Monday, August 2, 2010
Eat a Peach......
En Route to NY, my uncle made a "pit-stop" (pun intended) at a New Jersey peach farm. He walked into our home with a huge brown bag overflowing with peaches. The bag was almost as big as we were! My brother and I were as excited about that bag of peaches as we were at the arrival of our favorite cousin!
For the next month or so we ate peaches--sliced in half, pit removed and sprinked with sugar, cut up into our morning Corn Flakes, mixed into our oatmeal, and baked into pies and cobblers. We froze peaches with milk and sugar which miraculously tranformed to delicious homemade ice cream! We ate them whole; letting the juice drip down our chins and onto our clothes. We didn't care. The kids from the neighborhood came over to help themselves. Our huge peach bag was like a well that never ran dry. Every bee in the neighborhood camped out in our backyard, hoping to gather some of the precious nectar. We buried dozens of pits in our father's garden, hoping our very own peach trees would grow. They never did.
I have had some good peaches since but none ever tasted as good as the ones my uncle brought that summer. Perhaps it was the memory of the fun times we had with my cousin that made them taste so much better. I do recall it was the last season of true carefree youth. It was the last summer until we were adults that we ever spent together. Our lives changed. My father became very involved in church and his days and nights were consumed with service to others. There was no time left for annual Thanksgiving and summer-time trips to spend with family in Virginia . It was a struggle for my aunt and uncle to bring my cousin to New York and neither family had enough money to put us on a plane so we could all spend time together. We grew apart and there is a certain sadness I feel when I recall the precious times we had and then neglected or took for granted as we got older. It was a mistake of misplaced priorities. I cannot help but wonder if my brother and I would have grown up to be different people if that close bond of family had not been broken.
Every time I bite into a peach, I am transported back to those times in my childhood where I have the happiest memories. The good part of all this is that as long as we draw breathe, we can redeem lost time. We just need to decide what is important and make it our priority to spend time with the ones we love regardless of our jobs, our commitments and the possible inconvience of an eight hour drive to spend holidays or long summer days and nights with family.
This month we are celebrating the peach. We will discover how and why eating peaches are good for us and try different recipes featuring this delectable fruit. Nothing says summertime like a ripe, juicy peach. Go to the store or your local farmstand and buy a few pounds. They are in season now. Pick some ripe organic peaches if you can. They taste so much better than the conventional kinds that are sprayed with pesticides and plucked from the trees before their time. Take a bite and savor it for a moment. How does it feel? How does it taste? Does the taste, the feel, the essence of it inspire any good memories?
Never let life get so hectic that you neglect the beautiful gift of family and friends. Bake a fresh peach pie and invite guests over to share it with you. Good food is meant to be shared! I will be posting some good, healthy, guilt-free recipes with peaches and other delicious summer foods all month long so you celebrate the last weeks of summer with the ones you love.
And this is my Daily Cyn............