Disappointment

peaches in a wooden bowl
peaches in a wooden bowl

“‘beauty is truth, truth beauty,’ – that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know”–from Ode on a Grecian Urn, by John Keats

When something is this beautiful, I expect it to be perfect. A group of peaches that are golden, luminous, soft, and faintly fragrant should taste amazing.  Right?

It’s the end of the summer, here in Texas. That’s a cause for celebration, because of the hopefully soon-to-end Hell of oppressive, soul-sucking heat every day.  It’s the end of August, and peaches are usually done by the end of July. Years of experience have shown me this, and it’s just something I expect.  Eating peaches too early means too-tart, too-hard varieties requiring you to fight the pit to get out the flesh.  Eating peaches too late means skinny little fruits with greenish peels and huge pits without much peach.

So, as I made my way down the aisle in Costco last Friday, August 28, I wasn’t expecting to see a box of twelve huge, plump, golden peaches…and when I picked one up and held it to my nose, it had that oh-so-gentle fruity sweet fragrance that meant it might be delicious inside.  Each peach was cradled in its own plastic molded packing slip, protecting it from bruising during shipping.  The outside of the cardboard box proclaimed ‘Fresh Peaches’ in a vintage font in subdued colors.  There was just enough headroom on the sturdy little crate to prevent any peaches from crushing each other during transport of stacked boxes.

At home, I deposited the box gently on my dining room table.  In the darkened dining room, the peaches would languish, though not forgotten!–for I checked them every day– for four more days to a point of perfect softness that yielded to slight touch.

This morning my eyes opened in bed and, like most mornings, my thoughts went to food. The Peaches!  The Peaches are ripe, and there is a container of 4% large curd cottage cheese in my refrigerator.  Peaches and cottage cheese!  One of my very favorite breakfasts.

I got out two of them, noting the faint but pleasing aroma, the perfect yielding softness.  I peeled them partly, and cut them into pieces in a big bowl, and plopped a large spoonful of cottage cheese on top, admiring the effect and thinking briefly of taking a picture.  Oh, but I couldn’t wait for that first bite of tangy, flavor-packed peachiness, balanced by the creamy smooth fresh salty cheese.

And the first spoonful was only slightly like the taste of a peach.

Another spoonful.  Yes, it is identifiable as a peach.  It’s like a very light shadow of a peach, not even in color, but just in black-and-white, or like an outline of a peach.  I taste the creamy smooth fresh salty cheese, but where is that balance of flavor-packed…

It can’t be!  These peaches are really beautiful!

I can’t believe I fell for it.  This peach looks like a peach, but it has betrayed me.  How many summers will it take for me to learn that August 28 is just too late for peaches!  I was crazy to spend almost ten dollars on that box of FAKE peaches with vintage labels.  What a lie!

If only peaches grew all the time, and we could enjoy them any time we wanted one.  It seems like in this day and age, we should be able to grow peaches somewhere, maybe in some kind of domed greenhouse, and they would be consistently delicious.  I wish that were true.

It’s so sad that peaches just have a certain time of goodness, and then it’s over.  Like in Ecclesiastes, where it says “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”…and it is that way with beautiful peaches, too.  Does that mean my time of beauty is also over?  I am getting old and entering my Sunset Years.

I reach out to my daughter-in-law.  She was there and bore witness to the beauty of the peaches.  “They are like a shadow of peaches” I tell her.  She texts back: “Aww.  Yeah, peaches can be hit or miss.  Move on to a different fruit.”  The voice of practical reason.

I try a few more bites, moving around the bowl, hoping to find a pocket of deliciousness, not being successful.  They are bland.  Sigh.

I move on to blackberries.

Char

P.S.

The Five Stages of Grief:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

P.P.S. I am not making fun of people experiencing the loss of loved ones.

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PIZZA

pizza 1

Quick homemade Pizza
1 (12-inch) pizza

1-3/4 to 2-1/4 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1 envelope Fleischmann’s® Pizza Yeast
OR Fleischmann’s® RapidRise Yeast
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup very warm water (120°F)
3 tablespoons oil
1/2 to 1 cup pizza sauce
Other toppings as desired
About 8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Combine 1 cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add water and oil; mix until well blended, about 1 minute. Gradually add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Dough should form a ball and will be slightly sticky. Knead in the mixer or on a floured surface, adding additional flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes. (If using RapidRise Yeast, let dough rest at this point for 10 minutes.)

Pat dough with floured or oiled hands to fill greased pizza pan or baking sheet. OR roll dough on a floured counter to 12-inch circle; place in greased pizza pan or baking sheet. Form a rim by pinching the edge of the dough.

Spread with pizza sauce. Top with desired toppings and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake on lowest oven rack for 12 to 15 minutes# until cheese is bubbly and crust is browned; OR: Grill on oiled rack over hot coals a few minutes with lid closed, then flip, top and grill again for a few minutes. Awesome flavor! (Note: small pizzas are easier to grill, and people can pick their own toppings).

*If baking two pizzas, switch racks after ten minutes. In my oven, it takes about 20 minutes to cook two pizzas at the same time.

BLOG! Fer Reals, this time.

2008 4 MeI am going to start a blog.  Why?

  1. Because I’m a 90’s  2015 kind of girl
  2. Because it helps me figure out what’s important, when I write stuff down
  3. To leave a Legacy of my life for my children and grandchildren (note: this comment is not meant to put pressure on anyone to produce grandchildren at this time).
  4. People are tired of seeing pictures of food on my Facebook timeline.
  5. I can find cool stuff that I wrote in 2008 or even before then
  6. I can be known.
  7. I got inspired by somebody that probably hardly ever even thinks of me, but I think of her.  And how do I know there isn’t someone out there who feels the same about me that I did about her?
  8. To make a difference in the world.

Is it OK to have just 8 reasons to start a blog?  Because I am obsessing now that maybe I should have ten.

Comment if you read this and if it made a Difference in Your Life.

Char

I am making this up and pretending to be an adult.