Good produce did not grace my childhood. We had bananas and red delicious apples and two kinds of vegetables: canned or frozen. Mama’s choices were limited. She didn’t keep a garden and she didn’t have a car to search out better grocery stores or summer produce stands.
There were watermelons, of course, and those were wonderful. And for a few days in the summer ripe pears fell from a tree in a neighbors’ yard. We kids brushed the wasps off and ate around the rotten spots with juice dripping off our chins.
After I married, my in-laws supplied us with bushels (literally) of fresh vegetables. I took up gardening, too, though not on the same scale as my in-laws. Green beans snap louder when you pick them from your own vines. And we live close to a farmers’ market piled high with all the produce I don’t grow. And, oh, the fruit! The glorious fruit.
In our kitchen, right now, there is watermelon, three kinds of peaches, nectarines, small yellow plums, apricots, blackberries, red raspberries, blueberries and sweet, plump cherries.
Spring through fall is a parade of fruits at Lakeside Farmers’ Market, from the first strawberries through the last kinds of apple. The peaches taste better every year. To smell of a ripe white peach is reminiscent of a rose. It is no work at all to eat three of the little donut peaches in a sitting.
Today, in our own back yard, birds are plucking elderberries off the bushes, the figs are fattening, and the persimmon tree sports squat green globes. Egg-shaped fruits ripen on the passion flower vine, but our June apples are long gone, baked in a pie.
Are you feeling depressed and discouraged from an overdose of The News? Are your brain cells discombobulated from Too Much Screen Time?
Cleanse your mental palate with a peach! Savor a miracle of creation. The right peach can rekindle your appreciation for the world.