at wit’s end there is a peach ::::
“Peach and Grub, come on, sit down!” *
I am getting frustrated at their dance around the dinner table. The kids rarely like to sit in one place for dinner, hovering like hummingbirds over the table long enough to grab a bite, then moving from bottom to knees on the seats, then standing up to show me the wayward pea that rolled across the floor. There is noisy eating and laughter when they are getting along, with some of their bottom wiggling. Often this is punctuated with screeches of “Mommy, Grub put his meat on my plaaaate!” then “<Shriek> No, no, no! ” [Grub’s response to Peach throwing the meat back at him.] Eat and I don’t exactly set great examples, as our kitchen table is too small to present a spread of food and drink, and that one of us is often hopping up to grab some more milk from the fridge, or another helping of noodles from the stove, or another serving of the pork roast on the counter. Our kitchen table just can’t accommodate all four of us. The day we have a family dinner, with all of us sitting down, will be the day I communicate the importance of family meals to my kids.
In my frustration during that recent dinner, after the dinner had been fairly well-appreciated despite some of the kids’ flitting about, I offered some freshly made peach sauce made from the peaches on the tree out in front of our home. It is a communal tree, in front of Number 8’s family’s home. B and Peach are great friends, and Grub is a favorite with the parents, Mar and Mik. They also have welcomed a new sister for B in the last few months.
The past two summers, the peach tree was the bane of their small front stoop. The tree would drop its overripe peaches into the brush below, rot, and stink up the area. This summer, however, was different. With a new baby in the house and a busy work schedule, tall Mik didn’t prophylactically pick the peaches to keep them from falling, half-rotten, in front of their living room window. I picked them, somewhat hesitantly, some ripening in the bowl, with hopes that I could try to cook with them. When ripe, they were delicious.
And my crusade for peach sauce began. When I offered the sauce to the kids, they stopped.
She sat down.
And asked for another bowl. And another. And so did he. Sitting down.
This was after dessert.
What is this magic fruit, this peach, that has calmed the incessant bottom wiggling of my children? A gift from God? An underappreciated gift finally made known. I only wish I had a ladder to pick the highest fruit to make more. Sit down, Mommy! I can already hear it.
* Why is Peach nicknamed ‘peach’? As a baby, she was small and fuzzy and the name stuck. It seems appropriate that she would be such a peach lover.
- 4½ pounds (about 2 kg) of fresh peaches (frozen are okay too)*
- juice from one small lemon
- sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg
- Special equipment: food processor, food mill, or blender
- If you want to skin the peaches: Start a pot of water to boil. When boiling, place 2-3 peaches in water and scald for 1 minute. Remove and place in bowl of ice water. Repeat with remaining peaches. Cool to touch.
- The skin of from the peaches is easily removed with your fingers. After skinning, remove pits.
- Roughly chop peaches and place into large pot with lemon juice and spices. Bring to boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly then puree in food processor (or your choice of machine). Freeze in small portions (if using for baby food, an ice tray works well) to save for wintertime fruit fixes.**
- I ended up with 6½ cups of puree.***