I’m back! After days of prepping for my trip and 2 weeks in China followed by a trip to Washington DC for the Share Our Strength Conference of Leaders (more on that later this week), I’m finally home and back in the kitchen. I don’t think I’ve ever gone 3 weeks without a food post, but hope you’ve enjoyed the posts from China. I’m still finishing up the last few, but you can see them all here – start on China Bound and then just use the “next post” link when you get to the bottom to keep reading forward with the trip. Thanks to complete internal clock confusion, I’m up early enough to see the sun come up once again today.Right before I left for my trip, I helped a friend harvest her peach tree and put everything up for the year. It took 4 women 6 hours to sort the peaches, blanch them in boiling water to remove the skins, cut them up, combine them with simple syrup, and process then in a water bath to can them and make them shelf stable.That’s right – four women, all day.And we each went home with only about 6 pint jars for that full day effort. Now you know why I hate canning.I thought I’d miss my own peach harvest, as in years past if I travel in the fall, my tree is usually raided and sits empty when I return. But luckily for me, my peach tree is a really late bloomer this year, and the peaches are just now ripe even though it’s late October. My neighbor kindly harvested them for me last Friday (it’s a tall tree) and I went in search of an easy way to preserve them when I came across the suggestion to just freeze them whole. I wish I could attribute this technique to its rightful owner, but I can’t seem to find the original source of the idea.But sure enough, it’s the simplest technique around and yields the best fruit at the end. Freeze whole peaches. When you are ready to eat one, simply run it under warm water for a few seconds and the skin will slip off. Microwave it for about 1 minute to thaw it out and enjoy. Because it’s frozen in the skin there is no browning whatsoever. There is also no blanching, peeling, slicing, dipping, canning and boiling. And you don’t lose a whole day preserving your bounty. This might very well be my best culinary discovery of 2010!