Well, Irene is behind us now. "Good Night Irene" is right! Good riddance! Actually we got off easy, compared to Vermont and some other areas. We had lots of wind and rain, but no major damage. Some trees down in the neighbourhood, but not on our property. Laura did get home on Sunday night, despite the wind and rain. She was lucky to get bumped up to an earlier flight- good thing as her original flight was canceled, as I expected. For those of you who have followed her journey with the March of Remembrance and Hope since March, she is still posting on her blog http://pilgrimagetopoland.blogspot.com/ Her journey continues.... You can click here to read her latest posts.
So, my weekend in the kitchen yielded the Lady Ashburnham pickles, a batch of ratatouille and blueberries in the freezer, this Peach Jam, and now I have a large batch of sweet pickles underway. It's a new recipe for me so we'll see how it turns out. It takes 14 days.... I picked 22 large cucumbers from my garden today, and still have more... they're multiplying like bunnies....
My Peach Jam recipe originally came from either Chatelaine or Canadian Living magazine- I can't remember which one. I have modified it slightly to make it a little quicker/easier. Here it is:
Brandied Peach Jam
9 cups peeled and sliced peaches (pretty much a 4 liter basket)
9 cups w. sugar
4 medium oranges
1 cup slivered almonds
1 6oz. bottle maraschino cherries, drained and quartered
1/4 cup peach brandy (I have also used apricot brandy if I couldn't find peach, or Peach Schnapps)
Wash jars or bottles, rinse and place in oven to sterilize. Prepare sealer tops and screw bands for sterilizing.
Remove skin from peaches by plunging into simmering water for several minutes, then peeling. Slice peaches into large preserving kettle or stockpot. Mash with potato masher. Add sugar, stir. Place over low heat to begin warming while you prepare the citrus.
Wash oranges and lemon. Grate the zest of each, and squeeze the juice. If oranges are large or peaches are particularly juicy, as they are some years, I use only 3 oranges. I add any of the orange fiber that I can scrape from skins as well. Add juices and zest to peach mixture. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook, uncovered, at a brisk simmer until peaches are translucent (about an hour). Stir frequently, especially near the end of cooking time, to prevent scorching.
(If you cannot find the small bottle of cherries, I use about 1/2 cup, once chopped up.) Add cherries and almonds, cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and add brandy or schnapps. Stir. Ladle into hot sterilized jars, seal with melted paraffin and add tops and screw bands. This recipe makes roughly 12 8 oz. jars. Yummy!! A favourite of mine on croissants for Christmas morning breakfast...
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.