Weekend Foodie Warriors- Take 16!
Hello hello, again, Foodie Friends 🙂 Hope you had a fantastic weekend! In this edition of Foodie Adventures, I’ll be taking you to Abbott’s Peach Farm Stand to get ingredients we used in my parents’ Three-Course Anniversary Dinner and the food that followed!
I love a good love story, and my parents have had a good one! They’ve been married for 32 years this year, and so my little sis and I decided to celebrate by creating a summer-inspired peach dinner for them, incorporating the sweet, versatile fruit into multiple different tastes, textures, and forms. We wanted to start with the best produce and the experts on peaches, so who better than our local peach farm, Abbott’s!
Abbot’s Peach Farm Stand
Its decor reminded me of the roadside farm stands I grew up visiting when we’d drive to my aunt and uncle’s house and stop for fresh corn, squash, and strawberries, only this place was entirely peach themed!
There was a fantastic selection of homemade jams and jellies (peach, of course, and other varieties, like T.O.E. jam – short for Tangerine, Orange, and Elderberry!); hot sauces; pickled fruits and vegetables like okra; and even salsas and relishes, canned and ready to go! There was also homemade ice cream too, very tempting in the 90 degree heat when I visited.
One of my favorite parts of the whole place was the sample table!! You could sample a multitude of the products they had to offer, from Chow Chow* to peach salsa; jams; fruit butters; and peach cider!
Their peach selection was impressive; Jimmy, who helped me pick my peaches Saturday morning, said the best way to know if a peach is ripe is by softness and smell.
If the peach is a little soft and smells strongly like a peach when you take a whiff, it’s more than likely ripe!
Jimmy has been in the peach business for 50 years, and Angie, one of the sweet ladies there who educated non-Southern me on what Chow Chow* was, told me about how they had grown from one farm stand to 6-8, all dotting the SC I85 corridor, and about her daughter who also loves to blog, especially about coffee and God.
*FYI for all the folk who don’t know what Chow Chow is either, it’s a southern cross between a hot dog relish and vidalia onion relish, which is tangy and vinegary and sweet, and would be fantastic on burgers or hot dogs!
Our final haul! We made out with a bushel of peaches, some awesome peach cider, South Carolina peach jam, and peach butter!
32nd Anniversary Dinner
Lake Norman, NC
We wanted to make a three-course dinner for my mom and dad as a present, so together with our peach haul and an awesome menu design (thank you Canva), we were ready to prep and cook up a storm! All recipes will be uploaded by tomorrow night, so stay tuned for those, and enjoy the remainder of the cooking process 👩🍳
We started with the homemade arepas (full recipe here), as the dough had to rest before we could fry them, so those were one of the more time-consuming elements.
I love these because they’re super simple to make, really only 4-5 ingredients, and they’re super versatile with whatever you serve them with, whether it be sweet or savory.
We loved these topped with the mahi-mahi and peach salsa; toasted with butter and jam; or with eggs for breakfast in the morning!
Each ball made about 2 silver-dollar pancake-sized arepas, so by doubling the recipe, we got about 10 arepas out of this batch.
They were a little sweet, a little salty, and super crunchy, yet soft in the middle, and the perfect side dish for the rest of the main course.
Next was the prepping for the appetizers!
The Peach Cider Bellinis (full recipe here) started with muddled peaches, and two parts peach cider to one part prosecco.
Flip through the slideshow below for more bubbly pics!
My parents and grandma love cheese and crackers (absolutely a staple in our house for years now), so my little sis thought it’d be an awesome idea to create a fancier cheese board for them for their weekend dinner.
Please ignore my posture and golf playing in the background! Anywho, we didn’t get the usual before pictures here, but we certainly got the after ones.
Looking at the last picture in the slideshow, the cheeses we chose (starting clockwise) are:
- Soft garlic & herb goat’s cheese
- Wesleyan cheddar with cranberries
- Boar’s Head Aged Gouda Cheese
- Belton Farm’s Red Fox Cheddar
- & Belgioioso fresh buffalo mozzarella balls
Based on the Cheese Expert from Publix (yes, that’s a real job title, you can find this person in the specialty cheese section near the deli), we tried to combine sweeter and sharper, softer and harder, and tangy varieties of cheese along with crackers and some of that peach jam you saw earlier to really balance out their flavors.
Onto the rest of the main course!
My sis was the best sous chef, cutting almost half a bushel of peaches to make the majority of what we needed for these recipes!
Sliced, diced, macerated, or muddled, she did it all 🍑👩🍳
The peach salsa was next (full recipe here), combining tomatoes, peaches, onions, spices, and a fire-roasted jalapeño!
One of the benefits of having a gas stove, I was able to char the outside of the skin, roasting the jalapeno and giving it more flavor than it would have had I chopped it originally.
The roasting process mellowed it out and left a really great flavor to it without as much spice (we did take the seeds and ribs out too or it would’ve been too spicy for Grandma).
This was definitely one of my favorite salsas I’ve ever had. I love a good mango salsa too but this one was so fresh it was hard to beat.
The salmon steaks and Mahi-mahi were hanging out baking in the oven with some lime & lemon juice, salt, pepper, and this great Chesapeake Bay seafood seasoning mix we got as a gift one year from Penzey’s spices. The Mahi didn’t come out looking as good as the salmon so we skipped those pics.
Lastly for dinner was the Green Beans Pecan-dine (a play on Green Beans Almondine, but with pecans! Recipe here), a simple side dish made with green beans, butter, pecans, salt, and some lemon juice. Super tasty and tangy and crunchy, I’ve also seen people add a little parm or Asiago cheese to it and it’s delish!
And here was the finished product!
Last, but not least was dessert, an angel food cake with peaches, blackberries, and macerated blueberries on top, with a dollop of whipped cream.
It was a light, airy, and bright way to end the meal!
I must have tuckered my sister out, as she ended up taking an hour’s nap after dinner and could not be woken for dessert. It was a lot of effort but so worth it for everything my parents have done for us over the years. Cheers to many more! 🥂
So how was your weekend Foodie Friends? Have you ever created a menu, especially for loved ones or a big meal for friends? Sound out in the comments below or let me know your suggestions of what dishes or cuisines I should try next. As always, feel free to like, comment, and share 🤗