Sweet Summertime

We finally caught a break in the capital city yesterday with a nice cool breeze and only double-digit temperatures.  Of course I took advantage of this break, knowing it likely would not last.

After work, I went home and changed into comfy play clothes {hubby's tattered vintage shirt}, grabbed some gear, and drove down to the Delta for some good ol' fashioned fruit pickin'.  I parked at my friends' home and helped myself to two dozen beautiful peaches off their tree, at their insistence.  No one was there at the house yet, except for their two farm dogs--one of which was finishing off a dead bird.  Not so pleasant.  But soon, my friends Clayton and his lady Manuela showed up and invited me inside for a glass of wine.  I love being in wine country.

Clay poured me the last of the Bogle Chardonnay in the bottle, which I have had countless times in the past, but it seemed to taste different this time.  I buried my nose in the stemmed glass, breathing in every note. Vanilla. I stopped there.  The next smell wasn't a fruit or a spice.  All I could smell were the vines, the barrels, the fermentation, and the juice combined.  I was overwhelmed as the entire wine-making process flashed through my memory, and I hadn't even taken a sip yet.  I have so much appreciation and respect for this industry, that I can't help but get emotional.

It took me a good twenty-five minutes to finish my glass, sip by sip, and by that time, Abby had arrived to join me for picking.  With our play clothes and rubber gloves on, bags and camera in hand, we headed out to the slough dock to try our luck.  We also brought a wooden skim board to use as a 'plank' on the vines, should we need to explore beyond the surface.

I decided to jump right in, while Abby quickly volunteered to play photog after seeing too many spiders in the vines.  The gloves were a must, not only for protection from the thorns on the vines, but also to keep us from looking like we murdered someone with our bare hands. {Blackberries stain your skin something terrible}.  

We wiped out the areas we could reach from the dock and the floating barge, so we decided to take a stroll down the slough road to see if we could spot a jackpot. 

No luck, but the views and the company were marvelous.

Abby knew of a spot near her house, about two miles away, that would surely please us.  She also lent me a shirt when the Delta breeze cooled the temp down in to the 60s. 

This time she jumped in to the action, and together we filled my little 80s cooler, all before sundown. We even had time to pick some famous Bartlett pears.  The best.

Exhausted, but delighted, we gathered our booty and headed home. 

All this delicious fruit.  Too many recipes to choose from.  Any recommendations? 

The last picture is deceiving, admittedly, as there are only about half as many peaches left...mmm...

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