the same kind of fruit, before any of them go bad? If you have, did you think this was a good idea? Does it sound like a good idea, or are you smart enough to avoid this entire class of problems? There are two of us (or there were at the time, though the third isn’t exactly a solid-foods-eater yet), and we thought that allocating ourselves 30 already-ripe peaches each was a smart thing to do.

The thing about buying fruit en masse is that it doesn’t age well. Doesn’t matter if you bought five peaches or a hundred, what you bought was a week’s worth of fruit. All that’s left to decide is how much fruit you will be eating that specific week, and what’s going to waste, but there’s a brutal elegance to it: regardless of how many you start with or how voraciously you eat them, in seven days – ten at the outside – you will have zero peaches. 

It’s the only game in town. Ripening to rot is all there is. It is best to simply enjoy this ride while you can. Much like a ripe peach, trying to hold on to the moment too firmly will only ruin it, and as the juice runs through your fingers you will realize that letting things just happen was the best you could do. It was, in fact, precisely what was going to happen, regardless of your, or my, intent. Consent is not required, and compliance is mandatory, though the acknowledgement of one’s position does make it easier.

There is one exception, of course. If you want to stand astride the universe and shout to heaven and hell that you won’t play their game, you can. It can’t reverse anything, won’t unpit that peach, but you can halt time in its tracks, and eke out a little more time to savor your haul. Refrigeration, of course, is the name of this blasphemous art, and long may it haunt the world, allowing us to thumb our noses at entropy. Industrial society may have been a disaster for the human race, but it does have fringe benefits. 

As far as using or freezing these bad boys, the first major hurdle is that there aren’t a lot of savory peach recipes (the main one is grilling them, and I simply forgot to do any of that until it was too late) and the second is I don’t know how to bake. I got no sense of dough. Without a way for me to cook these things, it was going to be an uphill battle, unless I wanted to eat 4-5 raw peaches every single day. I did actually consider that – they were very good peaches – but it seemed like slightly too caveman of a move. So that leaves just the one option, we have to try baking.

I’ve mentioned this before, but the reason I’m not a good baker is that I don’t measure things. Nothing against the practice, if that’s what you’re into, I just don’t personally agree with it on a spiritual level. No recipe is going to tell me what I can do to food, and I’m not about to wash all those dishes either. What I do, when my hand is forced,  is choose two measuring cups – a half-cup and a tablespoon are about right – and standardize on them. Anything bigger, I use multiples. Anything smaller, fuck it, eyeball it. Yes, it’s a pain in the ass to sit there and measure 3 cups of something a half-cup at a time, and no, I’m sure it’s not great that my “teaspoons” are as wild and free as I chose to be on that particular day, but this is how things are now, and I am powerless to change who I am. Rather, I could, but I don’t feel like it, so I’m not gonna. This is as good as it gets. Fortunately my wife does not have my brain worms, and is quite a good baker, so she did most of the work here.

For about a week, part of our daily routine was to select the day’s ripest specimens, boil a bunch of water, throw the fruit into it for a few seconds, plunge them into an ice bath, carefully peel and pit, and then slice, dice, or puree as needed. The wife took over from there, and I have been eating good ever since. The final dispensation of our peaches was as follows:

  • 17 of them were eaten raw, as nature intended.
  • 5 went into peach bars, which are like lemon bars except, well, you know.
  • 2 were chopped and put into muffins.
  • 11 got chopped the hell up and put into the freezer. At a certain point you run out of ideas.
  • 2 went on top of french toast, sliced thin and dusted with powdered sugar.
  • 7 ended up in a pie. The pie lasted about 2 days once I got my hands on it.
  • 5 had their pulp mashed out and the juice added to a custard base for ice cream, with the chunks added back in before freezing. 
  • 2 we wrapped in store-bought (there are limits) puff pastry and made into turnovers, a lovely breakfast treat.
  • 10, and here again it was more a question of needing to do something with them and less that we necessarily wanted this much, were boiled and smashed into jam. It was a lot of jam.

Many of these are still clogging the freezer to some degree. The pie is long gone, obviously I demolished that, but some of the ice cream remains, as well as most of the jam and half of the muffins. There’s a huge bag of frozen peach chunks and another one full of peach halves, that are going to be my respite from the cold and shitty winter of no-fruit-having, but for now, I need a goddamned break. There’s only so many of these things I can eat, no matter how hard they slap.

I absolutely do not, and will not, recommend that you buy a mess of fruit from a guy with a truck, but having done it, it was a Culinary Adventure and I don’t regret it. I didn’t even do most of the work, and even then I wasn’t sad when we finally ran out. I do take a particular sort of pride in the fact that there isn’t a single peach allocated to “thrown away” or “rotten”, though. Mission accomplished. Now let us never buy or eat a single peach ever again.

Thanks for sticking around, and making this column what it is: a little-read corner of this website that exists solely for me to waste your time and get yelled at. If you have questions or comments, let us know at, or right here in the comments. Meatwatch is here to help.