Friday, August 10, 2012
Peaches and Other August Events
I also got a peck of tomatoes last week for $9. Today, I got a half-bushel of tomatoes there for $9. (They also have pecks of pickling cucumbers for $9). Considering that my tomatoes are not a wildly productive in this drought, I wanted to make sure that I have enough tomatoes this year to get me through until next July.)
There are scores of varieties of peaches. Who knew? I'm starting to learn that they do not all ripen at the same time. Peach varieties are categorized by color and pit. There are white or yellow peaches. Then, there are cling and freestone peaches (which refers to whether the flesh clings to (or not) the seed pit). My favorite varieties are yellow peaches. The easiest to can are the freestone -- which ripen in late July through September. Because of the heat and drought, the harvest is a few weeks ahead of schedule (like everything else). The peaches are also smaller (and maybe sweeter) than usual. I'm usually not a fan of white peaches, but the white peaches I bought last week were quite tasty and looked very cute in the jars.
In years past, I've made what I call a fuzzy navel marmalade (i.e., peaches and naval oranges). However, I seem to be the only person who likes it. Last weekend, I tried a new recipe -- from Martha Stewart’s website – for peach rosemary jam. Oh boy. Is it good, or what. I never would have thought of that all by myself. (I did, however, add pectin). I’ve been eating it on crackers all week. I added triple sec to one jar just for grins and giggles.
This weekend, I’m going to try and teach Cathy to make jam and to can her preserves. I bought more peaches and perused a new Better Homes and Garden canning magazine that I picked up a few months ago. I’ll be making three peach jams. One with ginger. One with triple sec or cointreau. And then I have to chose between jalapeno, basil, white wine or bourbon. Oh the decisions.
Shockingly, my friends who receive my gifts of jams generally forget to return the jam jar so that I can refill it for them. (My mother is never so negligent. She ensures herself of refills every year). I had to go shopping for jam jars this afternoon since I am close to running out. My favorite are the 8 oz jars I found a few years ago at the Giant Eagle in Reynoldsburg. My next favorite are the half-pint quilted jelly jars. Wal-Mart had loads of them, but charges more for them than pint jars. Go figure. Then, the really fancy ones (i.e., short and wide-mouth) are about a dollar a jar and can be found at Target, Wal-Mart and Lowe’s. For that matter, the East Broad Street Lowe’s had absolutely everything you could possibly need (except quilted jelly jars) to can tomatoes or peaches near the back door in aisle 32. One cannot truly be a home food preserver without owning at least one copy of Ball’s Blue Book, which you can get at Lowe’s for about $6. I usually wait until late Fall to buy jars on sale or really early at Big-Lots. However, there are peaches that need me now, so what’s a girl to do?
at 7:55 PM