“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” – Albert Einstein

I had summer for lunch yesterday and it was juicy and wonderful – tomato bruschetta made with heirloom “black” tomatoes, fresh garlic and basil and a sprinkling of salty feta.  For dessert, an Arkansas peach, so juicy that it ran down my fingers and arm to my elbow and I had to finish it over the trash can in my office.  I can still smell the sunny peach smell from the pit.  It still lay in the bottom of the can, under the napkins, reminding me that it is still hot and bright outside while I sit in my cold air-conditioned office.

When I get home I will peel peaches and slice them and dust them with a bit of sugar and put them down into the dark cold of my freezer and save them against the dark winter.  I will have peach sauce for my Christmas ham and peach and blueberry crisp for Valentine’s Day.

The summer heat is particularly brutal this year.   Today, as I sit in my office, the temperature outside is 106°F.  Yesterday we broke the record set over 20 years ago for that date.   It is too hot to even make swimming a desirable activity, and we cower in the shade our house with the curtains drawn and the fans running.   Even the brief walk across the grocery store parking lot is an endurance test, the waves of heat from the black pavement almost tangible in their ferocity.

I remember summers in New York as a child as a lazy time spent entirely out-of-doors.  We eagerly waited until the temperature hit the magic 70°F – the temperature deemed sufficiently warm to be allowed in the swimming pool.  After years in the South, I am still wearing light jackets at 70°F, and the thought of swimming in that weather is nearly incomprehensible.  But when your average summer temperature hovers in the high seventies, and 85°F is a heat wave, your perspective is somewhat different than when you live in a region where anything below 90°F is positively balmy.   This may be why New York is apple and grape country.   Peaches, really good peaches, need a little more heat.

I think I am definitely more of an apple than a peach.  The heat wilts me, and when I lived in New Orleans I asked native Louisianans how they could stand it.  The response?

We turn down our air conditioner.

And pass the peaches.

August 3rd, 2010 at 4:51 pm
5 Responses to “The Tastes of Summer”
  1. 1
    Cormac Says:

    I grew up in Nebraska, where we would occasionally have hot spells that got up into the eighties, and on very rare occasions, the low nineties. However, we considered 30-40% humidity levels to be very high. In addition to the low humidity there was always a breeze blowing. In the last 25 years I’ve forsaken my heritage in many ways, but I do, still miss the summer breeze.

    Cormac

  2. 2
    Pink Pelican Says:

    I am SO with you. The only good thing about August is that it’s closer to October than July is.

  3. 3
    dad Says:

    They also raise great peaches along Lake Ontario’s south shore where you grew up.
    Those great camping trips around the country started when you were Harry’s age. I hope you do as I did and say work be damned, I’m Going to take the time and go. Like You, Harry will never forget. ( Do you remember Francis Holmes)
    I still remember her asking ” who lives upstairs” when we pulled in the drive of that tiny house on Penrose St. Do you remember splashing through the puddles in the rain at the Enchanted Forest amusement park.

  4. 4
    Laurie Says:

    I am definitely more of an apple than a peach, too!

  5. 5

    Hey Bri –
    Your Dad is right. I’m still sorting out my parent’s passing, but Dad spent 12 – 16 weeks in hospital rooms and rest homes. Not once did he mention that he hadn’t spent enough time at the office.

    Not building the cabin in the woods? Not buying the ski boat? Yeah – those he regretted.

    Time to take Harry camping. You’re close enough out there to take him to the BIggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota.

    Will