Ginger-Peach Preserves and Pepper Season Begins!

A friend made a weekend trip down to Texas last weekend, and brought back a few fresh tomatoes and a load of fresh-picked peaches. She shared a bag of them with me, and after eating just one of them, I figured I’d better can something before the rest went to waste (it was too busy a week to consume an entire bag of peaches).

Ginger-Peach Preserves

Ginger-Peach Preserves

The batch actually made three small jars, but I’m only keeping one–one went to the friend who gave me the peaches and the other may find its way to the West Coast by the end of the month for another friend’s birthday (and I bet you know who you are, fellow Leo).

I cut up the peaches (about 12-15), removed the pits and any bad spots, then threw them in a pot and cooked them down with about a cup of sugar (a third of it brown sugar), a cinnamon stick, a sprinkling of nutmeg, a capful of vanilla extract, and a grated “thumb” of fresh ginger.

When it was thick, I ran it through my strainer, cooked it a little longer to the perfect consistency, and processed the 1/2 pints for about fifteen minutes in a boiling water bath.

In other garden-related news–it’s the beginning of the pepper season here–and it looks like I’ll have plenty of sweet peppers for at least two in each delivery this week–maybe three. I’ll also have a Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper for each CSA member.

The sugar snaps will again make their way into deliveries, but this may be the end of the line for the vines. I am hoping I’ll have a nice-sized cucumber for each of the bags as well–I am watching closely because the numbers are close on that one. As I’ve said before, germination was low in the first planting, so the real cuke bounty will come when the second planting matures.

I did plant just a few leftover Marvel of Venice pole bean seeds along the trellises in the west garden (and a larger, later planting of Northeaster pole beans for deliveries in the eastern garden).

Beans in a Pan

Beans in a Pan

We had a few of those delicious, flat beans last night–a simple prep–just a tiny bit of water in the bottom of the pan, then lidded and turned on high ’til it boiled, then I turned the heat off and let the built-up steam cook the beans to perfection. Drained the water and tossed the beans with just a little butter, salt, and pepper.



One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Matt on July 16, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    m’ dear . . . i can’t wait. those preserves sound mouth-wateringly good.

    lately i’ve been resisting the impulse to process all the fruit around me into sorbets . . . while i was on my vacation up north I got some fruit from the roadside stands . . . a decadently sweet and juicy cantaloupe and some indescribably delicious strawberries. the flavor and textures were so remarkable I had to wonder what the hell the supermarkets are doing to kill the flavor… I suppose a lot of this produce is kept in cool temp storage and that may dampen the richness. this week my late night snack has been cherries. i may try a sorbet with these though…seems like an interesting challenge.

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