July 7, 2020
I have liked freestone peaches since I was a little boy growing up in western Colorado. We left when I was almost five, but I have memories of climbing the branches of the peach trees and eating the peaches fresh picked. The western slope combines low humidity, warm days, and cool nights to grow great peaches. Although I never knew this or thought about it as a child, we did not have much money growing up. My parents had come from the farm and knew how to compensate by collecting and canning what was around us. That was everything from hunting deer, picking peaches, and collecting asparagus from the irrigation ditches along the roads.
Earlier I had bought a small box of peaches from the box store and set them on the counter to ripen so I could eat them. I never know what kind of peaches I am buying when I get peaches from the store. Melissa likes the cling peaches and I prefer the freestone type. Melissa thinks the cling are sweeter, but I struggle with how to eat the meat of the peach around the pit. The problem I have going to the store is I never know which of the types of peaches are available. Over the weekend a friend of ours picked up a bushel of Georgia peaches a man had trucked into Arkansas and she split these with Melissa. I checked online and learned the peaches coming ripe now are generally freestone peaches. I hoped this was right.
The other problem I have with peaches is finding ripe ones or figuring the best way to let them ripen. When I get ripe peaches, they do not seem to last long before they are too ripe and messy. This is especially true when you buy even a small box as I had. Now we had nearly 30 peaches that were hard as a rock. Our friend suggested we put them right side up and let them set on the counter until ripe. We did but since the counter is full of succulents, I moved the peaches out to the garage Saturday night. It was near 100 degrees Sunday with a heat index around 110 and it always seems hotter in the garage. When I checked the peaches that night, they were ripe and ready to eat. I would have never thought of doing this to ripen the fruit. Now, what to do with 26 ripe peaches.
THOUGHTS: I tried one of the peaches and it was amazing. Melissa volunteered to take care of the peaches. She said she, her mom, and mamaw used to buy peaches by the bushel. They would form an assembly line to peel, cut, and bag the peaches for freezing. I mentioned the peaches to my sister, and she commented how wonderful ripe peaches are. We talked about memories from our time in Colorado. It is funny how what is remembered can differ between people and even over time. There is also a tendency to suppress our bad memories, even while we enhance our good ones. We live in a time which will create a lot of memories, and we are at a juncture where real change can occur. Rather than just remembering, we need to learn from our experiences. If you can, work to keep the conversation going.