Saturday, September 11, 2010

Late Summer Peach Jam

It is nearly the middle of September, but it seems that summer has finally decided to come to San Francisco. After months (months!) of grey and gloom, the sun is out. Today for lunch, I ate very thin crust pizza, watermelon salad, and arugula with white beans and fresh corn tossed in a cumin vinaigrette. There was a crisp white wine to drink. There were tank tops and summer skirts and sunglasses involved. It's about time.

Somehow, it seems just like San Francisco to pull this fashionably-late-to-the summer-season move. I would be annoyed, but it feels so good to finally have the sun on my arms, my toes in the Yerba Buena fountain, and Blue Bottle iced coffee to thirst for, that I really don't care.

The weather also explains the peaches. While everyone else is thinking about sweaters, and boots, and crisp apples, I've got peaches on the brain. I was given seven pounds of over-ripe, organic, saffron colored beauties the other night by a farmer with a bumper crop. "Take 'em," he told me. "And use 'em tonight."

So I went home, and amazingly had just enough jars, and sugar, and lemons around to make jam, which was what I wanted far more than a crisp or a pie. I set to work, cutting around brown spots and rotting cores.

The work reminded me of how sometimes, life is about taking time to enjoy the pleasures of living, and sometimes, it's about getting things done. I'm in the midst of my final book edits right now, which means everything that is not writing (eating, cooking, exercise, fun) is done as quickly and effortlessly as possible.

I was shocked at how quickly the jam came together, and even more amazed at how pretty it looked sitting in the kitchen the next morning. It's exactly what I hope will happen with the book. Rewriting is mind bogglingly hard and complicated at times, but I have this odd feeling that if I just work, sentence by sentence, it will all be beautiful at the end.

In the meantime, I've got peach jam for my toast, (did you know I eat toast every single day, sometimes more than once?) and am far less vitamin d deprived than I was a few weeks ago. I'm too tired to think about what to fix for dinner most nights, but I still have the sense that it is going to be ok.

*There's no recipe here. If you find yourself with a bushel of peaches, you'll figure it out. I did.

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