On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Published in the Rains County Leader on July 13, 2021:

This city girl had another new experience Saturday – I picked peaches for the first time. I have bought a half bushel at a farmers market and spent hours putting them into bags destined for the freezer, but I had never taken them off the tree.

Connie (across the street) had a bumper crop from her two trees this year. After putting ten bags in the freezer and having a tray full ripening on her counter, she invited me over to pick some. The first thing I learned about picking peaches is that the trees are designed for those of us who are height challenged. No step ladder required like the time I picked figs from Dirk and Pat’s trees.

Strange things sometimes happen while you’re harvesting. Some of the peaches were very close together, and while I was trying to pick a particularly reluctant one, the one next to it flung itself toward the ground. I don’t know if it was intentional, but the poor thing landed on the blade of a mole-chasing windmill and cut itself almost in half. Since the work was already half done, I sliced that one up when I got home, and we had it for dinner.

Although the peaches were a beautiful red color, they were still a bit hard. Connie said I could just leave them out on the counter to ripen. The ones she had in her ripening tray were covered with first a paper towel and then a hand towel. I didn’t know if that was a ripening method or a way to keep Max, the snack-stealing dog, out of them, so I checked Google when I got home. The preferred method is to place the fruit in a tightly closed brown paper bag where it will capture and hold the ethylene gas, a ripening agent given off by the peaches. They’re supposed to ripen in a day or two which is good. I’m leaving for a four-day women’s retreat on Wednesday, and I have a lot of peeling and slicing to do before I go.

While I was on the computer, I also looked up freezing methods. The three I found were all very similar, but one suggested blanching and peeling the fruit first. Since I prefer mine peeled, I’ll probably use that one. I also looked for a peach cobbler recipe. I have several good ones, but I have yet to find the one that makes David melt and turn into a puddle on the floor, so I keep looking. If you have one you and your family really love, feel free to email it to me.

I filled one and a half sacks and Connie filled one half full before we decided to leave the rest to ripen a bit more. We went inside to sit and cool off for a while – and chat, of course. I felt something tickling my face, and when I ran my hand across my cheek, a small tick fell into my lap. I managed to catch it in a napkin and send it to its eternal reward, but the rest of the day I kept feeling like things were crawling on me.

David and I have lived in Emory for over ten years now, but I continue to learn more and more about living the country life. I guess it takes a long time to overcome decades in the city. But one thing I don’t think I’ll ever overcome no matter how long I live here. I’m still a city girl when it comes to crawly things, and I still hate bugs.

Blessings,

Linda

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Fallen Angel Salvage

Tatia’s Tattoo

Mom’s Long Goodbye

A Long and Winding Road

Comments on: "Picking Peaches | by Linda Brendle" (2)

  1. Diane McDowell said:

    Hi, Linda! I enjoy your posts! I do not have a good cobbler recipe, but I want to share this one for fresh peach crisp. It is easier than a cobbler, I think, and so delicious! Maybe you will find it interesting enough to try.

    Fresh Peach Crisp 2 1/2 lbs fresh peaches (about 8) 1 cup sifted flour 1 cup sugar 1/4 tsp salt 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 cup soft butter or margarine Light cream, if desired for serving

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease an 8x8x2 inch baking dish. Wash peaches; peel and cut in halves. Remove pits. Slice peaches into the prepared baking dish. Sift flour with sugar, salt & cinnamon in medium bowl. Using pastry blender or two knives, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle evenly over peaches. Bake 45-50 minutes or until topping is golden and peaches are tender.

    Serve warm, with cream. Or ice cream! Or plain – it is delicious, even after cooling!

    Your MHS classmate, Diane LaFerney McDowell

    ________________________________

    • Hi Diane,
      The peach crisp looks delicious. I have save it to my recipe file. Thanks for sending it!
      Are you planning to come to the reunion in November (or whenever it is)?
      Hope you and yours are all well and safe.
      Blessings,
      Linda

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