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.