Saturday, January 21, 2012

When Life Gives You Peaches....

Happy New Year 2012.  Gosh, January is more than half gone.  And summer  is lovely and warm.  Just this week friends Chris & Julie  offered us some gorgeous fruit off their backyard fruit trees.  Peaches, white nectarines, and beautiful small plums with deep ruby red flesh.  At home, I piled the fruit up in bowls and then stepped back to admire it.  Looks so abundant, having all this stunning fruit.

So what to do with it ?!  Ian and I have already been eating the previous batch we got.  This time we have more, and it seems a pity not to do something fun with it.  I have a small book with jam and jelly recipes I bought last winter and also had some cute mason jars with red gingham pattern lids.  So I thought, why not make jam.

But it is easier said than done.  One needs a lot of other tools and supplies to make jam properly.  I did some research on the net, finding excellent resources about how to preserve jam safely.  And on checking our kitchen, was a bit sad to realise we did not have a big enough pot for me to "process" the filled jam jars in a boiling water bath (which is part of how to ensure you don't create bacteria and toxins).  I found some online, but did not think I would get them fast enough for this batch of fruit.

But today, I stopped at a second hand "op shop" on my way from the farmers market.  And behold, I encountered an old metal jam processing pot with lots of accessories.  Tag on top said "$10 for the lot".  Done, I took it and packed it into the car, finished my errands and brought it all home.

So now decisions to be made, what sort of jam to make ?  By midday I settled on plum.  I need to prepare the fruit and sugar, which mulls together overnight, and tomorrow morning I make the jam.  And sterilise bottles and lids, then fill them.  And process them.

Today I made a peach flaugnarde cake, much like the plum one I did at Christmas.  And, I remembered to dust it with icing sugar while warm this time.   It looks amazing and the whole kitchen smells divine.  The kitchen in this old house of ours loves being such a productive and working kitchen too.  I can just feel it !

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