Thursday, October 14, 2010

Peach Panic

In late July/early August I got buried under 70 pounds of peaches. You read that right. I got nailed with 3-5 pounds of peaches daily. I have made frozen peaches, peach stuff, peach jam, peaches over ice cream, canned peaches, peach hooch (vodka and brandy), peach crisps and peach smoothies. Next year I'm trying peach leather and Jamaican jerked peaches.

I became a peach pusher.

I took peaches to classes. I left unmarked bags of ugly peaches on porches. I became embarrassed explaining to everyone why my peaches are so ugly--Coryneum blight, people. Also called shot hole disease, California blight, peach blight or pustular spot, all caused by the fungus Coryneum carpophilum. 'Elberta' peaches are really bad to get it, and the humidity of the Eastern seaboard never lets up.

Other than the zinnias, the rest of the garden died in this year's heat. Broke my heart. I bled peach puree everywhere.

I stopped pushing peaches and just scrambled to use the damn things. My garage is now an advertisement for Ball canning supplies. I went to the Amish country of Ohio and scanned the Internet, looking for peach tips. MP couldn't find anything in the freezer because it was packed with peaches. I ate peach smoothies for two weeks.

MP dislikes peaches. I began to resent his tastes.

I learned that click bugs really click and that it takes ants 2 days to bury a whole peach.

The canned peaches were terrible--too soft. MP suggested granitas. With a generous shot of dark rum it was awesome. Peach daiquiris were not far behind. The peach hooch was a disaster; it tasted like cough syrup and I could not tell which was the vodka and which was the brandy.

Any post I made from July through August would have read like Dr. Miles Bennell screaming, "Look, you fools, you're in danger! Can't you see?! They're after you! They're after all of us! Our wives, our children, everyone! THEY'RE HERE, ALREADY! YOU'RE NEXT!"

After that, there was really nothing to post about, because when you're surrounded by peaches and it's 95 degrees and you've already spent 4 hours next to the stove, experimenting baking with hamburger buns just sounds like a bad idea.

But I'm excited now. Because it's cooler, because the peaches are all gone. Because I'd like to tell you about my recipes for bread and thin mints and hamburger buns.

Still there are peach mysteries out there. One last peach hung and hung on the tree for days, hard as a Styrofoam ball... and then it was gone. Did one of my young neighbors pilfer it? Doing some work in the flowers up next to the house, I found a pile of 20 peach pits. What stacked them there?

For the moment, the peach tree is still. I eat my toast with peach jam and plan for the holidays.

Hey Aunt Marsha, guess what you're getting for Christmas!