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Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

Idaho peaches, oh my!

Idaho peaches, farmers markets, Brennan's

They say Wisconsin has two seasons: winter and road construction. But the Wisconsin I live in has two, and my favorite is farmer's market season. So while my friend Tom writes of the gustatory and comardely pleasures of the pursuit of the finned, feathered, and furry flesh, I must write of pursuit of the fruit.

Idaho peaches. I could stop right there, but you know me.

I try to buy local, but even that calls for moderation in stone fruit season. Because, well. . . Idaho peaches. And pluots. Things that don't really grow well here.

The quest for peaches in all their splendor still requires a bit of a trek. Those at Brennan's in Brookfield are reliably excellent, whereas I've had to compost every peach I bought in Tosa, and that includes yours, Sendik's. And while I'm getting the Idaho peaches and other stone fruit at Brennan's, I am sometimes lured to the Wyoming beers they carry in handsome cans.

You can't usually get  peaches of any sort at the local farmer's markets, of which I regularly stalk three: Wauwatosa, West Allis, and Fondy. There's a peach and grape and berry seller in West Allis, but I keep my pursuit there to local veggie species until the apple season is upon us.

Each market has its own charm. You can't get better greens anywhere than at Fondy, and the sometimes African-tinged music is hypnotic. There's special delight in discussing Seckel pears with a knowledgeable young man in hip-hop gear there. West Allis has the widest range of products, and then there are those Italian sausage sandwiches Scardina Bakery sells. Wauwatosa is small but, as Spencer Tracy said of Katherine Hepburn, what there is of her is cherce (choice). And there you get to meet your neighbors over the produce and the products.

When winter comes I'll enter a long-term relationship with those local apples. But for now, this fling. The last word: Idaho peaches.

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