■ Keep peaches at room temperature until ripe for best flavor and texture. Ripen peaches in a loosely closed paper bag. Add an apple or banana to speed ripening. Check daily until soft, then eat or refrigerate.
■ Store ripe peaches in the refrigerator in a plastic bag with holes to prevent moisture on the surface. Use within a few days.
■ Wash peaches just before using by gently rubbing under running water.
■ To keep them from browning, cut peaches just before serving or dip cut peaches in water with lemon juice (2 Tablespoons/quart).
■ To freeze cut peaches, first treat the slices to prevent browning (see above). Then freeze them on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer the slices to a freezer bag or container. Use within 12 months. Thaw in the refrigerator.