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


Linda said...

"It's impossible to eat peaches and not smile." I like that!

Janice Thomson said...

Mmmm - I'm coming to your place for breakfast one morning in the winter for peach jam and toast! :)
There's something nostalgic about eating canned and frozen food from one's own garden these days - it always takes me back to childhood days wherein I was either peeling things, shucking them or eating half the peas before they hit the bowl...

Wanda said...

Oh Ruth, how I delighted at every word in this wonderful peachy post!

I can't believe how you and your husbands personalities mirror Don and me!!

I haven't canned for years, but oh, as Janice mentioned the memories of childhood and mother's canned peaches, and then highschool when I worked the summers in the Peach Cannery to make money to buy school clothes.

Thanks for a trip down memory lane.

Love and Hugs

Pauline said...

Wish you lived next door! (And at least he calls you Hon while he's sighing in exasperation lol.)

There are peaches in my freezer and tonight I parboiled and cut the kernels off 50 ears of corn. I'll make corn fritters, you bring the peach muffins and we'll have a feast!

Ruth D~ said...

So maybe my husband isn't the only ... um ... exasperating one? Pauline, he calls me "Hon," but he make it sound like HUN, as in Atilla the...

I wish we could all share the labor and the results as well. Pauline I have done the corn as well, but not as many ears.

Rozel (a.k.a. Michelle) said...

God bless our husbands even if we don't want to ;) I have always wanted to learn how to can. I shall put that on my bucket list!