Fresh Facts Week 46: New Chef, New Daughter, Same Favorite Peach

Volume 8, Week 46, July 5-11, 2015

So here’s some exciting news: Our son, who the VP of grower relations for Abundant Harvest Organics, announced his engagement to Stephanie Cook yesterday. WOOHOO!!!

I predict an exciting, wonderful, challenging life for these two. All the best parts of my life are a result of my 34 years of marriage to your recipe creator Carol and I would expect Erik and Stephanie will enjoy similar fulfillment.

Another great thing is its Zee Lady time. Zee Ladies are the best peach we grow all year. Free stones, so they slice up real easy. I freeze about 100 pounds of ’em, plus another 100 of Honey Punch plums (a couple weeks from now) as my breakfast smoothie base all year.

By now, you know how we are, so if ya want ’em for canning or jam or pies or just out of hand snacks, you’ve gotta be quick or forever hold your peace.

So where does the Zee come from in all these varieties Uncle Vern? Glad you asked, and it’s a perfect opportunity to acknowledge the premier stone fruit breeder in the entire world, Floyd Zaiger.

Floyd’s team makes 150,000 crosses a year and replicates each 15 to 20 times. There are others in his business, but none in his league. He’s gotta be 90 by now. Pluots, plum-cots, apriums and cherums are the results of his careful pollination plus hosts of peach, plum, and nectarine varieties­, not to mention almonds.

Floyd is very soft spoken, will never recommend a variety, just says: “If you like it, there it is. Plant it.” But if he subtlety puts a Zee somewhere in the name, that’s your clue.

You never pilgrimage to Modesto to visit Floyd without meeting folks from Europe, Africa, or Australia. His wife always serves lunch followed by pluot pie. And that’s where the Zee comes from.

One last wonderful development here on the farm is your kitchen’s new executive chef, Sarah Raimondi.

Sarah was executive chef at a fancy Italian restaurant for 8 years and it shows in all she does.

I took 10 cobblers to my high school reunion last Saturday and 5 to my mom’s 80th birthday. Firstly,  everyone raved at both events, and then, no one believed they were gluten-free.

If you tried some of the dishes before, I would ask you give it another shot. The flavor is way up, and the cost is way down.

We will have a blowout sale (which will probably be over time you read this) of all the original discontinued items. I just want to get everything out of here so that when you click something from the Abundant Harvest Kitchen going forward, you know it’s gonna be dynamite.

Handmade, certified organic. If it’s gluten-free you won’t be able to tell by the taste or texture and you’ll recognize the farmers who grew the ingredients right on the label. Life is good!

Author Uncle Vern

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