I’ve just finished reading Barbara Kingsolver’s book “Animal Vegetable Miracle” about her family’s year of eating as locally as they could. I confess I won’t be doing nearly the local eating that they did but I have begun to visit farmer’s markets in my area.
Last Sunday’s visit to the farmer’s market had early peaches that smelled so wonderful they brought me back to my youth. I hadn’t smelled that fragrance in forty years. I couldn’t buy the whole bushel the way we used to but I brought home a half dozen.
As I was cutting one open I remembered how my father used to hold the peach in one hand and work the knife around the crease until it fell open. The pit was almost always split with the seed inside showing. He could carve around the pit if necessary but most times they would just lift away from the flesh of the peach. I buried many a peach seed in the back yard but never produced a tree.
Then he would slice the peaches into a bowl of milk and Frosted Flakes. The sweet inside of the peach and the slightly bitter skin worked so well with the crunchy sweet flakes and milk. Real milk from the milkman, we didn’t know about 1% or skim back then. It was a delicious combination especially at the end when you would slurp the sweetened milk from the bottom of the bowl.
It became very clear to me what Barbara Kingsolver was talking about with regard to taste and the perfection of locally grown foods. I don’t buy Frosted Flakes any more, nor do I buy whole milk and my father is no longer with us. But for that one moment I could have been sitting at the Formica kitchen table on Hillside Avenue.
Where I can, I hope to take advantage of locally grown fruits, vegetables, cheeses and meats. It also became clear to me that our connections to those foods are the makings of future father’s daughter moments that I hope more people will make the most of.
You can visit http://www.animalvegetablemiracle.com/ to learn more from Barbara and her family.