Friday, July 22, 2011

Just Peachy

Of all of God's good food gifts, the peach has got to be near the top of the list.

Every year, around June 1, I start getting giddy over that soon-to-be bite of juicy, drip down-your-chin-goodness of the first peach of the season. I was actually surprised this year at how early they appeared at the Farmer's Market here in Bolivar, MO. Pate's Orchard in Stockton is our local supplier and I have yet to be disappointed in any of their produce. We also frequent Plaster's Orchard at the Polk/Green County line. Plaster's people drive over to the Bootheel once a week and pick up peaches grown in Campbell, MO, from Bader Orchards. I am eating one even as I type - a process that is going slower than usual, since I am stopping every bite to close my eyes and say yummmmm....

It's fitting that the delicious peach I'm eating now is from Campbell, MO, where my Mom was born and raised. It's her recipe that I want to share with you. When my parents first moved to Bolivar, they ran over to Stockton to buy peaches. My mom overheard a lady in the building talking about making Peach Conserve. Never shy, she asked for the recipe on the spot. To say we like it, love it, is an understatement. It now occupies a hallowed place in our family. Mom usually makes 30 pints or so every summer, but this summer, she's felt a little more under the weather than usual. So, the girls and I tried our hand at it. Thankfully, Mom has been just a phone call away...
 I was actually on the phone with her when I copied down this recipe. A couple of clarifications:
     -a #2 can is 20 oz.
     -3 oz jello pkg
My mom emphasized the "don't skimp" part, so I set my timer to make sure I didn't.

Recipe ready, it was time to start. I googled how to get my jars and lids ready. I went here, found it interesting, but ended up doing what my mom said, and boiled everything. Then, the girls and I started peeling.
Many hands make light work

 And tasting. You can't help it. That goodness is just begging to go in your mouth.

 After the peeling and crushing, we boiled.

It takes a while to get that volume to a boil - and don't have your pot too full. I combined two recipes the next time we made it, and it boiled over. Not fun. Then the "no skimping" part and - done.

After making an impromptu funnel out of a styrofoam cup, we poured that conserve goodness into our jars. After all the lids had sealed and jars had cooled, we took them down to the downstairs frig where they will live until they are gone. Because of careful rationing, especially at the end of our supply, we usually don't eat our last jar until about March - which gives us a couple of months or so to miss it and long for it again!

We still have 1 or 2 more recipes to make - each one makes about 6 pints. I'm getting the hang of it, thanks to Mom's good recipe and her good coaching. I'm glad she wasn't shy that day in Stockton. And I'm very glad God made the peach.

Note: My Follow Through Fridays will return...we've just been traveling so much this summer, that I'm all discombobulated. Just to help me get back on track, I'm giving myself a small goal this week. I have a sampler that is 22 years in the making (embarrassing). I worked on it some while we were at camp, and I'd like to work on it for at least an hour a week. So, next week, I'll report if that happens.

1 comment:

  1. 1. How did I not know your mom is from MO?
    2. Love the of the photo of the recipe with the background of peaches.
    3. Love all the Harris ladies working together--isn't that the best part of these projects?
    4. Have missed your regular blog posts, but knowing what a busy summer you've had, I will take what I can get :)