I should have known no one would eat those big baskets of peaches and apples I bought for the Big Summer Potluck.
(I should have known better because as much as my girls loved fruit growing up, they were less likely to eat it in its natural state. In fact the more whole the fruit, the longer it sat around. I can still picture it—cantaloupe quarters languishing in the fridge, strawberries overtaken with fur, peaches and apples looking like they had spent a few days in the desert. But the second I’d cut it up, it was gone.)
The Big Summer Potluck was a daylong affair. Maggy thought the locals might be bringing a few sweet treats, but we ultimately decided that since most people were traveling from afar, we’d handle the food. Since we were organizing and hosting the event too, we remembered our mantra. Keep it simple.
We needed fruit to round out our scone, granola, and yogurt breakfast. More fruit to flesh out the sandwich and chip lunch. We toyed with making kabobs, talked about a fruit salad, but in the end, I repeated the mantra.
I headed to our local orchard. There were a few quarts of blueberries and a couple of small containers of plums. What they had in abundance were baskets of petite white peaches and little Summer Rambo apples. Bingo. Prep just got reduced to a rinse, and I got two lovely centerpieces to boot.
I may be a veteran but in so many ways I’m still a newbie. I believed the press that very few would be contributing to the potluck. Hah. It’s weeks later and I’m still noshing on cookies and bars and cupcakes from that day.
My basket of peaches looked lovely amidst cornucopia of scones, coffeecakes, and muffins. At lunch and teatime my basket of apples looked attractive, surrounded by all the cookies and cupcakes and bars, but by day’s end, the baskets were still full.
Two days later I’m staring at nearly full baskets of expiring peaches and apples. What to do? Sharon and Tony were here and we had a lovely few hours together making cinnamon applesauce and freezer peaches.
Lesson learned… again. Setting a basket of fruit on a table with cookies and cupcakes is like putting salad, apple slices, and milk on a McDonald’s menu. It looks nice, but everybody’s going for the burgers and fries. If you want people to eat fruit, cut it up. On the other hand if you want to preserve your fruit, do as I did. Leave it whole.
Steff b says
I was commenting at work about this the other day. I bought a Honeydew and half of it was gone before I had cut the whole thing up in chunks!
This is so true! I have 2 young boys and I make sure they are busy outside when I cut fruit otherwise they hang out at my feet like street urchins begging for a bite. You’d think we starve them! I just want to be able to get it cut and on a plate for lunch and they’ll eat a 1/2 a canteloupe just while I’m cutting it! Glad to know it isn’t just in our household. My fave fall application for apples is apple butter cooked in the crock and put up in freezer jars… I give it away at xmas to my co-workers.
I don’t know, I never had much of a problem eating whole fruit, but I do love applesauce and these frozen peaches. I mean, seriously folks…fresh, juicy peaches mid-Winter? Um…yes please! I can’t wait to pull those babies out of the freezer come January. That might just get me through til Summer again. That is, if you’ll share mom 🙂
You’re so right Pam. My eyes glazed over with all the homemade sweets and I totally passed up the fresh (and much lighter) fruit. I just had the same conversation with my kids last week. We always have a bounty of fresh fruit in bowls around the kitchen and I end up throwing out more than I’d like to admit. And when I mentioned this to my daughter last week, she said “So we can eat those? There not just for decoration?”
Freezer peaches sound fantastic. Just passed by a crate of some today and almost bought them but wondered what I would do with all that fruit. I may have to go back and get ’em before they’re gone to save for winter.
Souffle Bombay says
YOu are so right Pam!! I think I saw someine crunching into an apple that day and thought…huh.
I love fruit myself but have always “forgotten” about it, then every so often and I am enjoying a nectarine, plum, cherries, blackberries, pear etc…I am like…Why don’t I eat this all the time!!
Have to say though I need to find a better place to buy fruit these days, I am usually tossing out what I buy as it is tasteless, not sure what is going on with that…any recommendations in Bucks County?
SMITH BITES says
Well I was one who ate both an apple and a peach – they were fabulous and I really, really appreciated having that fresh fruit available in the midst of all that bakery goodness on the table! I did enjoy a couple of the sugary stuff, but it was nice to be able to choose! That day was magic and you women have set the bar very, very high in terms of workshops/conferences!
This is SO true. It happened to us this weekend! We bought a gorgeous melon (so gorgeous it was $10…eek!) at the farmer’s market and it just sat and sat and sat.
Finally, Tony cut into it. And it was so lightly sweet, so wonderfully perfumey and aromatic! He cut half of it up into pieces and we inhaled it in about…5 minutes. The other half, which we haven’t cut up, is STILL in the fridge.
What is it about peeking into the refrigerator and seeing something whole that makes us say: “No thanks, you might be delicious, but you require effort.” Maybe this is why there is so much trouble with weight in this day and age. A pile of ingredients or a nice whole melon doesn’t look like an opportunity, it looks like a giant black hole of energy. A bag of pretzels is just so much easier! Open, grab, eat, repeat.
Maggy’s post about weight loss emphasized that making good decisions is about 90% preparation and 10% will power. If we cut up the fruit when we have the chance, it’s likely that we will make better choices when we’re hungry and on an easy food rampage.
I am going to cut up the rest of that melon when I get home!!
Vicki (piggledy) says
Try fruit that is bite sized – we took a huge box of blueberries to a party at my brother’s house a couple of years ago, and people just vacuumed them up! We rinsed them, dried them off, and put them in a big bowl, and people couldn’t leave them alone. (I somehow thought people might eat about half of them, and I’d get to take some home – NOT!) I think that whole fruit you have to eat “with your face”, like apples, is awkward in a social setting, but it is easier to eat blueberries than it is to dip chips. Cherries, or, in season, strawberries with sour cream and brown sugar to dip them in, would be winners, too.
Torrie @ a place to share... says
Thank you for making me feel better… I thought we were just an ‘unhealthy’ bunch (since even “I” pass the whole fruit up:).
Can’t wait to click on the peaches and applesauce links!