Wednesday, September 2, 2009
It's all peachy~
Full steam ahead. It’s harvest time. And time to can and freeze as much as possible, a hot process in steamy late summer.
My husband doesn’t remember that I canned peaches last year, he says, although I have the pictures to prove it--and memories of pleasant winter breakfasts of peaches on oatmeal when he--oblivious, I guess--had toast.
This year, we make it a team effort. Although, to be honest, right now, I'm not playing. I’m on my laptop, and he’s peeling peaches at the sink. We have a small kitchen, poorly designed. If I get in his way in the crowded space he sighs in annoyance so… fine… peel away. Have fun. We’ve bumped elbows enough, and he is too precise for me, and I’m too loose for him.
“Why don’t you do such and such?” he asks me.
“Because this way works fine,” I reply.
He times things. I don't. He measures. I don't. He doesn't cut corners. I do. this is an exaggeration, but you get the point.
He sighs. Exasperated. “I don’t know why you insist upon doing things your own way,” Don’t you think the experts know what they are doing?”
“Experts? Experts!” I cry. Who’s the expert? You’re just reading directions on someone’s blog!”
The freshly cut fruit needs to have lemon juice on it to prevent the oxidization that turns it brown. I have lemons. How much juice, he asks, am I adding? Enough, I tell him, as I squeeze lemon juice on the slices. My fruit never rusts. But he bought a 32 oz. bottle of lemon juice and he adds a precise 1/4 cup to his fruit. This bottle will see us through many seasons…. maybe well past 2015.
“Hon,” he says, “it was only $2. 29. How much did your lemons cost?”
“More than that,” I admit, “but at least they’re real. If I squeeze them in tea they don’t taste like ….”
And so it goes. But come December, come the blizzards and Nor’ Easters, we’ll sit down to oatmeal with peaches and cream, peach muffins, peach cobbler, and peach jam on toast--not to mention what we did with the apples and pears-- and when the temperatures plummet and the wood stove keeps the house cozy, we'll be tasting summer.
We’ll forget all about lemon juice and what the "experts" said. We’ll forget who measured, and who didn't. It won’t matter a whit come winter. We are both experts who work differently. And it's impossible to eat peaches and not smile.
Proof of last year's canning.
And more peaches.
Life is better than death, I believe, if only because it is less boring and because it has fresh peaches in it. ~Thomas Walker