Gypsy's Travels


Thursday, October 9, 2008

That's Just Peachy

Reading ABWF's blog about picking apples brought back some interesting memories.

We did take the children out to pick apples in Oklahoma when we visited. It didn't take long for my parents, 4 children, DH, and I to fill several baskets, in spite of filling our stomachs along the way. Fortunately, with a little effort, apples keep pretty well .

Our next venture was picking peaches. These were not ordinary peaches. They were absolutely the best peaches I have ever eaten. Small and ripe, bearing all the colors of the coming Fall, these peaches were easy to pick and we made the most of it. We were all replete with the sweet flesh and juicy goodness of these small fruits and filled several baskets to take home. We picked them late in the day and planned to leave early the next morning for our eight hour trip home.
During the long drive, the fragrance of ripe peaches permeated the van. Our picnic lunch ended with everyone eating as many peaches as they wanted from the several 1/2 bushel baskets loaded in the back. The peach smell was enhanced by the warm sun beaming in the windows as we completed our trip.

The goal for the day was to arrive home early evening so we could ready our family to leave early again the next day. We planned to meet family members for a weekend camping by the river near New Braunfels. As DH and the children carried everything inside, I headed to the back of the van to oversee the transfer of ripe peaches into the house, thinking they could wait a couple of days for processing until we returned from the river. Unfortunately, I had not reckoned with the effects of warm sun in a close environment on peaches that were already ripe to perfection. As I opened the back van door, I was greeted by a wonderful fragrance and flowing juice from, now, overripe peaches.

Adding to corralling children, doing laundry, cleaning peach juice out of the van, and repacking for the next few days, I mentally added "do something with peaches." Not a problem, I can handle this, I thought. Everything else under control, I started peeling peaches. There was not time to can them as I had planned, so I began packing them into freezer bags and found space in the freezer. By midnight, I was sure the peaches were cloning in the baskets and I had been abandoned by my family who thought sleep was more important. I peeled and processed my last bag of peaches about 2 AM. No, they were not all done, I just couldn't face any more. I had carefully chosen the firmest, most intact peaches to deal with on our return in a couple of days. I placed them, individually, on the newspaper-covered kitchen table, not touching one another. The table was covered with waiting peaches.

We had a relaxing time camping at the river with extended family and I felt ready to tackle the peaches when we got home. Thoughts of peaches and ice cream, peach jam, peach cobbler, and eating those delicious, succulent fresh peaches flooded my mind on the drive home. The fragrance of peaches greeted us as we opened the front door. Actually, it was more the fragrance of fermented peaches that greeted us. All the fruit I had so carefully placed on newspaper on the table, had continued ripening under the sun's warm rays from the kitchen window. The peaches had begun to ooze and the liquid had soaked through all the newspapers, puddled on the floor around the table, and coated all the cracks between the leaves.

I still love peaches, but have never again had any as sweet as those. Have we picked peaches again? No, I was voted down.

5 comments:

  1. When we were kids, one of our neighbors had several white peach trees that we would raid every time we went hunting or fishing. The owners complained about never having any ripe peaches to eat. Oh, were they good! If you have never had a white peach, it is a soft rosy color on the outside and the meat is white, except adjacent to the pit where it is red.

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  2. Honest. When I read your post and description of picking peaches and how delicious they were, my mouth began to water and it still is. LOL

    I love ripe peaches. That taste is so hard to find in any canned peaches or even in frozen peaches. Man seems to ruin things like that when he gets his hands on them.

    Sounds like your crop was as sweet as sweet gets. Pears get that way too.I have seen bees absolutely drunk on them.

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  3. I actually remember coming home to the peaches on the newspaper.

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  4. I remember carrying the peaches in our arms and having prickly necks as we held on to our bundle. I also remember the stickyness when we returned home all over the table. Didn't it warp the table?

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  5. I can't believe ABW wasn't downstairs helping you process the peaches before the trip ;) As far as amounts are concerned, I didn't fill several baskets of apples...but the one I did fill ended up amounting to over 10 pounds of apples. For a single person with no roommate (the dog doesn't get people food). Luckily they do keep well. Plus they really are the best apples I have ever eaten!

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