Each Wednesday we share a classic post from the Eat Sunday Dinner vaults. This essay originally posted on March 28, 2010.
Over the weekend my husband decided we should harvest our first loquats. I’d seen them up there in the trees and thrown a few into the bushes when the girls started tripping on them, but it hadn’t occurred to me to eat them. (I’m from Virginia and the loquat is not a fruit I’d ever seen before we moved into this house six months ago.) Once he mentioned it, it did seem like a fun family activity, but I never thought it would lead to the discovery of my youngest daughter’s favorite food. Turns out, Annabel loves loquats. And she couldn’t get enough of them. Tim spent 20 minutes peeling and seeding these tiny fruits for her, and when we thought she’d had her fill (or more accurately, we didn’t think her tummy could hold any more), he stopped and tried, unsuccessfully, to distract her with her favorite purple ball.
Annabel would not be deterred and ran around the yard picking up whole loquats and happily shoving them into her mouth, turning her back to us to hide her prize. (Incidentally, a loquat contains four large, hard, slippery seeds which are just the right size for a 1 year old to choke on, so I was a little concerned when I realized what she was up to.) My older daughter was having such a great time collecting oranges and watching her father’s death-defying avocado collection techniques that we let Annabel run wild for a while. But watching my husband stand on his toes on top of a rickety chair wedged precariously into a raised garden bed while waving a fully extended fruit picker over my daughters’ heads was eventually too much for me. We finally had to go inside to keep everyone safe and nobody was happy. But until that moment it was an idyllic morning. The sun was shining, a gentle breeze was blowing, and our backyard was yielding it’s bounty. Even the wild parrots came to enjoy the harvest with us. Sadly, wild parrots do not like being photographed when they’re searching for food, and having a 3 year old clinging to my leg didn’t help the photographic process, so there’s no visual record of this amazing sight. You’ll have to trust me. It was a great day.