Gawd. Peaches are my favorite fruit. You cannot get decent peaches down here in the tropics. Anything in a store was picked when it was a rock.
And I grew a specially-bred peach tree that was touted as being able to survive down here. It had 50 peaches on it once. Each one was the size of a nickel. The pit was tiny, so the peaches were proportional.
LATE EDIT ADD: Found a pic of the ONE peach I got to eat. (It was yummy.) Note the size of the peach vs the leaves. This pic is not out of proportion.
UN-fargin-fortunately, the creatchy-poos ate all but one. And then something ate the tree (bugs).
The best peaches of my life were acquired somewhere along the road in West Virginia. They were huge... and so juicy, you had to bend way over when you bit into them. They actually sorta squirted.
Maybe you can order some from Palisade Colorado....
Palisade, Colorado (Peach capitol of Colorado) is located on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains in Mesa County. Palisade was incorporated on April 4, 1904.
Palisade's climate is mild, compared to Colorado standards. Snow fall only averages 14 inches per year. With 182 days of the growing season and 288 sunshiny days per year it is no wonder the peaches and grapes grow crazy!
Cukes still ripping, green beans doing well but apparently tapering off. Picked the last of the cabbage and kohrabi before they get bitter. Snap peas are done; so letting most of them go to seed for a fall crop and next years crop...planted maybe only a dozen seeds a week ago as a trial that have already germinated :-). Our funky assortment of heirloom tomatoes are still slow to ripen, but plenty of immature, developing fruits on the plants. Best development since my last report is harvesting some eggplant, and the eggplant parmesan we made with them...woo hoo! Good luck out there folks.
We grew up poor, in the Sneakydicker family. As a matter of fact, I remember that each Thanksgiving, my mother would send me over to the neighbor's house to borrow the turkey for a half an hour.
Age and treachery have broadened my horizons. I see now that there were (few, doggone few) advantages to poor-itude. One of the advantages was in the area of soft-shelled clams.
Now, some people like to call them "Ipswich Clams". Others get a tad more brutal, and go Biblical, referring to them solely as, quote: "piss clams". No accounting for taste.
Nevertheless, these tasty little critturs were (in my misspent youth) free! My daddy would often say, "Walt, run on down to the flats and get a bucket of steamers."
He'd say this often because these "steamers" were destined to be the meat dish for that night's supper. My momma would fasten a cold, hard eye on me (which feels just as disgusting as it sounds) and add, "Now, don't you go gettin' any hiyackers, ya hear?"
"Hiyackers", it should be explained, were clams that were not alive. It is a brutal fact that soft-shell clams (hereinafter referred to as "steamers") decomposed rather rapidly after their demise in the mud where they liked to stay while doing whatever it is they do down there.
The term "Hiyacker" is what the intelligentsia (folks who can read real writin') call "onomatopoeia". That's fancy talk for a word that sounds like what it means. It follows, therefore, that "Hiyacker" is the sound people make when they try to eat one of these deaders.
Anyway, I'd go on down to the flats and dig a bucketful, which, coupled with a lard sandwich and a glass of water, would comprise the night's dinner.
Today, when you choose to order them, you first must go to the Finance Department of your local gin-mill for accreditation approval.
Which brings us neatly to the reason for this short epistle.
At a recent hoo-raw attended by the degenerates of the UnderSea Adventurers, at a distant place inaptly called "Bostons", the Author happened to observe a poor benighted lad doing strange things with a plate of otherwise delightful steamers.
The individual has specifically asked not to be named. So I will limit myself to giving you just his initials, which are: Don Potter.
Well, it just sorta slipped out there; that's ok--I can take it.
Poor ole Don was observed looking with some trepidation at the mass of shells and other unmentionables piled on his plate. Don claimed (loudly, very loudly) later, that he thought he had ordered fried Ispswich Clams. Considering that he was fried (along with every other person representing our illustrious Club that evening), perhaps the owners of the establishment erred.
Nevertheless, our anonymous hero was observed thusly: He would winkle around a bit with one of those dinky little forks that come with seafood, to wind up with shreds of something dangling in a particularly unappetizing fashion before his moderately bloodshot eyes.
Considering the fortune he laid out, he had no choice. He gulped it down. Yechh.
