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PEACH Edition   ::   THE OH SO INDULGENT NEWSLETTER
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CHEFS TIPS

PRETTY AS A PEACH
Copyright 2007 Chef Natasha Treu’ Fletcher

Texas Peaches Springold Bicentennial June Gold
Garnet Beauty
____Sentinel _____Harvester

August is the End of Peach Season in Texas!

Here is everything you need to know to be sitting pretty as a peach and keep from getting the pits.

Loring__ Redglobe
____ Dixiland
____Redskin

Jefferson __Jersey _______Queen

POSSIBILLITIES
THINK A PEACH IS JUST A PEACH, THINK AGAIN. HERE IS A LIST OF LOCAL PEACHES THAT RIPEN ON THE TREE MAY - AUGUST. EACH AS UNIQUE AS THE TREE IT GREW ON:

  • Springold
  • Bicentennial
  • June Gold
  • Garnet Beauty
  • Sentinel
  • Harvester
  • Loring
  • Redglobe
  • Redskin
  • Dixiland
  • Jefferson
  • Jersey Queen

HOW TO HARVEST
FROM MARKET TO ORCHARD THESE TIPS WILL HELP YOU GET THE BEST FRUIT FOR YOUR LABOR.

Although a bright red blush gives a peach its attractive appearance, it is the progression of the background color from green to cream or yellow that is the best indication of a ripe, flavorful peach.

A peach is softer than apples or most other fruit, so it important to pick a peach using the sides of your fingers rather than the tips. If you use the tips of your finger to hold the peach, then you will put little dents in the peach. Using the sides of your fingers is more gentle and less likely to cause bruising. Grab the peach firmly and pull it straight off the branch.

Three to four medium sized peaches equal a pound.

EVERYTHING'S JUST PEACHY
HOW TO STORE, PREP AND PRESERVE YOUR PEACHES

Peaches can be held at room temperature until soft enough to eat, and then refrigerated for up to two weeks.

A firm-ripe peach, which gives only slightly when gently squeezed, is best for canning, freezing or storing without bruising.

Wash peaches carefully in cool soapy water, then rinse well before eating or using.

If used in cooking they peel really fast if blanched in boiling water for a minute then plunged into ice water to cool.

In fruit salads or platters, sprinkle cut peaches with lemon juice to help them keep their great color.

PICK OF THE CROP
THERE ARE MANY LOCAL GROCERS & FARMERS' MARKETS IN THE HOUSTON AREA THAT SELL FRESH ORGANICLY GROWN LOCAL PEACHES. HERE ARE A FEW:

McCain's Market

Houston Organic Farmers' Market
Location: Onion Creek Coffee House
3106 White Oak between Studewood and Heights Blvd
and
Location: Rice University Campus

Midtown Local Farmers' Market
Location:t'afia restaurant / 3701 Travis St
Houston, TX 77002

Bayou City Farmers' Market
Location:the intersection of Richmond and Eastside

Market Street Farmers Market
Location: 9595 Six Pines Dr. The Woodlands, TX
Saturday 8 to 11 a.m.
Phone: (281) 419-4770
E-mail: jtaylor@trademarkproperty.com

CLICK HERE For a limited list of certified markets in other cties by the US Dept of Agriculture

OR IF YOUR IN THE MOOD YOU COULD GRAB A BASKET AND GRAB THE FRUIT RIGHT OFF THE TREE:
CLICK HERE for a list of 22 Texas Orchards Worth Visiting
Tips for going Peach Picking
Growers today most frequently sell their peaches in 1/2 bushel or smaller containers.

SWEET ON THE EYES
IN ADDITION TO TASTING SWEET THE BLOOMS ON THE TREES AINT BAD EITHER.

Take a weekend trip and drive The Peach Blossom Trail:

A suggested driving route to see peach blossoms is between Fredericksburg and Stonewall in Gillespie County.

They expect an excellent showing of color this year since the peach trees have had a very good winter.

