Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Peaches, Peaches, Everywhere!

On Saturday a bunch of us headed out to Bays Farms, in Banks, to pick peaches. The summer has been mild, & Coral had been calling the farms every week, asking if the fruit was ripe yet. It was finally time!

It was a blast & went much quicker than berry picking, that's for sure! The people at the farm are sweet---we go there regularly for fruit & Christmas trees---& they always give us freebies. This time they gave each of us 3 pounds of Shiro plums, which are a beautiful, pale, yellow-green.

Here are the lovely peach-mamas (Allie, Smels, Coral, & Sage), with fresh buckets in hand, ready to go back for another round of peaches:

Here's some of our loot:

Gorgeous golden globes:

Once home, we had to decide what to do with all these peaches. I think I got 50 pounds & Sage got 17 (a much wiser amount, in hindsight!). Here we have peaches in medium syrup & plain peach jam.

Then the next day, Sage made scrumptious poached peaches, with a hint of spice & vanilla. Tastiest. Breakfast. Evar.

And I made a few quarts of peaches, as more of my peaches ripened. (I picked them at various stages of ripeness, since there was no way I could have canned them all in one day---in fact, I still have a TON left). Yeah, they are floating, even though we followed the "rules."

And then Sage made her very first pie! It came out delicious as hell & it was my first time eating peach pie too. Weird!

Then we made more jam. Peach-lavender & shiro plum, with vanilla & black pepper. F'realz! It's an old-fashioned, pectin-free recipe.

The lavender flavor was made by using the peach recipe on the no-sugar/low-sugar pectin box, but we steeped 2 tablespoons of lavender flowers in hot apple juice for 10 minutes. I won't post the basic directions, since they come with the pectin, but the "recipe" contained:
  • 2 tablespoons lavender
  • 1 cup apple juice (heated to steep the lavender)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 cups diced peaches
  • 1 box pectin
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
You wouldn't believe how well the lavender flavor compliments the peaches. We were blown away. I can't wait to give a jar to Ethan's mom, Cathy, who loves lavender & once made me some lavender shortbread. :)

Even after all these peach concoctions, we still have about 30 pounds of 'em here. Millions of peaches...

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