We love these guys, truly we do. The first time I ever heard the name Frog Hollow Farm was way back, maybe even in high school when a family friend gave us a Christmas gift which consisted of a three pack of their peach conserves. It was delicious, spread on chewy toast with a hint of butter. It was like eating a bit of summer in the dead of winter and they made the early morning coffee ritual something special. Somehow you never know which of those unexpected presents will make a lasting impact, that's the beauty of gift giving. Sometimes a present can be much more than you think it is.
Fast forward ten years or so. We ordered the fruit from Frog Hollow occasionally in Colorado. It was expensive and shipping was tough. Given the slow start at the hotel, it was hard to justify the price of the fruit. On the other hand, this summer we've been working on a private ranch where the owners love fruit. So Frog Hollow stone fruit has been with us all season. We began with the cherries and continued through the season with apricots, pluots, peaches and nectarines. The fruit arrives in these pretty boxes, each piece wrapped in tissue paper and in it's own little bed. They arrive slightly under-ripe, but a day or two on the counter is all it takes to sweeten and soften these blushing beauties. These are the kind of nectarines that spurt juice when you sink your teeth into them. We always serve them with napkins because you will make a mess, and the fruit will drip down your chin if you're not careful. That's the beauty of ripe stone fruits after all.
I won't kid you, these peaches are pricey. With shipping, it comes out to about $2 per piece. I will say that there were times this summer when the fruit was the most talked about item on the menu. People from all over the country raved about it. We were even teased that the fruit eclipsed the composed dishes. We just smiled and offered them another piece. After all, the true art of being a good chef is procuring great ingredients. As summer cycles towards fall and we get ready to pack our bags and head back East, we urge you to treat yourself and someone you love. Order some peaches or Asian pears from Frog Hollow. The taste of summer is fleeting and utterly delicious.