Here we are!

Here we are!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Peaches, Camping and Tomatoes

Every summer, I await the ripening of O'Henry peaches. They are such a bright, pretty color, and during the grey days of January, I pull out a quart jar of canned peaches and remember the warmth and sunshine of August. (By January, the sweaty memories of Fresno in summer have faded a bit.) So each summer I wait, knowing that sooner or later, the sunshiny goodness will arrive. It is a countdown that is more based on weather than calendar.

Will it be the last week of July or the first week of August?

Will it be a good crop?

"Dad, can you save me three boxes?"

This year, we have exploding pits. (That sort of sounds like a Harry Potter item, like "Blast Ended Skrewts" or "Decoy Detonators.") Not that the peaches explode or anything, but the pits have popped open inside the peaches. Mostly we get "split pits" in the culls, but this year a lot of the peaches were starting to get rotten in the middle. So it took a bit longer to do the "peach thing" this year. But my pantry and freezer are cheerfully swaddling my sunshine babies for a gloomy day. Bring on the rain.

Er... Never mind.

The boys went camping with Tim. They packed up their sleeping bags, tent, food, entertainment, firewood, clothing, first aid kit, tarp, chairs, water jug, blankets, bug repellent, lantern, flashlights, and pillows and headed off to the Sunset Campground. Tim actually went "Motorcycle" camping there last week and said it was quieter than Azalea (but now don't you go camping at Sunset because that would ruin it). Motorcycle camping is where you put everything you need to camp in all the little bags on your motorcycle. That is actually going a bit too far for me. So this week, Tim took the truck and the boys and the big 18-person tent. That's how I like to camp. Not to mention flush toilets. And a camp stove. I am awaiting their return with stories of adventure and dirty laundry.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, by which I mean our house, I finally have "grandma tomatoes" this year. My grandma and grandpa grow the absolute best eat-them-or-lose-your-eternal-salvation tomatoes on the planet. I have tried to grow good tomatoes each year, and have failed miserably. One year, I got quite a few tomatoes, but they had bad taste and texture. So this year, I asked the grandparents to buy me a 6-pack (of tomatoes, shame on you!) when they bought theirs. I planted at the same time, watered the same way, and fertilized on schedule. Now I too have big, red, juicy tomatoes that beg to be eaten sliced, with fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, EVOO, and a splash of balsamic. Mmmm.