I’m So Done with Peaches

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It’s been a busy few days.  Lots of canning this past weekend in spite of the hot, humid weather.  I always think if being way too hot when I’m canning, it’s the nature of the beast.

The canning marathon began Sunday morning with a large bowl of tomatoes.   The photo looks like it’s all yellow but it was half plum as well.

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These little tomatoes are bursting with flavor, one of my favorites and the plants are extraordinarily prolific.  There is always a bowl of these on the counter to munch on as you’re walking by.

I made the sauce highly spiced with homemade pesto and oregano (and lots of garlic of course).  It was cooked down to be rather thick and then I canned it in small jars (2/3 cup).  You never need much sauce when you make pizza and this just made more sense to me – that and the fact that I had two dozen of these cute little jars.

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Monday I wove and finished my scarf for the Big E.  That took a good part of the day.  It was hot, humid and rainy.  We invited friends over for dinner so the only thing I did outdoors was dig potatoes for dinner.  I also picked peppers and put them in to dehydrate. They were there overnight.  Before going to bed I went online and saw Apex Orchards had put out an APB about an overrun of peaches so I knew what I would be doing in the morning.

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Yes, peaches.  Lots of peaches.  I picked them up around 9:00 and started in as soon as I returned.  This wasn’t the best peach experience I have ever had.  They didn’t peel as well as I would have liked so it was slow going.  I managed to put up 15 pints and with half a box to go I decided to make a little jam.

130903 Peaches (2)I had picked up this new pectin at the orchard and was hot to try it out.  One of the reasons I don’t make much jam is the amount of sugar that has to go into it, this made more sense to me.  I made a jam with peaches, honey and ginger.  It smelled heavenly while it was cooking and what little was left in the pan tasted great.  The thing with jam is it sometimes takes a while to jell up.  By the time I left the house last night it wasn’t looking too thick. I figured I would give it a couple of days to see if it would be thick enough to spread on my toast.  If not it’ll just go into my oatmeal or yogurt.  Mmmmmm, Honey Ginger Peach yogurt, how good does THAT sound!

By the time the afternoon was over I was sooo over peaches.  Canning fruit also calls for serious cleaning – everything was sticky, including the floor.  This may be why peaches are one of the few fruits I put up.  The next will be pears but not until November.  I need a couple of months to recover.

130903 Peaches (3)I will be leaving for Fiber College in Searsport, ME this afternoon.  I’m not sure how much time will be devoted to blogging but I will make an attempt.  All I really want to do is smell and walk along the ocean and eat lobster but I may be coerced into doing a little crafting while I’m there.

Earth Day Coming Up

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Earth Day has evolved for me over the years.  I used to spend my time cleaning out my flower beds.  I’ve planted trees, shrubs, and flowers on this day.  This year I seem to be on a mission to augment as much of my food supply as I can with things that I’ve grown.  This Earth Day week will be spent in prep for the vegetable and fruit growing season.  Seeds will be started and although it seems late to some I can’t plant ANYTHING until Memorial Day in Rowe.  There is still snow on the ground and the entire back forty was completely frosted this morning.

I want everyone to know the feeling you have when you eat or serve a meal with food that you have grown.  You know everything about this food.  You may have nurtured it from seeds or have seen it eating grass on a sunny hill.  You have watered and fed and cooed over these plants and animals.  You have planned and brought these home grown ingredients together into something that is fabulously delicious in its own time.

Years ago (really not that many) people ate what was in season.  You didn’t eat tomatoes in January unless they were the “hot house” variety that completely lacked in both taste and nutrition.  Vegetables were not flown in from Argentina or California during the winter. The cycle of meals had everything to do with what was ripe at the time or food that you had put up and was in your cellar or freezer.  Growing up I remember my aunt and cousins staying with us when the garden was really beginning to produce.  For lunch each day there would be sandwiches made with the freshest of tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce.  A platter just laid out with the bounty of summer, a taste that can not be replicated in any way other than to pick the produce, slice it up and eat it within minutes. I understand what it’s like to share the food that I have grown with the people I love.  Hard work goes into it but it’s worth it when you see the look on someones face that is eating a particular plant for the first time or an old familiar one that tastes completely different because it is so fresh.

This year I think everyone should at least put a tomato plant in a pot of soil on their patio or steps or yard.  Throw in a few basil seeds for good measure.  This is sooo inexpensive to do and you will be paid back ten fold in something that you can not buy, the true taste of summer.

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