Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fruits of the garden...

Busy time of the year for my kitchen!

I've been working up the luscious peaches I bought, and have the rest to finish up today. So far, I have made quite a few half-pints of peach jam, plus dried 2 big batches of peach leather. Making the peach leather was a first for me, and it turned out yummy. I had to add a little sugar to counter the lemon juice I used to keep the peaches from turning brown. I may make peach-orange marmalade today with the rest of the peaches. Of course, I have also eaten many, many of them fresh! YUM.

I have tomatoes to start canning, and the pole beans are ready to start picking. The tomatoes are not so great, lots of bad spots to cut out, but I hope the rest will be okay to can as tomato chunks. Pressure canning kills anything! Hopefully my second planting of tomatoes across the garden will do better; they are flowering now.

Yukon Gold potatoes are dug and stored. I didn't weigh them, but probably more than 50 pounds. The fingerlings are still growing...

Over the last week, my sister picked about 2 gallons of wild blackberries from a lot near where she works, plus I picked a bunch more up behind the house. I have strained the juice and frozen it for now, but some of it will become a blackberry savory when I have time.

Edited to add: Tomatoes were a bust. Blight has set in.

I did, however, make some super peach marmalade (one orange, one lemon, one lime, 4 cups peaches), and a batch of spicy peach jam with a touch of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. I just love using Pomona's Universal Pectin; it always jells, and lets me cut the sugar considerably. For example, the recipe for the peach marmalade called for 5-1/2 cups of sugar, using Sure-Jell powdered pectin. With Pomona's Pectin instead, I used just over a cup of sugar, and it tastes plenty sweet enough... plus it jelled almost the moment it came out of the water bath!

If you've never used Pomona's Pectin, be aware the package price is higher than Sure-Jell. HOWEVER, one box makes 3-4 batches of jelly or jam vs. one with Sure-Jell. You get what you pay for!

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