Everything took longer than usual...one of those days when it felt like I was wading through Jell-O, going against the current, moving ahead but not getting there very fast. The thermometer down in Diamond Springs announced triple digits. Summer has indeed arrived. I must have blinked and missed spring entirely. Going to the grocery store just once a month has its drawbacks. Just as with the rapid onset of summer, one can't gradually acclimate to the rising prices, most evident in the produce department. There was a bin of the most delicious-looking apricots...at just under three dollars a pound!
I was spoiled as a kid because my mother had planted an orchard full of plums, peaches, figs, cherries, guavas, oranges, lemons, a loquat, and apricots. Fresh fruit was there for the picking. In the summer, we and my sister's family would go down to Huntington Beach in southern California where there was a picnic area on the beach. There were gas stoves that a couple of quarters fired up to cook dinner. My niece and nephews and I would play in the sand while the grownups fixed the meal. The menu was always the same. Halibut fresh from the sea from Sam's Seafood, crispy fried potatoes, steamed green beans, and apricot pie. My mother and my sister each made one, and I was hard pressed to say which I preferred. Mother's crust was thin and flaky; my sister's was thicker but with more flavor. Both used lard and butter. Apricot pie with whipped cream...it just said Summer.
Standing by the apricots in the store, those childhood memories came flooding back. But three dollars a pound?! Besides, I was running late.