If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summertime Peaches!

Is there much of anything that is sweeter than fresh-picked peaches? 

We went to the peach orchard with Mom and Daddy today.  Mike had never been and really had an eye-opening experience - and not just from riding with my Daddy!  (I don't know who gripped the seat and door armrest more, Mike or Mom!)

Pratt's Orchard is where we went to pick our peaches.  Mom's uncle, Jack Pratt owns it and it is right off of I-40 near Lebanon, TN. and I would recommend it to anybody - not just because he is a relative, either.  The fruit is plentiful right now and it is ultra-tasty. 

As soon as we got to the orchard, Mike had to slip around the corner of the 'Peach House' and check out a couple of the loaded trees. 

We waited patiently for the crowd of folks who were ready to check out to thin down and then while Mom and Daddy caught up with her uncle before I introduced Mike to him.  We took a little tour around the Peach House sniffing and checking out the framed news articles and such.  I picked out a handfull of bell peppers offered for sale and scarfed up a jar of the strawberry preserves to add to what we anticipated picking. 

Then, Mike and I climbed into the Gator with Daddy behind the wheel.   (We probably should have known better after the mad dash up the interstate with Mom stomping the floorboard hoping for a brake on the passenger side of the front seat, but I guess it is in for a penny, in for a pound...) 

Right off the bat, Mike climbed onto the passenger seat and I was relegated to the back with the baskets and bags.  So, I let the tailgate down and tried to perch on the back edge.  Immediately, the bed tilted and started to dump me!  So, we had to do a little adjusting and then, shortly we were on our way full tilt, you might say.  I should have noticed this sign which was posted there between the seats of the Gator.  (I wonder if there is one on Daddy's car?)

Daddy started right down the middle of the orchard that is right behind the Peach House, pausing and driving nearer to a tree or two to let Mike snag a ripe fruit off the tree as we were cruising along. 

I was sitting right behind Mike and kept getting whacked in the head by the empty limb until I shifted to sit behind Daddy.  After a couple of these snags, Mike wanted me to hand him a bag to hold his treasures.  I don't know what he was thinking.  I couldn't handle that request because I was too busy taking pictures, dodging limbs, eating the peach half Daddy handed me, and holding on for dear life! 

We cruised through the orchard like this for a little bit.  Then, we couldn't resist a second longer and had to stop and get off to pick us a few for our bags. 

Mike claimed that this was his sort of picking as he stood under one tree and filled his bag to the brim! 

Once we each had a bag full and Daddy and I had spilt a juicy sweet peach, we licked the juice before it could drip off our elbows and climbed back aboard to go to another section of the orchard where Daddy had hopes of finding some ripe white peaches. 

We tromped around there zig-zagging from tree to tree and filled another bag or so and decided that the pickings for really ripe ones were better where we had just left down with the yellow peaches. 

So, back we went to our original honey-hole. 

Eventually, Mike said he thought we had enough and encouraged Daddy and I to get back to the Gator and start back for the peach house. 

We took a little tour through the tomato patch and down to the apple orchard. 

The apple trees are just as lush and full of huge fruits as the peach trees.  We couldn't resist and had to stop and pick a handfull even though they are still really green. 

Mike liked that he could just reach up and pluck one and slice and eat it immediately.  He just kept ooohing and ahhhing over how good that apple was and didn't even offer me a bite, either!  When he had swallowed his last bite, he informed me that we might have to make a return trip for more fruit next week. 

As we pulled up to the Peach House, we saw that there were only a few people there.  So, we began to unload our haul to be weighed.  Daddy and Mom had to do a bit more visiting and chatting before we could begin our whirlwind ride back home.  So, Mike and I cooled off under a shade tree and sipped a bottle of water.  I didn't realize it till we got back on the interstate, but Mike had never tasted a single peach the entire time we were there.  What discipline!  (I think he did smell every one he picked, though.)  It wasn't till a couple of hours after we got home and I had peeled and sliced a handfull for us to eat with dinner that he plopped one into his mouth.  With that one bite he became hard to manage - I think he at at least two of them before I could swat him away with my knife! 

We shared a hand-full with Mike's parents and his Uncle Frank and Aunt Peg. 

However, I still have three bags to make preserves, or peach butter, or a pie, or maybe even the delicious trifle Susan and Between Naps on the Porch gave the recipe for earlier this week.  Of course, that is assuming that we don't just slice and eat the rest right away! 

Thanks, Uncle Peety for a delicious treat and you probably can look for us to be back next weekend!  I'm probably going to need to get double this much so I can have some to freeze for later...