September 6th, 2007

new year

Playing with my food

While we wait for the cool weather that customarily arrives around this time of year, the peach tree finally produced a crop. This is the third peach tree we have had in twenty years, because the first two succumbed to hundred-year freezes (something wrong there). Last year the squirrels got most of them before they were ripe. Stupid squirrels, thinking, ptooie! this one's green too! This year Mr S was at war with the squirrels, and outgunned them although they were more sly. And so we have a bushel or more of peaches.

But we've had to wait out the weather for them too. It seemed they were late in ripening, and then with the very wet weather a lot of them started to rot on the tree, particularly at the stem end, with various kinds of scabby bits and black spots on the skins. But Mr S got the big ladder, checked them every day and then decided to plukk them. Half of them are still laid out flat in boxes on the deck to ripen a little further. Two boxes of them are in the fridge, and variously distributed. Nine quarts are in the freezer. We've had a peach pie and whole peaches and slices peaches and peaches in cereal and peaches with angelfood cake and whipped topping.

The freezer processing is my contribution, which I do a little each day. I am not getting much decluttered these days except the peaches. I cut out the bad bits, blanch them and peel them and slice them (with ascorbic acid sprinkle between layers) in a big pyrex measuring cup and dump them into quart-size freezer bags. They smell wonderful. The rosy orange colors are lovely. The blanched skins slide off like, I don't know what, like good sex. And then I smoosh the air out of the bag, zip, and flatten it to make a slab in the freezer. Just don't go thinking, what a lot of work.