RED, WHITE & PEACHY
In Texas Hill Country, the Fourth of July means parades, fireworks, and … peaches. One family celebrates with a simple feast inspired by their favorite fruit.
Fresh peaches and tomatoes star in this salad, opposite, with basil, goat cheese, and pecans. To make sure the peaches taste their best, slice and add them just before serving the salad. Case Fischer, co- owner of Das Peach Haus in Texas, recommends rinsing peaches to remove excess fuzz.
Fredericksburg, Texas, swells with tourists every Fourth of July, when crowds line historic Main Street for the Norman Rockwell-style parade. Visitors know this holiday happily coincides with peak season of one of the town’s other main attractions: peaches.
It’s the best—and busiest—time of year for Case and Deanna Fischer, who run Das Peach Haus, the first permanent fruit stand in the county. “I’ve never seen a person more passionate about something than my husband is about peaches,” says Deanna, who “settled down” with Case in a farmhouse in the middle of the orchards he has tended since high school. They raised their three children on this 60-acre farm and, with business partner Mark Wieser, built the specialty foods business Fischer & Wieser, known internationally for its locally made preserves and sauces.
“The peaches come in waves all summer, but early July is when the very best are in season,” Deanna says. “They’re called freestones because when you slice them the fruit pulls right away from the pit.” Bright red around the center, with deep amber-color flesh, these peaches are heavy with sweet, nectarlike juice—a benefit of ripening on the trees.
The Fischers celebrate the harvest on the Fourth of July by driving their 1949 red Ford truck in the town parade before heading to the farm for a family picnic dinner. “When you’ve got this much ripe fruit, you put it into everything, from cocktails to dessert,” Deanna says.
“We snack, swim, and sip on sangria before a steak supper,” she says. “Our kids are grown now, but the summer harvest has always lured them home. I hope it always will.”