Monday, August 18, 2008
the keenest of peaches
On the hottest day of the year, I bought two cases of peaches for canning. It always seems to be that we start preserving for the fall and long winter when the mercury rises about 90 degrees. We don't get started until after the dinner dishes are done and all the jars are scrubbed and ready to go and we don't end until way past our regular bedtimes.
Frankly, I was happy to see the rain and wind and cool temperatures of Monday. I was even happier to get the show of canning on the road before 9 pm.
The peaches we got are wonderful, they are seconds - blemished, but they are juicy, perfectly ripe and locally grown. While we have two peach trees in our garden that typically produce well, this year we have not one peach thanks to a mismatch between bees, flowers and our typically flaky weather.
I miss picking peaches off the tree this year.
I also missed the opportunity to pick peaches off the tree this spring when we went to visit the communities near Fresno that grow amazing varieties of peaches on small scale family farms. The cold weather had us off the first harvest by a crucial week. However, it was still fun to watch our friend Paul jump up on the processing line and show us all the facets of peach packing. Trust me, you had to be there.
Most of all, peaches signify to me the beginning of a long lasting relationship between food, TH and myself. Our first real date involved ten hours together going in search of peppers, peaches and warm weather in the 509. On the way home we stopped to get some peaches. When we got back to TH's house, we needed to make a cobbler for a dinner party to which we were both invited.
The peaches were not ripe and TH and I boiled the life out of them to get them to soften.
It was the act of cooking together and trying to figure out how to make something good out of something bad that made me realize that there was something here that was real.
I think TH felt the same way.
Other than the cobbler, we both don't remember much about the what else was served that night, but we laugh every time we think of that peach cobbler.
Here's to more moments of brilliance in life and the kitchen