Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Harvest


We have a dwarf peach tree in our front yard. I have to point it out all the time; for some odd reason most people miss it when they come to our front door. It started as not much more than a stick a friend gave us about five years ago. At the time, he commented he wasn't sure if it would even grow. I planted it anyway (as part of my "landscaping" effort for D's birthday). Today, it's at least seven feet tall and this summer was the second time it bore fruit.
 

The first year the squirrels claimed most of the treasure for their own. There wasn't much to begin with that first round. This summer I knew we would have another harvest. The tree, already slightly off balance, was more uneven. I watched as the it leaned over with the weight of many more promising peaches. I felt a kinship with the poor girl. D supported to keep it from toppling over. Friends had to duck around the leaves when on our walkway.


One day a few weeks ago, I tried to pluck a peach from the tree. The squirrels had already left remnants of fallen soldiers in the yard and I figured I needed to start beating them to the punch. I felt for a soft give under the velvety skin. I felt for a looseness - a letting go. One day, I had my own little bounty (FU squirrels).


The smell was unbelievable: a sweet freshness that encompassed all the summer days and cool nights (considering my schnoze, that's saying a lot). What was a girl to do? Perhaps pie, or jam, or cobbler?! Yes, peach cobbler it would be. And it would be the BEST peach cobbler...


...born from some second-rate recipe off the web...
and minus some much needed lemon juice for a bit of tartness...


 Needless to say there was plenty of butter, Crisco,
and sugar to go around.


So maybe not the best cobbler...
but a solid effort that bubbled out of the oven and is a fine companion for some butter pecan ice cream.


P.S. As our days are now truly numbered and I search for metaphors to represent the ensuing process, I mentioned to D that it would be ironic if the day the last peach fell was the day I went in to labor. I'm sure he didn't digest the thought but you can imagine my superstitious reaction yesterday when he told me he had picked the rest of the peaches off the tree. I couldn't bear to remind him. I just hope he missed one hiding in the leaves.

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