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As a child I was tree climber. I was constantly in search of a mighty, hefty trunk that I could shimmy up. We moved a lot during those childhood years. And as Mom scouted the surroundings for school and job locations, I only cared about whether or not there were any good trees to climb.
The last time I climbed a tree, I was in 8th grade. We had a huge oak in our yard and it had my name all over it! I can’t even recall how many times I went up and down that tree, but each time I went up, I went higher and higher.
I got braver and braver as I scootched myself along its branches. If I thought it could hold my weight, I explored it. Then the day came when my tree climbing career ended. It started out as a typical day, I stood at the base of the tree and looked high into its canopy.
Today, I was going to go further than ever before. So, my adventure began up the tree. I was making great headway and great time. I can’t really remember how far off the ground I was but it wasn’t anything to sneeze at.
I stretched my arm up high, blindly searching for knob or branch to grasp so I could pull myself up further, my hand rested on a large piece of bark and with great strength, I started to hoist my body up, the bark gave away (luckily I had a grip with my other hand) so all was good, but then….THEN thousands, I mean, thousands! of earwigs came pouring out from the wounded tree where I had ripped the bark off.
OMGosh!!! I can’t remember how I got to the ground but trust me, it took me only a matter of seconds. (shudders at the memory) It still makes my hair stand on end to even think back to that moment. To this day I can be startled into a cardiac emergency by the sight of earwigs!
I bet you are wondering why I shared that silly story… well, that was the last time I faced an earwig UNTIL a few days ago. Coming to live on a farm I have learned that I have to share it with all other sorts of creatures, one being the earwig. Sigh.
A few days ago I went out and picked a bucket of peaches, and with a song in my heart and joy in my step I made my way back to the kitchen so I could start creating with them. There was one peach that stood out above the rest. I was huge! It was beautifully wrapped in soft, peach colored skin with a blush of red on one side. It was perfectly ripe when I gave it a gentle squeeze.
I rolled it around in my hands, admiring its beauty when I spotted a little hole near the stem. No biggie I thought. I placed my perfect peach under the faucet and carefully bathed it, not wanting to bruise the delicate skin. With my pairing knife in hand, I made a circular cut in two directions, oh man, the knife just glided through its flesh and juice started to run down my forearm.
My mouth instantly started watering. I gave the peach a slight twist and it just fell in half away from the seed….ERWIGS!!!! Holy mother of orchards!!!!! I started to do the earwig dance (trust me, it’s not sensual lol), hooting and hollering, grossed out beyond gross, I had instant goose bumps and even my goosebumps got goosebumps! My loving husband came to my aid and took the peach to the back door where he pitched it into the woods. I am getting goosebumps as I am typing this sentence. I guess I am not the only lover of a gorgeous peach.
So, onward to the Fuzzy Navel Fruit Leather. For a long time I have been wanting to name a recipe Fuzzy Navel. I can’t explain why, I just liked the sound of it. I knew I had heard the name before and had an inkling that it was a drink of some sorts, so I Googled it. Yep, as I suspected, it is an alcoholic beverage that consists of peach schnapps, orange juice and lemonade. I’ve never been a drinker so I am not sure what the beverage tastes like, but I liked the idea of peaches, oranges and lemons in the ingredient list, and I figured I could make something fun with them.
I will be honest, it took me 3 tries to get this recipe right. I think the oranges threw me off. They add a different consistency to the mix and I kept over-drying it. What was intended to be a pliable leather that turned into flakes… which ended up giving me whole new ideas for some other recipes. So it’s all good. Ok, I have bent your ear long enough, let’s get on with the recipe.
yields 6 cups puree