Sunday, September 6, 2009

Tasting Summer

It’s that time of year—fruit and vegetables galore—more than we can eat. I want to roll in the fresh basil until I’m human pesto.

I’ve stopped exhaustively searching the cucumber bushes to find enough for a batch of pickles. Now I’m flinging swollen discolored specimens into the adjoining woods.


That row of beets, so promising and colorful last month, has morphed into a row of pulsating purple fruit-- their swollen dirty shoulders crowding themselves into a disheveled scene.

But nothing says summer more than the sight of a tower of peach crates in the grocery store.

At least for me.

These peaches are modest and prefer to remain hidden away in their cushy little home as they ripen and await their syrupy destiny. Not like those show-off over achievers on display in the produce case. No, canning peaches know their place in the pecking order of produce.

I saw them in the Spirit Lake Fareway and impulsively bought a couple cases. Mom really loves canned peaches and they were quite reasonably priced. It only took a couple hours in the evening to fill the canner with 7 jars and we did 7 more the next morning. We peeled and halved the rest and Mom canned another 14 pints.

They’re so pretty, I hated to put them away. Now to give myself permission to eat them. Because for me, home-canned peaches are an almost sacred food—administered to settle an upset stomach or calm a fevered soul.

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