A basket full of goodness on the highway to hell.

I brought my lunch to work yesterday and was eating in my office, but I made a beeline for the break room sink once I got to my peach. One bite and I knew my desk would have been a sticky mess had I stayed.

There’s something about a ripe peach that is sublime. It’s sweet and delicious and just screams summer. It’s the only thing I regularly eat hunched over the kitchen sink, because when you find a good one, there’s no way to prevent the juice from dribbling down your arm.

And really, what other food can you eat standing over a sink without looking like a madman? Can you imagine digging into a plate of spaghetti and meatballs or cutting into a ribeye steak like that? Maybe a bowl of cereal would be socially acceptable, but if you’re doing that to avoid dirtying dishes, what’s the point? I suppose you could dump your cereal into the sink and fill it with milk, but good god, WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!

Even other fruit wouldn’t make sense. An apple? Not juicy. A banana? Pointless. Watermelon? Perhaps (but gross).

When we moved to Rapid City in 2018, we quickly discovered Colorado peaches. More precisely, Palisade peaches. I had no idea these were even a “thing”; the only crop I really associate with Colorado is green and skunky and would surely inspire a Nextdoor post from delusional ol’ Adele. But it turns out Palisade peaches have quite the reputation.

According to an article on ColoradoInfo.com, Colorado peaches are most famously grown in the town of Palisade, and they are known for being extra juicy and extra sweet, thanks to the long sunny days and cool summer nights in Colorado, which help all those delicious fruity sugars develop.

The window is short; you can usually only find them for about six weeks, either at the farmers market or random roadside stands.

Speaking of, during my recent trip to Madison, WI, I was driving through town and passed a throng of people standing in line beside a covered table in a parking lot. The line was so long — at least 50 deep, if not more — it stretched an entire city block and wrapped halfway down the adjoining sidewalk. Curious to see what all the fuss was about, I slowed down. A handwritten sign advertised Georgia peaches.

Can’t say I’ve ever had one, but clearly, all those Wisconsinites were fans, judging by their willingness to stand under the blazing hot sun and wilting humidity for heaven knows how long so they could bring a few home. It seems like a stereotype perpetuated by all those Georgia license plates, but then again, so is Wisconsin cheese. I wonder if Georgia peaches hold up to the hype the way the cheddar and muenster and Monterey jack in America’s Dairyland do.


It’s the second week of August, which means the Sturgis Rally is in full swing.

Yay.

I don’t hate Rally itself. We’ve gone before and had a good time. But for most western South Dakota locals — at least those who don’t ride Harleys — it’s annoying, if not an outright pain in the ass. Unless you like seeing motorcycles take over your town and don’t mind their incessant drone all day long. Even though Rapid City is 28.5 miles south of Sturgis, it’s not like all those bikers just park themselves up there for 10 days. They like to get out and ride. My office is located a stone’s throw from the interstate, and worse, at the same exit as a Harley-Davidson dealership. The noise is nonstop. Same for Tara, who works in the heart of downtown. Hell, even just driving home, they’re a constant presence.

Plus, they weave in and out of traffic. Make lanes where none exist. Cut you off just for sport. And look smug while doing it.

In the past, we’ve timed weekend getaways to coincide with Rally. Out of town = out of sight = out of mind. But that didn’t work out this year. Some enterprising locals turn lemons into lemonade by renting their houses out to bikers when they skedaddle. Great way to turn a profit, I guess, but I for one don’t want a bunch of (gr)easy riders taking up residence in Casa MarTar. I don’t need money that badly.

Last weekend, we just stayed home. Luckily, the weather was perfect. Partly cloudy, in the 70s, with a nice, good soaking rain after dark on Saturday. This immediately followed an eight-day stretch of 90°+ temperatures, and once Monday rolled around, the hot weather was back. But what a glorious interlude! And Tara’s garden is loving the heat.

It’s that time of year where she’s going out to the garden every day and returning with a basket full of goodness.

Rally may be an inconvenience, but at least the second week of August isn’t entirely without redemption.

Have you ever had a Georgia peach, and if so, does it live up to the hype? Is there a regional food item you’ve tried that you’ve found disappointing? What is a must-have food I should try when visiting your town?

50 thoughts on “A basket full of goodness on the highway to hell.

  1. I just ate a juicy ripe peach hunched over my own sink today! Sounds like your found a way to stay home and still avoid all the craziness. If you come to Michigan you must try the cherries in July!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Unfortunately, it appeared I missed my window last month to try Michigan cherry coffee at the local Big Apple Bagel shop. Ironic name, eh? Also decided to skip the national Blueberry Festival last week. Maybe I’ll get to both the Michigan cherry AND blueberry fests next year. I cut myself some slack this year, being new to the state and all.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re off the hook this year! I’m sure I’ll miss a few festivals at first, too. Though I’d definitely make it a point to check out both of those next year. You can’t go wrong with cherries or blueberries!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That peach sounds amazing. Not sure I’d stand in line in the heat for any sort of peach. I would be so irked by the motorcycles. Leaving town that weekend sounds like a good plan. I’d be worried about damage to my house if I rented it out. I’d definitely empty my liquor cabinet beforehand if I did. Awesome about the garden! Is her little bucket also a strainer? I saw holes for easy rinsing.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Mark, I can’t say I’ve ever had a Georgia peach so I don’t know if it is as wonderful as we might assume. My wife just made a peach pie as she enjoys having it this time of year. I’m not as peachy as her. As for Philly delicacies, we are well known for our cheesesteaks and soft pretzels, but the one I feel would probably be the most “intriguing” to try is scrapple. If done right with a crispy fried outer layer, I think it’s pretty good. If not done right, it’s admittedly a bit of a mess. Scrapple is most popular just west of us in Lancaster County i.e. Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Some people love it…some won’t even try it (I think they read the ingredients and just move on…).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ahh, well, I have been to Philly many times (my family is from Trenton), so I’ve had both the cheesesteaks and pretzels (not to mention TastyKakes!). Can’t say I’ve ever tried scrapple, but I’m pretty open to any food except watermelon. I’d be down.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If you know TastyKakes as well, then you are indeed a true friend of the area. In fact, I was in a Wawa earlier today and saw peach Pie as one of the selections. Who knew I’d be commenting on peaches later on? Small world.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely garden crop! I would never associate Colorado with peaches- I’ll have to ask Alison if they’ve tried them. Since you know most of what is famous in these parts already the only thing I can add is my little town of Sumner has that distinction of the Rhubarb Pie capital of the world. I however do not like rhubarb but lots of folks come for the pie.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree on both counts:

