The Lonesome Peach Tree
With their parched, woolen outer-skin it was no wonder Salvatore disliked handling them. I too have an aversion for the nails-on-chalkboard-inducing texture of freshly-plucked peaches, whereas my son does not – I suppose this particular idiosyncrasy skips a generation.
Fingertips are one thing, the tongue’s papillae are yet another (gags uncontrollably). Peel it for me, then we’ll talk.
In the days of my youth my relentless inquiries lead to an earlier-than-most-my-age education on reproduction. A sole peach tree had better chances of baring fruit if partnered with a tree with which it could cross-pollinate, my papa would lecture. We had two, so that usually did the trick – I was also given a book whose pages were full of hand-drawn privates and so that took care of that.
After many seasons of avoidance, he finally took good care to ensure this sensory dilemma would never have to be faced again. He uprooted the mate that had cropped up on the other side of the garden. This permanent pruning was good news for Papa and I, but was countered by Frances’ chagrin (spawned by her proclivity for all things dolce).
For years, the arbor would slouch in the far right corner of the garden, gloriously chloroplasting, blossoming, then withering away only to remain cyclically dormant through winter – anxiously awaiting, but perpetually barren.
Tuesday my mother announced that the peach tree had successfully yielded three firm, yet succulent orbs of white flesh.
A recipe to commemorate her enduring sweetness to follow.