Friday, July 15, 2011

The Bounty of Summer

It's the middle of July, and time to start hanging out at Solebury Orchards, where the apricots and peaches are ripe and you can pick your own blueberries right off the bush.

I must confess that I have not picked any blueberries yet. I buy them already picked, freeze half of them on a cookie sheet, and pour the little hard marbles into plastic freezer bags for future reference. I have no time to pick berries, because I'm writing a thriller, and when I'm not doing that I'm trying to publicize Irene Fleming's next offering, The Brink of Fame, which will be released August 16, a date that is barreling down on us at breakneck speed. To jump in the car, zip off to Solebury Orchards, stock up on delicious ripe local fruit and then rush home to enjoy it makes a nice break from my writerly toil.

The berries are lovely. The whole Solebury Orchard experience is lovely, driving down the old back road, strolling around the grounds smelling the fresh air, walking through ranks of flowers into the shop, admiring the wares, chatting with the friendly sales folk.

The peaches are wonderful too. Here's a thing I've found:
  1. You can peel, seed and blend good ripe peaches,
  2. throw in some sugar (a couple of teaspoons for each peach)
  3. and two or three drops of vanilla extract, blend some more,
  4. add Land o'Lakes low fat half and half (which isn't really all that low fat but is at least not heavy cream) until the color pleases you,
  5. blend some more, and
  6. pour into an ice cream freezer.
Half an hour later you will have something divine. With less half and half, it will be more like sherbet; with more, it will be more like ice cream.

Enjoy. But be sure to get local fruit, if it's available where you are.

Kate Gallison

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