See that picture of peaches behind the banner of this blog? That was last summer, and it was full of "peach seconds", and I found it one day at the Arlington Center Farmers' market when I went right as the market opened. I've been fantasizing about that giant box as peach season hit this year.
So, all this month, I've been going back to the Arlington Center farmers market, trying to get there when it opens, and heading straight over to my favorite fruit vendor's stall, looking behind the tables for a sign like last year's reading "peach seconds, $10/box". This week, I even parked right near the row of stalls with some kind of premonition about finding something to load into the trunk. And I hit the jackpot (although the sign said $15 this year, it was still parked in the exact same corner on top of a stack of boxes next to the truck). I joked with Mr. Nicewicz about the inflation and he said it was a bigger box. I'm not sure if he was joking or not, but in any case, using the bathroom scale and subtracting the weight of my cooperative spouse, it looks like I got 23 pounds of peaches for that $15. (The box is less full in the photo because I started sorting through it looking for ones that needed immediate treatment. Such as cutting up and eating.)
"Seconds" means that sometimes they've got a little nibble somewhere on the outside, or sometimes they have a hole at the stem or a split in the pit that means that moisture can get it and leave them a bit like a silent time bomb - one day a peach will look beautiful, the next you will discover that 1/4 of it is rotting from the inside out. But if you are vigilant about using them as soon as they show any signs of soft spots, it's mostly just a pile of peaches whose flavor is not "second", for a great discount!
So far, we've eaten peaches sliced fresh, redistributed 5 lbs of peaches to a friend who was jealous that I got to the market hours before she did, and I've baked a peach upside down cake for dessert last night. I'm still torn about whether to make more jam (we already have 6 jars of apricot jam, which is similar enough to get confused when you look at the jars), or try canning them in syrup, or just make a lot of desserts to enjoy right now. Stay tuned!
Good thing I didn't order an extra canteloupe from the CSA this week. I think we've got enough fruit now.