Photo: Debbi Smirnoff

If your earliest memories involve summer vacations, fruit picking, and lazy afternoons spent in the shade with sweet fruit juice dripping down your chin like mine did, then come with me to the present. There are an amazing 300 varieties of peaches in the world, and Southern Oregon is blessed with many farmers dedicated to bringing fresh pears, peaches and apples to our tables.

This time of year, though, life is all about that fuzzy, redolent, round fruit that for a brief window of sweet, juicy time leaves us wondering how we managed life without it the rest of the year.

To get that country feeling without the work, head on over to the self-serve farmstand at Dunbar Farms where you can pick up a basket or two of peaches, grown by neighboring Hillcrest Orchard, and an armload of other freshly harvested produce. You’ll find pie-ready, “just picked” fruit nestled gently in their wooden crates. If time allows, the Roxy Ann Winery tasting room is a short drive away so you can check out their selection of dessert-worthy wines.

Speaking of dessert, nothing beats the smell of a fresh peach pie or cobbler filling the house. If the idea of a “fresh” peach pie in winter strikes your fancy, construct your pie now and place it immediately in the freezer uncovered on a baking sheet. When fully frozen, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and tin foil for later baking. Remember to write the type of pie on the outside, then enjoy your slice of summer sweetness during a particularly dreary January day.
 

Photo: Debbi Smirnoff