Sunday, July 31, 2011


Is there anything better than a visit from relatives when they bring you a taste of home?

Tim's Aunt Pat and cousin Laurie came to visit for Tim's mother's birthday. They are always so thoughtful and bring some appropriate gift for our home. And this time they also brought a bag of South Carolina peaches from a farm stand in their town.

Of course I had to eat one right away, and this was far and away the best peach I've ever eaten. I hear it is a good year for peaches, and these are so sweet I am not even tempted to add sugar. Mmmmmmm! And they smell so wonderful.

Peach is my favorite flavor. I am a sucker for peach lemonade, and peach ice tea. I love Olive Garden's version with the frozen peach slices instead of ice cubes. Ocean Spray makes a delicate flavored White Cranberry Peach Cocktail juice that I can't resist.
And the coffee shop in town makes a wonderful peach mango smoothie. I usually eat peaches fresh, but I also enjoy them canned now and then (if Mom goes to the trouble). I have been known to cook with them too. Below is a delicious recipe for Peach Salsa that I've served with grilled pork chops.

Peach Salsa

Plan to make this fruity salsa early in the day or the day before for best flavor. Serve this tasty peach salsa with grilled or pan-fried pork, fish, or chicken.

•4 small peaches, peeled and diced
•Juice of 2 limes, about 1/4 cup juice
•2 teaspoons honey
•2 to 3 tablespoons diced red bell pepper
•1 tablespoon finely minced jalapeno pepper (optional)
•1 heaping tablespoon chopped cilantro
•1 small clove garlic, finely minced (optional)
•2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion or sweet onion


Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until serving time. The flavors are best if the salsa is refrigerated for 4 hours or overnight. Serve with grilled or broiled fish, pork, or chicken.
Makes 1 1/2 to 2 cups.

**Footnote: Today ended up being sweet pickle day. Even though we went through a lot of cucumbers entertaining this weekend, what with veggie trays and cucumber salad, we still had an over abundance. I'm getting better at estimating required amounts of brine and jars to match the cucumbers I have.

I've also perfected a system to keep the jars hot. When I remove them in the stock pot from the stove, I set a second low sided pot in the sink, empty some of the sterilizing water from the jars into the second pot as I remove them, then set the jars in the pot of hot water as I stuff them which keeps them warm. Then I just carry this pot out to the turkey fryer to process, and add water to the first stock pot returning it to the stove top boil a second batch of empty jars. Result: no broken jars, and no juggling hot jars on the way out the door.

It also helps tremendously to have Tim around to watch the water bath, operate doors, and keep asking "how long?" and "what's next?". It keeps me on schedule. Canning food is one of those operations that goes so much smoother with an extra set of hands.


  1. Why is it called canning when it really goes in jars? That has always puzzled me...

  2. Per our last conversation, speaking of book recommendations, in light of this post you might enjoy,"Epitaph of a Peach" by David Mas Masumoto if you haven't already read it.

    In a lot of ways I'm still more of a fan of books than I am of Nooks, but I've ordered and read three books on my Nook while waiting for the IRL book I ordered last week to show up !

  3. Initially, in the early 1800s,food preservation was done in tin cans. It wasn't until the late 1800s that someone invented the can opener, and studies had advanced to preserving in both cans and jars. Around the turn of the century, housewives began to learn the art of home "canning". Until then, food was preserved by drying, salting or smoking. Thanks to our ability to safely store "fresh" fruits and vegetables, our diets have changed, and we don't have to eat dried beans, root crops and winter squash throughout the cold months!

  4. I have a question about pickling that you might or might not be able to help me with.

    My issue is that I end up with TONS of cucumbers, yet not really ever enough for the pickling recipes I have. With regular dill pickles it doesn't matter too much, I just waste some of the spiced pickling liquid (and then 2 days later could do it all again, *sigh*). But some recipes (like my mustard pickles) require obscene amounts of cucumbers (14 cups, prepared!). Do you ever run into the dilemma where you have SO many, and yet still not enough?

    For your previously mentioned issue of too many pots...I sterilize my jars in one big pot, fill them, and then place them back into the same pot for processing. But then you have your super awesome turkey thingy and I have just me and one stove :)