I was a little disappointed that I kind of missed strawberry season. We usually buy somewhat local (grown in Oklahoma) strawberries and make jam. That didn’t happen. I felt it did not bode well for jam season.
To make myself feel better, I pulled some frozen blueberries out of the freezer and made some jam. And of course there were blackberries to be had this year. (See Blackberry Port Jam and Blackberry Lime Jam.)
Last year, we traveled to Porter to buy peaches and nectarines. That didn’t happen this year either. Again, I was worried about what I would give as Christmas gifts.
But, please ask what I did this past weekend. Yep, I canned my butt off.
Our white peach tree came through with over fifteen pounds of peaches.
And, the grapes decided to ripen.
Why did this all occur the week that school started when I was so worn out after work? I was putting as much fruit in the fridge as possible and hoping what was still on the tree and vine would be okay.
I made Peach-Rosemary Jam (hope to post about that soon but in the meantime, you can check out the recipe here), peach marmalade, grape-orange jam, vintage grape jam, some grape conserve, and two kinds of spiced peach jam (boozy and non-boozy).
This Spiced Peach Jam came from my vintage Farm Journal cookbook. I adapted it just a bit by omitting the pectin and adding some brandy.
Spiced Peach Jam with Brandy
4 c. (about 3 lbs.) ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice, strained
1 oz. brandy
7 1/2 c. sugar
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. ground allspice
Combine peaches, lemon juice, and brandy
Add sugar and spices; mix well. Place over high heat and bring to boil, stirring often. Reduce heat a bit so jam is lively simmering. Stir often and be careful not to let it scorch. Cook for about 30 minutes or until mixture looks “jammy.”
When you deem the mixture ready, take off heat and skim off foam if necessary.
Ladle into hot sterilized jars and seal. Process in a water bath for ten minutes.
Let jam stand for two weeks before using.
Yield: 5-6 half-pint jars.
This stuff smells wonderful while cooking. It made our kitchen smell like Christmas. The original recipe adds this note:
Add Spiced Peach Jam to cream cheese for a delightful sandwich spread. Or serve as a relish with cold meats such as ham or with chicken.
Oh, and did I tell you I also picked a five gallon bucket full of cucumbers too.
I also made five jars of Delicious Dills (also from this same vintage cookbook).
And….there are still more grapes to pick.
I should not have been worried. There will be enough jam and jelly to go around this holiday season.
A few posts ago, I posted a toad stool instead of a virtual flower for Abigail. Aimee (Abby’s mom) commented that they couldn’t believe how huge it was. Aimee and Abby, that was a baby toad stool.
This was the HUGE one.
This was the view from the top.
Giggles and hugs!