Thursday, July 26, 2012

Just Peachy

I will preface this blog with the fact that I am a fanatic about good peaches. Ever since I was a little girl and Mac McKee, an old Marine buddy of Daddy’s, would show up every summer with a large basket of absolutely perfect and delectable Chilton County (Alabama, of course.) peaches, I’ve lived for that moment, usually in July, when the peaches are freestone and perfect.

When we moved to Tennessee, it took me a while to find farmer’s markets, and I really didn’t have much time for the quest for peaches, but one fine day in mid –summer, about 1973, I glanced at a nearby truck rolling down Summer Avenue and realized that it had Alabama tags and the familiar wooden wicker baskets that I associated with perfect peaches filled the truck bed. I chased that truck down and talked him into selling me a basket…it was $12…highway robbery indeed.

On our visits to Montgomery, when we drove, which wasn’t too often, we always stopped at Peach Park for homemade peach pies and peach ice cream and a basket of peaches. Once when I was under the weather, Walker drove by there on his way home from a Montgomery cousin’s dove shoot and brought me some peach ice cream in a cooler alongside his doves. This was one of the most thoughtful gifts he’s brought me through the years and one I clearly remember.

Fast forward to last week. We were having company for the weekend, and I planned to make a peach dessert to go with our summery menu. Peaches at our local farmer’s market, while not quite up to my Alabama standards, were really nice… just mostly a bit under ripe. I sifted through the piles and finally found six or so ripe enough to use in the next couple of days. I put those in one bag, and picked out eight or so more to leave out to ripen over the weekend. When I got home, I discovered that the ripened bag was not with my purchases. I was annoyed that I couldn’t find the receipt to prove I had bought the peaches,so I got up early Friday morning and drove out to the Agricenter again, purchasing a half dozen or so perfectly ripened peaches.

We then left for the lake with our visitors, leaving the previously mentioned too green peaches on the counter, expecting them to be just perfect by Monday when I returned. I planned to slice and freeze some and eat the others sliced with a tiny scoop of ice cream after dinner as had been our custom during peach season.

Well, this batch of peaches disappeared also.

Was I losing my mind? The first batch that disappeared could have been left in a grocery cart other than my own, so that didn’t bug me too much, but twice in one week to lose a whole bunch of peaches?

Since Walker III had been home all weekend, I entertained the idea that maybe he had put them somewhere. Not too many places to hide a bag of peaches at our house, though, and it was impossible to imagine him eating one, much less eight of them. When he came down for dinner last night his dad asked him if he knew what happened to the peaches.

“Oh yeah…John forgot his so he had to borrow them.”

Mystery solved; my errant son in law, John, and my sweet daughter, Katie, had come over to swim and cook dinner for themselves and Walker. John is a really good cook, especially when he steals one of my five ingredients or less recipes like the one for Peach Cobbler and my peaches. (This one is really more of a peach dump, but delicious...recipe in a previous post )

I called John and he confessed that he had not borrowed my peaches, but stolen them as a favor to me so they wouldn’t rot before we got home.

Thanks, John. I’m going to the Agricenter this morning, and if they still have nice peaches, you’re forgiven.


No comments: