Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rhapsody in Peach

I am about to wax rhapsodic. And make no apology for it either. Ontario peaches deserve that much.

Our first encounter with them came when we lived in Quebec back in '95 and '96 and toured the region extensively.

We drove down through the Niagara Falls area just as the orchards were being harvested. Pulled over one afternoon with a van full of stinky hot cranky travel weary kids to a roadside market stand and got out to watch, as between the rows an old tractor pulling a homemade wooden trailer came ppbbtt-putting over to where we were.
Mounded high with fat yellowy-orange peaches, it looked like a children's storybook illustration, it was just that perfect.
It wasn't until we reached for one and took a bite letting the juices run leisurely past our wrists and drip off our elbows, that we realized we only now understood the meaning of perfect.
And that's as many words as I know to describe how sweet and good they were.
I've not had one quite as perfect since.
However, the ones we get in Kenora every August, shipped and sold in their ubiquitious cardboard baskets with purple cupcake liners are a very close second. They come from the Niagara region after all. They've just been on the road in a refrigerated truck for a while is their only drawback.

But leave them on the window sill to absorb some summer sun and they will be as sweet and drippy and delicious and memory-beckoning as you'd want.

This year I decided to bring that taste home with me to enjoy in the dreary frozen soul-deadening months of winter. Ok, winter's not actually that bad here in AZ but just go with me on this.

So I made freezer jam.

Lots. of freezer jam.

I left most of it in the freezer at the cottage just in case customs officials decided to abscond with my entire batch. But I brought home a few jars.

And believe me I was all ready to LIE through my teeth if that's what it would take to keep them.

Happily, it wasn't necessary.

I guess peach freezer jam isn't a threat to the nation's health and welfare.

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