Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Lighter Shade of Panic

Alright already.
At first, it's exciting. "Oh, they're finally here!!"

In fact, I get nervous when I see the other residents starting to pick bucketfuls.
"Hey! Who's fruit do they think it is?" I frown when I see their friends taking home bagfuls.

But then, the peaches are riper than ripe and dropping out of the trees. Heaps of big, juicy, wonderful peaches lying on the ground.

"Stop feeding me rotting fruit," Big Dog kept telling me last summer when I'd pick the fruit off the ground. I can't help it. I spent too much time in a country where we bought peaches for a buck or two a pop. At a gourmet fruit shop, the kind that sells 200 dollar melons in velvet lined boxes, a perfect white peach might set you back 10 dollars! Yes! A single peach. Oh, but what a peach!

So ours aren't the perfect giant peaches of Senbikiya, but they are juicy and sweet and as peachy a peach as a peach can be. And there is a tidal wave of them now.

"I wish they weren't so unabashed about picking our fruit," I told Big Dog only a week or two ago. New Family in Oak House is so excited about having moved here that they have had a non-stop stream of visitors who all seemed to leave with big bags of fruit. "Or if they'd just go with plums and apples..." I mumbled. Just don't mess with my peaches and nectarines!

But that was a week or two ago. Now I can hardly use them up fast enough.

Peach cobbler, peach crisp, peach cake, peach torte, peach ice cream, peach sauce, baked peaches, stuffed peaches, peach crepes...

"Are you sick of peach desserts?" I asked Big Dog last night. His grin gave it away, so last night's dessert became Dream Bars, but this morning, I was out there in the orchard, picking up another bucket of fruit. Again.

There's also more summer squash than we can handle. Although the gophers got several plants, Glass Guy and R's garden is loaded with summer squash and there are two more plants growing out of the compost. (The compost squash is green and ball-shaped but tastes like crookneck.) And even though in Japan zucchinis can cost 2 dollars for one the size of a carrot, the squash don't send me into a state of panic. I can let them grow into inedible monsters and just throw it back into the compost.

But the peaches.....they're a whole separate deal. Yes, Big Dog, I HAVE to use every single one. And, yes, there WILL be more peach stuff coming your way.

Peach relish, peach chutney, peach jam.
Peach pie, peach souffle, peach sorbet.
Peach daiquiris, peach fizzes, peach cider, peach beer...

All the way to nectarine season. Which is only a week away. Help.

Labels from a few of last year's jams and sauces.

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