Peach Lassi Sorbet with Crushed Blackberries
My mom hates peaches.
Growing up, during the peak of summer, we always snacked on nectarines; their fuzzless skins a far better sensation against the tongue, at least in her opinion. Freestone, clingstone, it didn’t matter. We weren’t picky and ate them outside in the sun or over the sink, their juice dripping down our little chins as we tried to slurp every last drop of summer before it hit the ground.
I love a nectarine. But I also love a peach.
The utter sweetness of a peach, especially a white peach, cannot even compare to a nectarine. I will eat a peach, I will drink a peach, I will make them into jam or stew them slowly with bourbon and vanilla to spoon over ice cream. I will grill them and toss them into a salad. If there is a peach around, I will eat it.
About a year ago, I encountered a problem. My son turned one and I discovered that he also loved peaches, perhaps even more than me. Now, with fruit brought home from the farm stand, this wasn’t an issue. I could buy bags and bags; enough for the both of us to eat our fill and still have some left over.
But we only have one peach tree in our backyard. And last year, its first year, it only produced one peach.
I knew early on in the season that it would pose a sharing conundrum, but my highest mission, Priority Numero Uno, was to protect that peach from the birds at all costs.
At any given time, our backyard is filled with wild birds: tiny finches with yellow bellies, brown sparrows, and the occasional dove (or two). But the ones that I was on the lookout for that summer were the Jays. The little blue bastards who hide all manner of detritus in our rain gutters and who lazily hop from tree to tree taking single bites out of almost ripe fruit.
This would not stand.
At first we thought about bird netting, but it proved too difficult to implement and the birds would still land on top of it and rest on the tree branches. Fail.
Then we tried flashy silver strips tied to the branches in an effort to scare them away. I could see them laughing in our faces. Fail.
Finally, we brought out some trash: literally old strawberry baskets that were caked in dust and had been stuffed into the back of our garden shed for the better part of a year. We put two together around the lone peach in order to fashion a sort of clamshell-shaped suit of armor, then tied the baskets together using twist ties you get in the grocery store produce section. Success.
As the summer dragged on, my son and I checked in on that peach almost daily; his fascination with it only grew as its size did. Its skin changed from green to orange, then blushed pink in the summer sun. Finally, it was ready.
We gently removed the baskets and plucked the fruit from its branch with barely the nudge of a finger. We sat down right there on the edge of the nearest planter and held it in our hands. He looked up and me and in that moment, my craving for that peach was gone. In its place was the desire to watch him bite into his first peach, one that he had tended to and waited for. He knew where this peach came from and how it got there. He was invested and now it was his turn. I handed him the fruit.
He held that peach for a just a moment before biting into it. Then, with a mouthful of fruit, he looked up at me and smiled, juice dripping down his chin and into the warm dirt at his feet.
To his credit, he shared a bite with me. It was glorious. And the peach was delicious, too.
This year, our peach tree is set to produce many more peaches and we also planted some thornless blackberry canes near our chicken coop. This sorbet is first on the list to be made once the fruit ripens; its method so easy a toddler could do it (and he will).
Ingredients: Peaches, greek yogurt, vodka, honey, blackberries, lemon juice