Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Summer Fruits

I'm always walking into Sean's office, interrupting his work and dropping weird bombs (-- really should be capitalized).  I mean, it usually has a vague connection to something occurring somewhat at hand, but the main of it is weird and kinda out there, if you can imagine that.  For example, I brought him a smoothie this morning and announced it was different, that I had been super hot and sweaty post-workout and wanted something refreshing. So here was a smoothie with no greens (how that can be interpreted, I guess).  It had bananas, watermelon, strawberries, milk, yogurt, ice and a bunch of mint leaves.  It was pretty as a pink peach (no peaches--confusing) and not marred by any of the healthful stuff I usually dump in, a welcome change. For me, anyway. I can't speak for others.

I then made another announcement saying, "You know, I have pretty strong feelings about summer fruits. For each individual fruit."  He asked me to go on and I did and then I think he regretted it and I reminded him--yet again-- that he knew what I was when he said "go on."  But here is sort my breakdown of opinions: 

1. Watermelon.  

When the watermelon's red and sweet and the rind is thin, it's just a joy to have in the house. You can eat it immediately or cube it and store it in the fridge. It makes any smoothie better. It's refreshing and hydrating which is great for summer.  It's just a happy fruit. I love to see it sitting on my counter, waiting for its commencement.  We went camping with some friends (just typed "fries") a few weeks ago and someone brought a watermelon for the shared dinner. That thing was the saddest, palest melon I'd ever seen. Barely even pink, it just looked like it lost its essence, its will to even go on. Some people, somewhat repulsed I imagine, commented on its pathetic state. Others defended it saying it looked weird but was super delicious, which was incorrect. I think sometimes we forget what fruits are supposed to taste like and lower the standard way too far. Ok, delicious compared to the dirt under my feet maybe.  I kept my opinions to myself, and anyone who might have been close enough to overhear as I shared my opinions with myself.  Sean, of course, was in agreement. 

1a. Speaking of melons, I also love a good honeydew. Honeydew is definitely an unsung melon hero. It does not get the recognition it deserves, and I'll die on this melon patch-covered hill. But I can never find a good one, so I mostly spend my days just dreaming about them. Cantaloupe, as I shared with Sean, I can take or leave. He quietly responded, "agree to disagree..."  I said, "I mean, I'll eat it. I don't hate it.  I might like it. But I'll never be like, 'This CANTALOUPE!'"  fist in the air with fervor.  This is probably the moment he lost interest in my speech about summer fruits. 

2. Plums.  I've given ode to these before. Click to read basically an identical blog post to this.  I feel the exact same about them. Their flavor, their peak is so fleeting and elusive to description that I call them the unicorn of fruits.  The aurora borealis. "Everybody, come! Come out and see the aurora borealis! eat the plums! It only comes a very short time each year..." 

This year I discovered some truly amazing plums. The best thing about hybrid fruits are that they are portmanteaux in fruit. The second best is that it's fun to change things up and they taste good.  Obviously I had to buy every variation I could at the TJ's:

to my utter delight

I wasn't sure of the difference until I set up a specific taste test for myself and confirmed it:  The plumcots are more plummy, and the apriums are more apricotty. I would so love to be this kind of horticulturist. I would feel like an evil genius. "LOOK WHAT I HAVE DONE."  Just amazing. I applaud. These are all so good. Also included are the green plumcots:

Yes, one of everything please. {at the plum counter}

3. I feel like I need to give a sad shout-out (cry-out? Sniffle-aside?) to the apricots, without whom these happy hybrids would not exist.  And is the only way I can even enjoy them this year as the apricots suffered an unfortunate sprummer freeze and all died.  Ugh.  I'm still really upset about it, as you can see. I've been mourning their loss all summer as I eat my feelings with their kin.  It is really the saddest thing. "Whoops-- and that's it for the apricots. ALL the apricots in the area. Just like that."   :( 

4. Peaches, which would rank at the top of Sean's list were he to ever deign to make one, (JK Sean) seem have a longer peak and stronger abundance and therefore allow you to just have a serious peach fest, gorging at will on gorgeous Georgia peaches.  I used this as my defense of plums which, I really don't know why we're even pitting them (Ohhh!) against each other.  There's room for everyone.  But they definitely deserve a spot.  Peaches wait all summer to announce their arrival. And they're kind of smug about it because they know they're awesome. They know we're all waiting.  They're like, "saving the best for last, eh"  And we buy boxes of them knowing full well we could never eat that many, and somehow still manage to.  Peach pie, peaches on pancakes, peach crumble, peaches in smoothies, on yogurt...


It's a magical time. If I am missing any, I am truly sorry. These are just the ones that have my full and undivided attention right now.  Berries obviously are a summer necessity. I require them all year 'round. So let me know if I've left out anything important.  Let's hear it, though. For the summer fruits! Each and every one of you.  


Alanna said...

Pitting them against each other! {Laugh snort}

And I am literally watching Forrest Gump with my daughter right now. She left to take care of the neighbor's dogs, so I was checking my feedly while the movie is paused. (I've had to mute and fast forward a bit. I know I saw that movie when it came out, but yikes!)

So don't hate me, but I really struggle with fruit. I do enjoy a really good watermelon, and I force myself to eat the other stuff. The goal is to at least eat one apple a day. But I'll take vegetables roasted in butter over fruit any day. It's so unhealthy. (I did eat a really good plum the other day. And I grabbed a box of peaches from Costco last month. I try!)

Having said that, what's really fabulous is watermelon salad, with arugula and goat cheese, a little olive oil and salt and pepper. So delicious. If you haven't ever tried it, now you can add it to your list!

Jen said...

Ha! So you don’t love fruit. You were right to tell me, even though that is the WEIRDEST EVER! Though, veg + butter is delicious as well. I did mention today I have no summer vegetables to compare to. Like, I guess tomatoes? Cucumbers, corn, sure sure. It just doesn’t ignite me. And let’s talk about the yellow squash and zucchini that everyone seems to grow and NO ONE actually likes. Explain it to me.

Enjoy the movie! It has been a minute for me. I do remember some scenes that were seared into my impressionable teenaged brain. Good memories…

Alanna said...

I never had yellow squash and zucchini until some time when I was at BYU and a bishop had invited a bunch of us over for Sunday dinner and it was served-- sauteed in butter and SO DELICIOUS. I had no idea such wonders existed (I mostly remember my mom serving us canned vegetables and canned fruit, which seems really sad and gross now, although I certainly didn't think so at the time; isn't it weird how we get judgy of our parents' food choices?). So I DO love that stuff. And the one year I tried to garden they didn't grow for me, which pretty much confirmed for me how useless I am at gardening because those are basically weeds to everyone else!

And I love tomatoes on anything-- I'm the weirdo who will request extra tomatoes at a restaurant or ask that they be added to a dish just because. And steamed broccoli mixed with a little butter and soy sauce! Yum. Cucumbers are... fine. I like corn, but I always feel like it isn't really a vegetable and I'm cheating if I use it as a side.

I have very strong feelings about these things. As do you!

Alanna said...

(The part where he meets his son made me cry this time. It certainly didn't have such an impact when I saw it as a kid! I love Lt. Dan's story arc so very much. I could talk about that movie a LOT more but it's late and I shouldn't be on the computer at this hour!)

)en said...

I love these strong feelings. Keep 'em coming.