Sunday, August 30, 2009
One of my favorite parts of summer is going fruit picking, though it has been more in theory than in practice lately, as I am usually off having adventures during the summer, and miss all the homey, low-key fun that you get from being home. Not today though! Today I got to go pick peaches and various berries with my mother, sisters, and aunt. The day got off to a slow start, with waffles and the Sunday Times (and buyer's remorse at yesterday's haircut that has left me looking like Little Lord Fauntleroy, or someone equally horrifying. I originally thought I looked like Lord Byron, but a quick Google Images revealed he had short hair, so that's out. Maybe Oscar Wilde?), but we eventually got our acts together and piled into the car for a nice drive out to the sticks. We've been going to the same farm for years, and while we strolled around the orchard I reminisced about a failed attempt to steal a kitten there when I was younger. (My mother somehow failed to notice the kitten-shaped bulge in my fleece, but I shot myself in the foot by crowing over my supposed victory as soon as I got in the car, rather than waiting until we had actually driven away.) The actual peach picking was fine, but rather short lived, as it started to rain almost immediately. Mum and Aunt Grace went to pay, and the sisters and I wandered over to the animal pens. I have a very large, very soft spot in my heart for cows, and there were two early adolescent calves in a pen. I spent the summer petting the Forest Service mules, but cows have much much softer noses than mules. They only submit to so much petting, but $.50 worth of animal feed does wonders for their patience. EGA was worried about being bitten, but I really liked the feel of their long, pale, rough tongues. They aren't very good about feeding from hand, their tongues are somewhat over-zealous, and they ended up with more food on the ground than in their mouths, but I like to think we all had fun trying. I would have liked to feed the pig as well, but I suspect he would have bitten the living hell out of my fingers, and unlike cows, pigs like meat, so it wouldn't have even been sorry.
After peaches we went and picked blueberries and blackberries at another farm. This was more of a whim; we had set out to pick peaches, but berries are so tempting, and I've been going through them like it's my job since I've been home. What I especially liked was that they had someone firing a gun to keep the birds away. I always like to pretend when I'm picking fruit, and the sound of gunshots made it that much more exciting. I was gathering the crops before the invading army came and stole everything, leaving us to starve this winter. Except you shouldn't be eating berries in that situation, and I view it as my duty to eat as many berries as possible when we go to a U-Pick place, since fruit is expensive and that way you get more of your money's worth.
It was a really nice outing, and now we have enough fruit to feed an army. (But not my imaginary invading army-they don't get any fruit, it's all hardtack and salt pork for them.) We're doing a peach barbecue sauce tonight with dinner to celebrate...something. A day that ends in "Y". My safe return from the Wild West. Summer. Fall. Life. The fact that since people need to eat to live, we might as well eat delicious peach barbecue.