This morning, while I was vigorously knitting the waist decreases, my father-in-law emerged from the garden and sat with me under the tree to cut up a giant bowl of peaches.
Coffee, knitting, a cool breeze in the shade... and the smell of peaches -- what better way to spend a Sunday morning?
I couldn't resist eating a small bowl myself. While Pa peeled and chopped his way through what seemed to be about 55 peaches, I remembered a summer years ago in Ukraine, when I sat under a similar tree with Babka Dina.
Dina wasn't related to me, but she was known as Grandma to anyone who came near her.
She was large, and rather slow when moving about. She used a cane, but insisted that she didn't need help whenever someone would offer an arm to her.
One of my first days in her town in Eastern Ukraine, we sat at a table (where we spent most of the time actually). An unusual number of bees swarmed us. Babka Dina was unfazed. She spent the latter part of the lunch we shared trying to capture bees in a cup, or smashing them with her spoon. Occasionally she dumped scalding hot tea onto them when they landed on the table. (I'm going to guess she never saw the Bee Movie...)
Watching Pa peel peaches reminded me of Babka Dina -- not because she was old, and hobbled about, or because she happened to be a bee killer -- but because one of the only photos I have of her, she is sitting cross-armed, very stoic, next to a bushel of peaches, not unlike the giant bowl Pa had beside him.
The photo is a shoebox, in a closet, on the other side of the world at the moment, but I can still see her face.
It's been years since I saw Babka Dina -- I don't know whatever happened to her. I like to think that she's still smashing bees with the same spoon she uses for the honey. And I hope her peach tree is still thriving.
After we consumed enough peaches for the morning and left the rest in the fridge for a smoothie later, a bee started to hover around the Sailor. He too was unfazed, but unlike Babka Dina, he let the bee live.
Because I've been eating so many peach smoothies lately, I thought I should share my recipe (which honestly just fluctuates depending on the fruit that I happen to have on hand, but this has been the standard for two weeks now.)
2 ripe peaches, chopped (preferably just picked)
1 apple, chopped
1 banana, peeled of course, and chopped
Either a few splashes of milk, or a few spoonfuls of plain or fruit yogurt
A small handful of almonds *
Throw all together in a blender.
Pour into a glass and enjoy!
This smoothie is quite thick, so I like to use a spoon to scrape out the last of it from the glass. Or, you could just add more liquid.
* Omit the almonds if you married a picky eater like the Sailor.