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Monday, August 18, 2008

We Couldn't Wait for Peach Season

I love my Grandma. Nope, it's deeper than that, everyone says they love their grandma. I adore her. She and I are really good friends. I think it started when Grandpa died. Grandma was completely lost. She didn't know what to do with herself. To sum it up, she died when he did and it took a while for her to learn how to be without him. She had been married since she was fifteen years old. She and Grandpa were the epitome of a long lasting love. It's just too bad that it didn't last as long as it should have.
Anyway, I don't want to get into the sadness of the story. I want to talk more about Grandma and my relationship. Because she was all alone, she was with our family all the time. We saw her several times a week, I stayed with her when my parents took much needed vacations, and best of all, she traveled with us. I clearly remember the first trip we took with Grandma. Grandpa had been gone just a short time and she was still fragile and shell shocked. Grandma was having trouble sleeping and nothing seemed to help. So, to assist her in trying to get some shut eye, my mom had purchased a six pack of wine coolers. There Grandma and I were, roommates in a Best Western, she sipping wine coolers while we watched Risky Business together. I suppose other grandchildren would have been mortified, but Grandma and I laughed through the whole movie. I don't know if it was the wine coolers, but she doesn't remember this evening. It's burned in my memory and makes me smile every time I think about it. And I can't look at Tom Cruise without laughing.
Throughout my time with her, Grandma has shared stories about growing up in the Depression. The last time we were chatting, I mentioned to her that I had a bowl of fresh peaches on the counter that I was going to grill for dessert. She thought that sounded intriguing, then she got quiet, and she said, "We couldn't wait for peach season." I was sure that she would then launch into a story about how they didn't have the wonderful produce availability that we're fortunate to have, that they would eat peaches while the juice ran down their chins, that Great-grandma would can peaches for the winter... I waited for a quaint little story that I could file away as another pleasant memory.
Nope, that's not what I got. Grandma sighed deeply and then she said, "We just loved to take those peach wrappers into the outhouse. By peach season, we had used up all of the non-shiny pages of the Sears catalogue." It was silent for another moment and then, we laughed so hard that I had to hang up, wipe my tears, take a breath and call her back.
I guess I can file that one under, just one more way that Grandma taught me to be thrifty. But, no, I'm not going there Grandma. Better yet, it's one more way that Grandma has taught me that I have it much better than she did back in the day. In her honor, I'd like to share this recipe with you.

Grilled Peaches
One peach per person
nonstick cooking spray
Two squares of Hershey's or Dove chocolate per person
A smidgen of light butter, maybe a 1/4 tsp per peach half-- you could use Butter Buds

I hope this makes sense. I'm highly caffeinated due to a new coffeemaker that I just love and my mind is racing faster than my fingers.
Preheat your grill over medium high heat. Make sure that your grill grates are very clean. Inside the house, prep your peaches. Wash, dry, cut in half, and remove pits. Place on a plate, cut side up, and spray lightly with nonstick spray. (Don't do this near the grill, the aerosol oil near an open flame is just an invitation for a disaster.) Place place peaches cut side down and grill for four minutes. Turn cut side up and grill another four minutes. Place a smidgen of butter and one square of chocolate in each peach half. Shut the grill cover and shut the grill off. Let stand for one minute. Serve as is, one whole peach per person, or with some low calorie vanilla bean ice cream or frozen yogurt.

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