Two weeks ago I went to our farmer’s market, looking for that last taste of sunshine. Imagine my relief when I drove up and spotted the orchard truck. Yes, they are here, it’s not too late for peaches, I thought as I parked. Then the doubts crept into my mind, maybe the peaches are gone and they are bringing apples. Oh no, please don’t say that!
I made a beeline for the truck as soon as I got out of my car. My eyes scanned the crowd. Usually this truck has a line of customers that snake down the row past several jealous vendors. Today I saw only a few people waiting in line for service. This is not giving me a good feeling, but I continue. I will not abandon my quest for those fresh-off- the-tree orbs of sweetness.
What is that on the table? Could it be . . . Yes, they are still here! “This is the last day for peaches,” the sales lady says to me. Those are the saddest words. Ten loonnngggg months of no fresh peaches! Already I am thinking about July and savoring that sweet juicy bite. But, it is now and I buy two bags of peaches.
I return home with my treasures and carefully inspect them. Some are ripe and need to go to the refrigerator to preserve them. Some are not quite ripe and need to sit on the counter to ripen. Each day it is my task to determine which peach is eaten, which peach goes into refrigeration, or which peach remains to ripen a bit more. It is a labor of love.
Can you tell I L-O-V-E these peaches? Store peaches are just not the same. I know, I am a peach snob. If I can’t get them from the orchard I will do without. (I’m the same way about tomatoes.) The final peach has been consumed. Memories of the sweetness are etched into my mind, until next year.