Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pickin' Pinons Part II

Pickin' Pinons Part II:  Where Grandma Gets Lost,  There be Bears, and I Make it Home in Time to Serve Dinner for Ten.

The plan this time was to meet at the Saw Mill store (the place where my friend's cows hang out when they disappear).

For once I found my way over dirt roads in my trusty four wheelin' jeep and got there first.  No cows.

My friends arrive and I jump into their car.  We take the road to Blue Springs Canyon and pass Deer Springs Village(three hogans).

"There are some things you need to know about picking Pinons," my friend says.

One, don't shake the tree.  That is what bears do.
Two, don't lie down while picking.   That is also what bears do. (Wait don't we have to climb the tree?)
Three, don't climb the tree.  (Apparently bears do this too?)
Four...(snicker here)...Don't fart....(snickering in the back seat).  If you fart the Pinons will smell and taste bad.
I wonder if bears fart.

Other than the bears, I think I have this covered.

We pull off the road, look up to find the trees with Pinon cones and plop ourselves down under one.  I stay close to the car since "there be bears here"(I know... cliche, writers should not use them).

Grandma begins picking up the seeds as soon as she is out of the car.  Peck, peck, peck...like a chicken.

She has done this before.

My friend and I find one tree with lovely large gold Pinons all around.  One more suggestion presumably not a rule...don't try and pick the Pinions out of the cones.  Too late.  My fingers are covered in tenacious sap.  I try to wipe my hands on my jeans.  My fingers stick to my jeans.

As we clear the area under one tree we wander to another.  I squat, stoop, bend, pick up Pinons.  I find myself stretching out to reach a nut.  Wait I am nearly lying down.  (nearly is an ly word...writers are not supposed to use them) I check to make sure no one saw me...especially a bear.

Now I know why my friend has face-booked and texted for two weeks about how sore she is.   Her family has sold $400 worth of Pinons.  Lots of squatting,  stooping and bending presumably (ly word) without lying down.

The bottom of my little plastic container is barely (ly) covered.  I toss in a few symetrical golden cones (I collect stuff from nature) and continue to pick.  Grandma says I have a lot of Pinons.  Her daughter points out that I have a few entire cones in there.  They laugh.

Grandma wanders off looking(also writers should not use -ing words) for a better spot.

My friend shows me how to "cheat".  She hauls a handmade kind of sifter out of the car.  Then she breaks off a branch of sage brush for a "broom" and brushes the pine needles and nuts into a pile.

The pile goes into the sifter.  She shakes it until there are mostly Pinons left and puts it all into a bag.  At home she will winnow what she has saved and let the wind sort out the pinons.

It is 2 PM, the time we had agreed to leave so I could get home for a dinner party at my house.  But Grandma is nowhere to be found.  Some of us go into the forest calling "Grandma."  I stay near the car worried about Grandma and bears.

At 3 PM we decide to leave one person where the car is parked and someone would drive me back to my car.  I was concerned about Grandma alone...with bears.  Everyone agreed that grandma knew where she was.  They usually picked until 5 or so and Grandma must be watching the sun.  Besides my friend who stayed behind said she would just sit and pick more Pinons, no worries.

They each had a sack full.  I had half of a small plastic container of nuts.  Clearly I was not commited to this endeavor.

I get home in time to prepare dinner for ten and even roast my Pinons with salt.  A text informs me that Grandma is back.  I imagine them in the hogan telling stories(mostly about me, the silly Belegana) eating roasted pinons.  Lots of laughs and warmth.

I served the Pinons with appetizers. They are all gone.   Now I wish I had picked Pinons more diligently.  Or maybe I should just stick to writing about them.

Kind of wish I had seen a bear.


peaches said...

Man, when you make dinner in Le Tramizal, we get frozen pizza. Bloody cheek.

Barbara O'Connor said...

You do the coolest things!