Wow! What a summer! I can’t remember a summer this wonderful since I was a kid running barefoot for these two spectacular months.
I know we need rain, but that’s out of our hands, so lets enjoy every moment of these wonderful, sunny days. I’d love to go swimming but I know the water off Sidney is absolutely frigid. You don’t see anyone swimming (besides I no longer have a bathing suit, and as for skinny dipping, those days are long over). I jumped in off a boat here — once, on a dare — and everyone was impressed when I bounced right back in, frozen solid.
I had a phone call from my son in Vancouver. He wanted the recipe for the peaches I had brought as a dessert when asked to join his wife and himself for dinner. (Recipe at the end of the column.)
Naturally I was thrilled to be asked, and hope his wife didn’t mind her husband asking his mother for a recipe.
It’s that time of year when I go into winter storage mode and make jelly, apple sauce to go in the freezer, chutney, search magazines and watch cooking shows for new recipes, peer with jealous eyes at laden apple trees in people’s yards and look with longing at fields of ripening squash.
There is one apple tree loaded with Spartan apples in a yard I pass. These apples need to be thinned out. They are, too often, three in a cluster where two or even one would promote larger fruit. I think I’ll stop in one day and ask if he/she would consider selling me some to make sauce. Last fall I remember large clear plastic bags full of apples in that yard just lying on the ground. I hope they were headed to the food bank.
I do this every year: beg people with extra fruit to donate it to the food bank, or to Silver Threads and to phone a high school to see if they could ask for volunteer students willing to pick fruit.
No one wants to waste fresh fruit, so how about it?
If you don’t want all your pears, apples, prunes, peaches, grapes or figs, would you consider phoning me (250-656-5918) and telling me what you can spare and I’ll put it in the column and see if there is anyone interested in helping us to not waste these marvelous gifts from God.
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• One large pot of boiling water,one large pot of cold water.
• Drop peaches, one at a time, into boiling water (so water continues to boil). After about one minute remove each peach and drop into the pot of cold water. Peel should sluff off with a little encouragement.
• Slice peaches into a bowl containing orange juice and brown sugar. (Amount of orange juice and brown sugar will depend on number of peach slices.) Make sure the slices all get their turn in this mixture, so they won’t turn brown.
• Pour half a cup of white wine over the fruit, again making sure each slice gets a turn in this tasty liquid.
• Put in the serving bowl and chill until time for dessert. You could add whipped cream, ice cream, or eat them as-is. Delicious!
Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.