Many Trails
Apricots, peaches and the glories of summer...
by Adrien F. Taylor
Jul 03, 2014 | 239 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I did a tour of the neighborhood. While they were the correct shade of reddish orange, the apricots were still, well, not quite as hard as rocks, but darned near. And they are small.

I’m not complaining, as we have more years without apricots than with, but I’m impatient. I am told there are ripe apricots here and there around town, and found that to be true when Lola McElhaney brought in a container of stewed apricots, along with croissants to eat them with. Heaven.

What with no late frost this year, it should be a banner one for fruit. In fact, my raspberries have already been quite forthcoming. Anyone who comes to the house is invited to just eat them out of hand. The nice thing about these bushes is that they have blossoms, ripening fruit and ripe fruit all at the same time. Just when you think you have found all the ripe ones, others reveal themselves. They bear right up until the first fall freeze.

The gooseberries, on the other hand, have a big load of fruit starting about now, and then a few more as summer progresses. But I have rather neglected the poor things this year. I don’t think there will be enough for even one pie.

Back to tree fruits. As a child, I thought an apricot or a peach was simply that. I had no notion that there were varieties of the things, although I knew it was true of apples. I never cared for the Delicious apple, leaning more toward the tart varieties.

Sam and his dad had a peach orchard, where Taylor subdivision is now, and I believe a few of the old trees are still there, but much past their expected lifetime. And so I learned about peaches. Starting now there will be Early Elbertas coming ripe. They are just a hint of what’s to come. The king of the peach, in my estimation, is the Hale. It is large and firm, and sports a bright red pit. One or two pits in a quart of peaches will turn the syrup a lovely pink. As for adding sugar to the put-up peach, one-half cup is all that’s needed per quart. However, the Hales are the last to get ripe, in mid- to late August.

Makes me hungry, and I know just where a few of last year’s quarts are. Buttered toast and peaches makes a lovely breakfast.

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