Friday, August 2, 2013


Years ago, when I first started at my job, I learned that a group of my nurse colleagues adopt a peach tree from Masumoto Family Farm. Actually, they adopt an organic peach tree and an organic nectarine tree. Each summer, over two weekends, they drive down to Fresno to harvest the fruit.

I've wanted in on the action since I learned about it. This year, one nurse dropped out so I got to take her place. I have the remains of 2 flats of fruit on my dining room table, and I'm expecting 2 more in the next couple of days.

So, we've been preserving.

The fermented dilly beans are nearly gone. They were really yummy on salads or just out of the jar, with sandwiches like a pickle. The babe liked them to teethe on. I will definitely make more of those, and I would like to ferment other things, too, like the cucumbers from our vine.

Next we made blueberry jam. Blueberries have a lot of natural pectin, so we followed a recipe and boiled blueberries and sugar. It's good, with a bit of a caramel note. I've been bringing peanut butter and jam sandwiches to work. I saw a recipe for blueberry jam with orange zest and juice in it. I'd like to try that sometime.

Next we used the peaches to make a Rosy Melba Peach Jam. The recipe called for peaches, raspberries, 7 cups of sugar! lemon juice and liquid pectin. Peach jam can be a little bland, and raspberries add a fantastic zing. We haven't tasted this since we canned it, but I'm afraid it's way too sweet. I've got to learn how to make jam with less sugar.

Yesterday we canned peaches in light syrup.

We also made the bacon jam from the new Better Homes and Gardens Canning magazine. We like it to make a riff on BLT sandwiches. It's really good spread on toast with crispy lettuce and a dill pickle. Don't omit the pickle! We thought this recipe is also too sweet. When we make it again we will halve the sugar and add a little cayenne or something for heat. Stay tuned!

Today I have plans for a nectarine habanero jam and nectarine chutney.

The tomatoes from our garden have gotten eaten fresh, with mozzarella, or tossed into a pan with olive oil for a sauce. They are too good to cook!

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