Tis the season to start putting by for the long cold, unproductive months of winter. We have cousins in Georgia and he has a son in college in Pennsylvania. We are slightly more than half way in between for them and love to have them for the overnight visit as they drive up and back. Yesterday afternoon they arrived bearing gifts of fresh Georgia peaches, pecans, and a loaf of a wonderful Artisan bread. Some of the peaches are at a stage of ripeness where we can enjoy them fresh out of hand or as breakfast fruit, some needed quick attention. Since our peach trees still are young and not really producing fruit, they are a treasure to enjoy.
This morning they left to complete their trip north with a southbound return tomorrow and another night with us, so I pulled out the jam making supplies and set to work peeling, deseeding, chopping, measuring and making a batch of peach jam. That is one jam I have never made before and not wanting to make too much, I first bought the ebook, The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving. As I started collecting jars, I realized that most of my jelly jars have been given away full of jams and jellies and my stock was low. The recipe said it made 6 cups, I had 5 1/2 cups worth of smaller jars, but figured that any surplus would go in a jar in the refrigerator to be used first.
Enough made to get us through the winter and still send a couple of jars home with them Sunday morning. My taste test is that it is sweeter than the berry, plum and pomegranate jams I have made in the past, but a bit on toast or stirred into yogurt or oatmeal will be nice. The black cherry tree at the top of our road is ripe and my raspberries are ripening enough to sample a couple when in the garden, but if I’m going to do anything with them, I need more jam jars.
Jim’s comment when he came through the kitchen was that I sure was industrious. I smiled and said it kept me out of trouble.
I love this time of year with new good things to eat appearing nearly daily from the garden or in this case, as a gift.
Next up is to try one or all three of the fermented mustard recipes from the current issue of taproot Issue 10::Seed magazine. But wait, I don’t have jars!