To bring butter to room temperature quicker, cut it into tablespoons or cubes. The more surface area you expose, the faster it will reach the desired temperature. The same method holds true when melting butter over the stove or in the microwave.
How do you know when a peach is ripe? My mom grew up in the south, making her a peach expert. She taught us to only eat a peach when you can smell it, to ripen them quickly by sticking them in a brown paper bag, and to store ripened peaches in the fridge until ready to eat.