Well, the peaches are here! This week I decided to go ahead and order a few cases of peaches from a local farm who orders them in from Michigan. Sunny Hill Farms is also where I got my blueberries and my strawberries this year. Every time I go to pick up something (or pick, in the case of the berries) I am impressed with how friendly and knowledgeable the people are. When I picked up the peaches, I was told that for the best flavor, I needed to take the peaches out of the boxes they came in and lay them out on a table or counter. So I did that, because the first bite of a peach I had was kind of boring. Sure they were good, but there was nothing special about them. Ah, but two days later is a totally different story! The juices are flowing and the peaches are fantastic!
When we first brought the peaches home I went ahead and made some jam. I just can’t have enough jam- and since Zander’s favorite jam is peach, that was a no-brainer. Some of these peaches were destined for jam. And just like I did before, I simply followed the directions on the box of pectin. And yes, you can do it too! Jam is one of the easiest and safest things to start canning with. In all my years of canning, I’ve only once had jam go bad on me- and that was likely due to poor storage conditions at the time. I had a problem this year though. Since I made jam right away with the peaches, they just weren’t juicy. As I followed the directions, I wondered how they would turn out, and sure enough, a few hours later I tipped a finished jar, and I just knew that it hadn’t set properly. The jam separated into one layer of jam, and a second, very distinct layer of syrup. So the next day I re-made the jam. While this added time to my jam-making, it really isn’t difficult either. Once again, I followed directions on the box of pectin, opening up my jars and dumping the jam back into my pot. This time, the jam turned out beautifully, and I now have lovely peach jam.
Yet, I still have a ton of peaches! So yesterday I sliced a bunch of peaches, treated them with fruit fresh and then individually froze the slices for making pie in the winter. Next, I decided that I wanted to make Peach Chutney. I found these cute little 1/2 cup canning jars and I thought they’d be perfect for chutney. So I followed the recipe I used last year for pear chutney, except that when it came time to add a hot pepper, I decided to just add some red pepper flake instead. Normally, this would be okay, except that I added a wee bit too much. That chutney has a bit of fire! It is delicious though, and I’m glad I took the time to make it.
I also made myself a fresh Peach Cobbler during the week. That’s been rather tasty to munch on, but the highlight of the week is probably going to be later today when I make a fresh peach pie. I haven’t made one of those in a while, so I’m looking forward to it!
In addition to trying to figure out what to do with the rest of this peach parade, we’re also getting ready for a very special occasion this weekend! Abigail turns 8 years old next Wednesday, so we’re having her birthday celebration on Sunday when Andy is going to be around. I’ve been charged with the challenge of coming up with a Super Mario themed cake… I have some ideas, but it’s going to take a whole lotta work on my part I suspect. So when you’re looking for me this weekend that will be me in the corner hiding underneath the peaches, or buried in a mountain of technicolor frosting.