      It is a lovely garden crop. Question: how do you avoid tomato worms? Your peppers and tomatoes look magnificent. We took a break from feeding tomato worms this year, which is really what our tomato and pepper plants manage to accomplish 😀

      LOVE that peach. We struggle in getting ripe peaches. Somehow they go from rock hard to rotten without that sweet spot you experienced and captured MAGNIFICENTLY in the photo. I started to salivate a little when I saw it and read the description 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just asked Tara about tomato worms and she shrugged her shoulders. We’ve never heard of them. Apparently, they aren’t an issue here; she says the only thing she really worries about is tomato blight. All I know is, they’re coming in fresh and delicious now, and I am savoring every bite!

        Like

  5. As much as I enjoyed participating in the bike rallies, my first thought upon arrival was always… I’m glad I don’t live here.
    As for peaches, I’ve always known Georgia. Never would have guessed Colorado had a good one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As little as I like it, I really feel for the 7,000 or so full-time Sturgis residents. At least my neighborhood is quiet after dark. Out there, that’s when the party is just – pardon the pun – revving up!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. There is nothing better than a perfectly ripe and juicy peach although there is also nothing messier. Good ones are hard to find. Here we would drive over to Yakima (central Washington) to get a variety of fresh fruit, including peaches. The rally sounds good for the economy but annoying for the residents. Does it last a long time? Hopefully not.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I used to eat fried egg sandwiches over the sink. Runny yolks, you know. As far as must have regional food, there’s a lot – I’m sure you know ’em. Shall we start with Tillamook ice cream?

    As for herds of roaring hogs? I’ll pass. Or maybe they’ll pass, I’m sure there’s no stopping them.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Here in SC, our local peaches are way better and more plentiful than Georga’s … They may CLAIM to be the peach state, but we really are better at it. I have a favorite vendor at our local farmer’s market who brings different varieties all summer. O’Henrys are a fave! Ahh – Sturgis… Not so fond memories of the Black Hills being overrun with craziness. Weren’t there recent fatal accidents there? A friend who lives and works in Sturgis has rented out his home every summer to the same family for many years. They are trustworthy and respectful of the property; plus, the additional income every year has allowed them to do things they may not have done otherwise. Four days and counting down to the end of the rally!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My dad was just vouching for the South Carolina peaches, too.

      Sadly, there are fatalities every year. Two so far in 2022, but with four days to go, there may end up being more. Usually a handful of people die every year (and take a wild guess how many of them wear helmets).

      Like

  9. I am sure I had a Georgia peach, but I don’t remember it being extraordinary.

    Now, my husband’s peach cobbler, made with a recipe from a famous (and then famously racist) Georgia chef? That is to die for, but the peaches are California peaches, from our backyard.

    This year he made peach ice-cream, which was also fabulous.

    If you come to SoCal, our tomatoes are amazing. And our gaviota strawberries? So much sweeter and less acidic.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m a Georgia girl so, yes, I have had many Georgia peaches. When I was a kid, we’d cut up peaches, put them in a bowl with a little milk and sugar and enjoy. On another note, I really wish the state would stop with the peaches on license plates; they usually just look like butts.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I usually have jersey peaches, which can be good or bad depending on how you ripen them…I also usually slice my peaches to prevent drip. If you come to NYC….there’s about a million things to try…I don’t even know where to begin….but I guess bagels or pizza.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. GA & SC peaches are a BIG deal around here. Trucks drive up this way with freshly picked peaches for sale. I don’t need a bushel of peaches but if you’re into making jam you know where and when these trucks arrive.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. As I was reading about your Colorado peaches (I never heard of them, but cool!) I was wondering how they would compare to a Georgia peach. Have I had a Georgia Peach? YES, I’m practically a Georgia Peach!
    We also have lovely Georgia apples come September/October.
    Unlike you, I have to slice my peaches because I can’t stand any of that stickiness on my skin.

    The motorcycles. I can see how they would be downright annoying. (good for your economy, though) I’m sure you see those signs/bumper stickers all the time too: Watch for Motorcycles.
    At first, I thought it was for their safety, but as many times as they pull out in front of me, I think the signs are for my safety. 😳

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I’m reading your comment, it’s the Monday after Rally ended. Peace has begun to descend upon our fair land once again!

      My mom is a notorious peach lover and she always peels and slices them. I’m too impatient; I’d rather just dig right in, stickiness be damned!

      Liked by 1 person

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