Also lovely is the Wildflower Trail

TASTY TIDBITS
THINGS YOU MAY NOT HAVE KNOWN ABOUT THIS SENSATIONAL STONE FRUIT:

  • The peach is a member of the rose family.

  • If you take the pit from a peach and plant it, a peach tree may grow. The pit should be put 2 to 3inches underneath the soil.

  • The average peach contains No fat or cholesteral, only 70 calories, 16 grams of sugar has 1 gram of proteim & 1 gram of fiber and also contains 20% of your daily Vitamins A and C.

  • China is widely held to be the native home of peaches.

  • The peach was known in Greece by 300 BC and by the Romans shortly after 100 AD.

  • Peach trees became available in America around the time of the American Revolution.

  • Gillespie County is the largest peach-producing county in Texas.

  • There are over 1,400 acres of peaches in commercial production. This accounts for 40% of Texas’ peach crop.

  • The average peach tree can produce 3-4 bushels of peaches in a year. A bushel weighs 50 pounds.

  • It takes about three years for the tree to begin producing fruit, but the fruit you get may look nothing like the peach the pit came from.

  • If the pollen that caused the fruit to form was from a nectarine tree, the fruit has to be a nectarine. If the pollen parent had only two genes for fuzziness, the plants growing from the new pits will be peaches. If the pollen parent had one gene for fuzziness and one for non-fuzziness, then approximately 50% of the plants growing from the new pits will be nectarines and 50% will be peaches.


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Featured Recipe

Peaches make great dessert ingredients

Fresh Peach Melon Sorbet
What better way to capture the fresh sweetnessthe season than to whip them into a frenzy and freeze them into a delightful confection!

Serve this to all your guests. Great by itself to put cheery smiles on the young ones faces or garnish with some raspberry or melon liquor and cool of after a sweltering summers day.

 

Original Recipes - Copyright 2007 Chef Natasha Treu’ Fletcher

Sweet Seasonal Cantaloupes

Ingredients:

 

2 cups sugar

8 oz peach puree (directions included)
1 1/2 cups filtered water
4 oz cantaloupe juice (directions included)
  • Directions:

    1. Make simple syrup: Combine the sugar and water in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. All the sugar should completely dissolve. Remove from the heat and pour into a clean bowl and place in refrigerator. Let cool completely before using.
    2. To peel the peaches, dip them in boiling water for 30 to 45 seconds, then use a slotted spoon to transfer immediately from the hot water to a bowl of ice water. Use a paring knife to pull off the skin. If the skin’s resistant, repeat the process or simply use the knife to peel off any obstinate skin. Return the peeled peaches to the ice water.
    3. Remove the flesh from the cantaloupe and throw away all seeds or reserve for another day.
    4. In food processor add 1/4 cup of simple syrup, peaches, and cantaloupe. Puree then pour through a fine mesh strainer.
    5. Stir chilled simple syrup into puree.
    6. Pour sorbet mixture into ice cream maker and follow manufactureres instructions for sorbet.

    Prep Time: aprox 1 hour

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Rants n' Raves

NEWS

The Indulgent Newsletter Gets a Facelift

Its still the same old newsletter with a slightly different look. Expect all your favorites including an original recipe by Chef Natasha each month. Plus even more exciting new features like monthly lists of what is season! Just our way of showing our passion for food and keeping you in touch with the culinary world.

Bon appetit!

REVIEW- OCEAN PALACE Ocean Palace

Give Me Sum More

 

If you haven’t yet sampled the decadence and delight that is Dim Sum you must immediately cancel all your plans for this Friday or Saturday and go to Ocean Palace. Go alone, go with a date, go with your entire extended family but I insist that you go immediately upon reading this. Here is my exotic journey with Dim Sum that has been twice since repeated and has now become a weekly tradition.

 

On the Saturday we ventured to Dim Sum heaven it was midday and a hundred and five degrees with the heat index, the windows were rolled up tightly as we enjoyed our refrigerated air. While driving down this part of Bellaire its not unusual to see, well, the unusual. We passed many enticing international delis that turned our heads and stores selling items we hadn’t yet discovered. Ignored unsavory fellows hanging out on street corners but then suddenly something surprised me.

