Tuesday, September 11, 2007


In the last posting, I told tales of going to Greenbluff, north of Spokane where the blackberries were abundant. We stopped at a store called High Country and I picked up 4 peaches; the clerks were very generous in letting me taste the few varieties and I decided on Sweet Dreams, the sweetest peach I have ever tasted. I brought them home and they tasted even better. So when my friend, BJ, was on her way to visit me for the long Labour Day weekend, I requested a stop in Greenbluff for a case of peaches.

I had a dream. That would be a Sweet Dream. I would can the peaches and in the middle of winter, they would be the best treat.

As I waited for BJ to arrive, she called on her cell phone, just shortly after crossing the border. The peaches were confiscated. My dream was devoured.

I decided that I wouldn't give up without a fight. I did some fancy typing into Google, and found the phone number for Customs. BJ had told me that the peaches were being walked from Canadian Customs to the American site. When I explained my story, they knew exactly which peaches I was describing, and they agreed to hold the box until Monday when BJ went home. They couldn't guarantee how good they would be but they would hold them in the garage.

Alas, we didn't get to eat fresh peaches, but BJ had picked up two pieces of pie - huckleberry and peach. They were delicious!

The next morning, we woke up to a beautiful Kootenay day. We celebrated that morning a belated birthday present-opening for BJ. This was one of the gifts she opened that morning:

It is a wall hanging. I had bought it weeks before, well before I even knew there was a kind of peach called Sweet Dreams.

A couple days later, I told my tale of woe to Heather, and she said, "why don't you go the US and can the peaches there?" The problem, as I found out from the border guard, was the pits. No pits can be brought into our country. No cores either. But if the peaches were removed from their pits, crossing the border is no problem. Heather is a genius!

So last weekend, I travelled back to Spokane, and the Sweet Dreams were still being pulled off the trees. The delight with peaches in Greenbluff is that they are vine ripened, which seems to make them extra sweet. On Saturday, Al and I drove up to Greenbluff and found out the raspberries were ready. Raspberries in the fall?? Whoever invented that notion was a clever one. The day was sunny and warm, and we filled each of our flats. When we went back to the farm hosts, we found out that there was 18 l/2 pounds of raspberries. A lot of raspberries.

I called the Canadian Customs; I had now memorized the phone number. Yes, they would let my raspberries across.

We then shopped for the rest of the supplies, and I started canning peaches at 5 pm. I made an emergency call to my mother; actually it was the second one in two days. Having never canned peaches before, I needed some serious help. Now my mother passed along to me (I'm convinced it is in the DNA) a great love of raspberries. In the second emergency call, she said that nothing is better than canned raspberries. And since I am easily inspired when it comes to raspberries, here's what I did after the peaches:

Here's the Sweet Dreams before:

And after:

When I crossed the border, I met the same border guard that confiscated the peaches from BJ, and then kindly walked them over to US customs because otherwise they would have been destroyed. He said they were a beautiful box of peaches; it would have been a shame. I was quite delighted when he asked me to open my trunk so he could see the canned peaches - after all, in a way, I did it for him.

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