Now, here comes Walt-of-poor-upbringing. To all of you rich dudes out there, who don't know diddly about steamers, I do hereby supply the information which will make your next plate of steamers a gustatory delight.
It is best if we do it by the numbers:
1-- The plate is set before you. If they have given you one of those stupid little forks, there are two options.
Option A: Steal it. They are great for lobster-pickin' at home.
Option B: Chuck it over your shoulder. Two extra points, if it sticks into that guy smoking the cigar.
2-- Pick up a steamer by its (*ahem*) "hose".
3-- Peel off the shells. Note: Do not allow any loss due to good stuff sticking to the shells. Get it all dangling in front of you.
4-- Using thumb and middle finger, pinch the (*ahem*) "hose" near the base. Slide the "covering" up and off. Discard the "covering".
Note: Six points if you hit the guy with the stogie.
5-- Holding the poor little thing by the "hose", dunk and swoosh him around in the little container of gray-looking liquid they gave you. This removes any sand. Real tough people later drink the liquid.
6-- Dip everything (including your fingers, if you are a slob like me) into the melted butter.
7-- Gobble. Lick your fingers. Oh, my. Now look what I've gone and done. Here I am in South Florida, with a really strong craving. Still being poor, the only way for me to get a decent mess of steamers is to sell PC into a Turkish brothel.
That was a mighty fine story @Unca Walt, and I appreciate the manner in which you portray yourself. When I was a wee lad in Montana, my brother and I were instructed more than once to go out and git somethin' for dinner. Usually deer or some sort of waterfowl. We'd trap muskrats, but never ate one of them, shot a few coyotes and had a nice pelt for a while until the misses decided it was a bit unnerving.
Anyway, The garden is enjoying a little heat wave at the moment, the backyard thermometer hit 107°F this afternoon and I swear the peppers and the tomaters were yipping and hollering. The tomato plants gave up about 10 pounds of yummy beefsteaks and I got a good number of poblano and yellow hot pepper for snacking. I can't even tell there's any heat in them, but the misses say they are dammed hot and won't eat anything with them in it if I don't darn near roast them peppers to crispy critters.
I could overcome my cultural bias and give it a shot.
In China, I ate chicken feet (boiled in something that made them red). Not too bad (for dog food).
Ditto for sea cucumber. Tasted like vomit mixed with lizard feces. Won't EVER do that again.
Kimchi in Korea: Kimchi is a low-rent cabbage that they put in crocks and bury underground for six months (that part is not a bad idea) then they dig it up (pickled) (not as good an idea) and put it on everything except ice cream. Acceptable, but not very good.
Fried dog: To quote Jack Crabb (Little Big Man) "Now it's greasy, I'll admit, but downright tasty."
Mountain oysters. Not bad.
Ah. Back to China: I ate 100-year old soup (good, it's just soup they keep adding/cookin') and five year-old eggs***
***Two kinds: One is just an egg buried until it is dried up and half-crunchy. They other has a small chicken in it. Dried and crunchy. Not cooked.
Oh, hell, I just remembered: Two more things that probably nobody here or nobody you know has ever tried -
1. Unborn chickencooked in the egg. You eat everything... the crunchy little bones are the specialty. TINS.
2. Fried egg-sacks (about 8" long) from the unfinished eggs inside a chicken. EXCELLENT. <-- Cultural bias aside, think about what this is made of. Nothing weird, really.
Shit... one MORE thing from the Orient: Birds Nest Soup -- made from dried spit of a special bird (aptly, from a "swallow"). OK, I guess.
Lastly: ONE tarantula. No more. Of course, fried rattlesnake is a given.
(*snork*) I have always gotten a kick out of what people who have more dollars than sense will buy... just because it is expensive.
In the case of Kopi... it is a real (pardon the expression) crap-shoot. [Oh, I am so clever with woids, sometimes!)
TINS. <- Hah! The old bastage doubles down!
Why? Well it seems most -- if not all -- Kopi you can get your hands on is... well... "homemade". It ain't never seen a civet cat. Therefore, the package of beans anyone gets ought to be labeled: "TIN[civet]S"
So fair warning, my brother: NEVER accept anyone's gratuitous cup of Kofi.