Thursday, August 29, 2013

From soil to belly

A full harvest of peaches has come to us. They came from Connecticut where they have been growing this season at the Husband's family's homestead. The tree was planted originally to enjoy the spring flower blossoms. Now, five years later, it is yielding fruit.

Tante LoLo, as the Rutabaga calls her, brought us the harvest from one full peach tree. This is as close as I get to full circle. I know where the fruit grew this season and how it was taken care of.  The full harvest from one tree was kept together and brought to my house. Then we turned this abundance into jam. For the last couple mornings the whole family has enjoyed eating the jam with breakfast.

We made two different peach jam recipes. The first was a simple peach jam using Pomona's pectin.

4 cups mashed peaches
1/4 c lemon juice
2 cups sugar
3t Pomona's pectin and 4t calcium water
Follow the link above for the rest of the canning recipe.

The jam was delicious and straight peach. It was a little overly sweet from the sugar, and next time I'd try maybe 1 1/2 cups.

The second recipe we made was Maple Vanilla Peach Jam from Preserving with Pomona's Pectin. This jam was delightful. I don't know that I had ever actually cooked with a real vanilla bean before. (I usually skip over the recipes that call for them.) But this time we decided to go for it. Hand-tended peaches deserved the best. Real vanilla bean has an exotic, yet comfortably familiar, flavor to it. This recipe also used maple syrup instead of sugar for the sweetener. I preferred it because the taste was sweet without being cloying.

Here are Tante LoLo and I with our yield, minus the jars that were already consumed for breakfast and a bag of peaches still ripening in my kitchen.

The postscript is that they brought us a peach tree which we planted in our yard yesterday. In a couple years, hopefully, we too will have peaches to harvest.

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