Tag Archives: fruit

can anyone identify this fig tree?

On Friday morning, after being away for more than two weeks, I toured our backyard, plucking green grapes off of the vines. And I noticed our fig tree is ripening. I had expected the figs to turn black, but they haven’t. They’re yellow, syrup is leaking out of them and some are soft. A. and I tore a few apart and ate them on the spot — they’re sweet and delicious.

I’d love to identify the variety, but I’m having trouble. Any fig experts out there?

We live in California desert (about an hour from Death Valley) and our tree is about 15 feet tall.

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we picked a peck of plump peaches

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Over the weekend, I checked the peaches on our tiny peach tree in our backyard — a tree we didn’t know we had until March when the pits appeared. I felt the fuzzy skin of one that turned a deep red, and it gave a bit under my fingers.

“The peaches are ready!” I yelled to A., who was lounging on the patio.

Except it wasn’t just one or two that were ready — it was 18 succulent California peaches. (The birds pecked five more to their rotting, crumbling deaths.)

A. and I pulled off the peaches dripping with juice, and I excitedly hauled them into the kitchen and boiled half of them so I could slip off the fuzzy skin and freeze the chunks. Then I made a batch of peach butter to enjoy with my homemade bread.

We also ate a few on our road trip to Sequoia National Park, our laps full of paper towels, our fingers sticky, the warm air blowing on our arms and legs, the speakers blasting “The Lone Bellow,” the sun stretching in the cloudless sky.

Now I have my eye on our apricot tree: Hundreds of apricots are starting to turn yellow. I bought canning jars yesterday and I’m searching for recipes for anything apricot. Please share if you have any!

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a plum (or apricot?) tree

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On Saturday afternoon, I was enjoying the quiet on our patio while C. napped — reading “Bringing Up Bébé,” drinking espresso, legs reclined — when I noticed flowers blooming on one of five trees in our backyard. Curious, I got up to inspect further. And I saw a piece of old (rotting) fruit. A fig tree! I thought, excited. (I knew we had two pomegranate trees, but those don’t bloom till the fall.)

I plucked the fruit off the tree and waited till A. got home to show him.

“You have to see this,” I said.

He looked, and said, “A date tree?”

We looked at each other.

“Wait, I think dates grow on palm trees,” A. said.

(We’re clearly not well-versed in our fruit trees.)

A. snapped his fingers and pointed at me: “A plum tree!”

“You think?” I said. “I’ll go look up the flower.”

I did a Google image search, and the plum tree flower looked closest to the flower we had.

When I returned, our neighbor, who was working in his backyard filled with old canoes and a tipped-over wheel barrow, peeked his head over the wood picket fence. Just like the neighbor on Home Improvement, I could only see his mustache and thick round glasses.

“That’s an apricot tree,” he said. “That tree bears a lot of fruit.”

I guess he would know since he’s lived next door for more than 20 years. A. still thinks it’s a plum tree. (Do any readers out there know?) I guess we’ll find out when the fruit appears this spring. Regardless of plums or apricots, I’m excited to discover another tree that C. can help us pick.

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a ground-breaking (fruit) discovery

Several years ago, I was dating a guy who visited my Chicago apartment. We were hanging out in the kitchen and he opened the freezer and jumped back: “What is that?” he said. The man was 6’5” — and seemed scared. It was a pile of brown, frozen bananas. A whole slew of them. He was visibly repulsed. Shortly thereafter, we decided to end our short-lived romance.

See, I save bananas when I don’t eat them. If you put them in the freezer, you can eventually make banana bread or frozen fruit drinks out of them. And it feels so wasteful to buy bananas and then throw them out. I feel downright guilty about it.

But as anyone who knows me knows — and A. learned this on our third date — I am very picky about my bananas. They have about a two-day window where I can eat them. Brown spots make me gag.

So what happens, then, is that the entire freezer fills up with bananas. We’re talking two to three years worth of bananas. Cause I don’t even really love banana bread. My roommate, who is very flexible, was embarrassed when, at a party she hosted, a few of her friends were scrounging for alcohol late night — and they noticed the 50 or so bananas. They teased her incessantly. Also, her brother and sister-in-law saw them and said: “It’s more socially acceptable to have a severed head in the freezer.”

So before we had another party, N. practically begged me to throw them out. And I did — I filled up a garbage bag full of hard, brown, frozen bananas and hauled it out to the trash can. And I didn’t even feel bad about it.

But since then, a banana or two (or four) has creeped into that freezer. I’m ready to claim innocence if accused: “How did those get in there?”

Then, last week, I made an important discovery. A ground-breaking discovery. I discovered that if I trick myself — like a mom tricks a child — by mixing the fruit into other concoctions I eat regularly, I will eat it. Every day for the last week, I’ve had muesli with my Wallaby organic vanilla yogurt (I’m picky about that, too) and a sliced-up banana and some blueberries for good measure.

I gotta say, I’m really proud of myself. I’m trying — really trying — to eat better (just like the USDA recommends in its new nutrition guidelines) and am thinking about everything I put in my body. My next goal is to cut down on my sugar.

Now, who wants some banana bread?

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