Photo: Robbie Caponetto

Three simple steps for enjoying this summer star all year long.

Southerners know our peaches, simple as that. Summertime isn’t right until we get to take a big, juicy, dribbly bite of a freshly picked peach. The heavenly fruit perhaps feels a little more precious to us because it’s a seasonal delicacy and something we look forward to all year. It’s just not right to indulge in any imported peaches when we have the world’s finest right here, if only we can wait patiently (never been good at that part, though). It’s like trading in your Duke’s mayonnaise for an off-brand. Or deciding one day to switch to unsweet tea. Not going to happen.

When the peaches finally grace the farmers' markets and roadside stands down here, we get while the gettin’ is good. With these, there are endless delectable opportunities. Bake a warm Grilled Peach Cobbler and top with some cold Summertime Peach Ice Cream. Stir them in some Carolina Peach Sangria or Pineapple-Peach Punch. Savor them in Peach and Pork Kebabs and Brown Sugar Pork Chops with Peach Barbecue Sauce. Our mouths are already watering.

WATCH: Easy Peach Cobbler

But, all good things must come to an end. Peach season is a brief, yet torrid affair that never fails to leave us wanting more. There’s no shame in wanting to extend the blessed fruit’s lifespan, and there are some great ways to do it. Freezing is a heaven-sent and allows you to save your peaches for recipes year-round, so peel and slice some peaches to get started and follow these easy instructions.

 Becky Luigart Stayner

1. Toss 1 lb. of peeled, sliced peaches with 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice.

 Becky Luigart Stayner

2. Place the peaches in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Freeze until solid, about 4 hours or overnight.

 Becky Luigart Stayner

3. Transfer the frozen peach slices to a freezer bag, and remove as much air from the bag as possible before sealing.