The end of the stones
Summer is experiencing its inevitable death. The glooming arrival of the new school year grind is almost here. With this seasonal change comes the end of the stones, stone fruits that is. Cherries are done for the year, and the last few peaches and nectarines will soon disappear. But there’s something interesting about these last few stone fruits. They’re no longer perfect, these last peaches are smaller, a bit wrinkly, they have noticeable blemishes and most of all, their flavor is not what it was a month ago. And so chefs across the land are beginning to rethink their menus. No longer perfect, peaches are not a turn-on anymore and our wandering eyes and palates are switching to figs (the hot new item).
And I can’t help but compare the similarities between peaches and relationships. It’s easy to find takers when we are in season, when our skin is perfect and we have no blemishes. But as soon as that changes, and we get past our prime, we are pushed aside for the hot new item. This is something that’s done to us and something we do to others as well. No one is free of fault or immune to this process, and the seasonal availability for a relationship can last from a week to many years.
So what is wrong with a slightly over ripe peach, what is wrong with a few blemishes, why are we so driven to find the perfect partner and bolt the minute we realize the one we have, is not the ideal fruit? One of the easiest ways to deal with a blemish on a peach, is to either bite it, or cut it off. As much as we’d like to sometimes, we obviously can’t rip off limbs from a blemished partner. But there is one thing we can do. We can make marmalade, we can take that non perfect peach, and put some time, patience, heat and energy and create a delectable spread to sweeten up our life. Is this easy to do? Of course not, as I write this I’m thinking about the last beautifully imperfect peach I let go off not too long ago. You kind of have to know what you are doing in order to make marmalade, but if you are willing to learn how and you invest your energy into it, you would never know the peach was blemished to begin with.