 

In the sweltering heat, on the side of busy Bellaire, in the Asian district, stood a little old Chinese lady. In front of her was a booth covered in Anticommunist posters and behind her one large banner saying "Sign up here to withdraw from the Communist Party." She stood there all alone, with no partakers, and even after we had finished our lunching she still remained in the heat waiting for someone to pay heed to her cause. This was quite an unusual site for a Native Houstonian to see in America.

 

Ocean Palace lies just a ways further by the Hong Kong Market. A grand two story mall, surrounded by a manmade blue dyed pond. In it grown tall lovely lotus flowers and swim lively koi and friendly tortoise. You walk through a grandiose entrance mimicking the forbidden city; each step bringing you further into this decadent world of excitement. Inside the somewhat shabby, overwhelmingly decorated building you are directed upstairs to a large dining hall. Here the fun begins.

Once seated women begin attacking with food at an inexhaustible pace. Not a word can I understand but what my ears can’t grasp my eyes translate. Everything looks so foreign yet so unbelievable delicious. I try steamed dumplings with shrimp and pork in them, tasty. Steamed clams in brown sauce, wonderful. Barbeque pork in a steamed rice cake, like eating heaven! Light and fluffy and sweet and the best thing ive had in weeks.

 

Cart after cart feverously comes by and I am helpless to resist choosing at least one dish from each. Every time another table chooses something I wonder, "What did they get? Is it better than what I’m having? I want it!" Then next thing I know my table is covered in steaming hot silver pans and plates. I eat the best red bean filled, tapioca flour sesame ball I’ve had in my life for dessert followed by a lotus filled one and finally with belly nearly hemorrhaging from goodness I ask for the check. Twenty dollars, and for two people!!! This is the cheapest meal I’ve had in my life! What is going on! I’m coming back tomorrow. And oh yeah, I did.

 

 

by Chef Natasha Treú

11215 Bellaire Blvd #D
281-988-8898
Recommend Going any day but Sunday has the best choices and longest wait.

Hours
* Mon-Fri 10:30am-10pm
* Sat & Sun 9am-11pm
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Announcing New Rewards Program!

For all our current clients that are telling their friends, family and colleagues to use Indulgence we just want to express our appreciation. We will now be offering a $50 referral bonus toward your next service, whenever anyone books and gives your name as a referral; or when you show us that you gave us a good review on Citysearch.

Just our way of saying thanks.

 

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Seasonable Selections
Why eat seasonal?  

From a Chefs view:

Seasonal food is at its peak of flavor.
Its fresher and so it tends to be tastier, more
colorful, easier to work with, less expensive
and more nutritious.

Buying seasonal produce also provides
an exciting opportunity to try new foods
and to experiment with seasonal recipes.

From the Earths view :

By purchasing local foods in-season, you eliminate the environmental damage caused by shipping foods thousands of miles, your food dollar goes directly to the farmer, and your family will be able to enjoy the health benefits of eating fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables.

It also helps to to reduce the energy (and associated CO2 emissions) needed to grow and transport the food we eat.

August: What's In Season

FRUITS

Apples (Peak for Gravenstein)
Cantaloupes
Figs : Pick Your Own - Matt Family Orchard
Grapes: Red Flame, Thompson Seedless
Honeydew
Limes
Nectarines
Oranges (Valencia)
Peaches: Pick your own
Asian & Bartlett Pears
Plums
Raspberries
Watermelon

VEGETABLES

Avocado (Hass)
Basil
Bell Pepper
Black Eyed Peas
Corn
Cucumber
Eggplant
Green Beans
Garlic
Okra
Onion
Summer Squash
Tomatillo
Tomato

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Great Gift Ideas:

  • Treat a friend or family member to their own Chef For the Day!

  • Gift them a weeks worth of personal chef services .

  • Plan a catered party in their honor .

  • Surprise them with a gift certificate for gourmet cooking classes for the two of you to do together.

Sharing food is a great way to
have fun with those you love!
Family Dinner

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