t appears I am just fruit-stupid.
When we first moved here, a tree in our backyard dumped pounds and pounds of beautiful, big apricots onto the ground every summer.
At first I tried to pick them, but then they just spoiled in the bag. Even if we ate all we could, there were dozens left. I tried to pawn them off on friends, but never had many takers. I was awash in apricots.
Why didn’t I stand for hours in the hot kitchen, peeling, pitting and stirring and pouring and making them into jam?
Because it would have meant standing for hours in a hot kitchen, peeling and pitting and stirring and pouring. I’d have made a lousy pioneer wife.
What never occurred to me was the most obvious. Every morning now, with my oatmeal, I eat apricot sauce.
Yes, it is just mashed up apricots in a jar, sort of like what used to be all over my lawn.
They’re not so mashed up as to be baby food, but not sweetened like jam. It is delicious and I am paying $3 a jar for it.
Had I realized how tasty this basic concoction was, I might have even been willing to stand in that hot kitchen long enough to peel some of those apricots and dump then into a pot.
I believe squishing them up with my bare hands might have even been quite therapeutic.
The tree scarcely bears anymore, as if to taunt me for my shortsightedness. And to add to my embarrassment, across the yard stands a pomegranate tree. For several years now, we have had bowls full of them, but all I ever saw was a fetching, fall centerpiece. I have no vision.
As anyone who has been to a supermarket lately knows, pomegranates became the darling of the health food world and I find it really annoying.
It means my husband was right.
Long before some clever fellows had their stroke of marketing genius, my husband made our kitchen look like the scene of an axe murder every November.
Flinging bright red juice from wall to wall, he squeezes the messy pomegranates of their now tres fashionable juice.
Why didn’t I think about mixing it with vodka? That certainly would have made the whole clean-up process less painful.
Why didn’t I think about mixing it with face cream and tea? And who are these people who can think of martinis and bubble bath in the same breath? It seems that hundreds of pomegranate products are now on the market, from skin cream to gumdrops, and the number of Americans buying fresh pomegranates has reportedly quadrupled since 2002.
I have my pride, but if the trend continues, you just might see me sitting in my little roadside pomegranate booth, trading in red gold.
I now worry that some health-conscious burglar may sneak in one dark night and strip our little trend-setting tree. I wonder what the stats are on fruit-napping?
I need to cash in on this trend just to supplement our retirement, because if even half the claims about the fairly tasteless red juice are true, my fruit-ingesting spouse may well live forever.
I’m in the mood for something retro. I believe I’ll have an apple.
Jean Gillette is a freelance writer who likes her fruit simple. Contact her at [email protected].