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.

Better Homes & Gardens - Best of Summer Recipes - - Red, White & Peachy - BY PAIGE PORTER FIS­CHER NANCY WALL HOP­KINS BUFF STRICK­LAND PRO­DUCED BY PHO­TOS MAR­IAN COOPER CAIRNS ADAM FORT­NER FOOD STYLING PROP STYLING

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.”

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