Friday, August 21, 2015

Saints Preserve Us.....

Did you know that there are Seven Patron Saints of the Culinary Arts?  No?  Neither did I until I looked it up and I was delighted to read about these Saints and why they were chosen to care for those of us that spend time in kitchens caring for our families and those we love.

I was very familiar with one of these Saints, Martha, the sister of Lazarus.  You remember Martha...she was the one who came whining to Jesus because she was slaving away in the kitchen and her sister, Mary, was just hanging out and visiting with Jesus.  Yep, that Martha.  Jesus told her to quit worrying about her sister and skedaddle back into the kitchen...maybe He was very hungry LOL.

Saint Martha

What made me think of this today is that when I was in the kitchen preparing for our peach marathon I suddenly heard my Parish Priest's Irish brogue saying Saints preserve us.  I don't know why....there hadn't been any calamities (yet) I was merely putting the jars in the dishwasher to ready them, putting pots of water on to boil and sanitizing counter tops when suddenly his voice popped into my head. Perhaps I am on his mind today as he, our Associate Pastor and our Sisters will certainly be included in the distribution when our peaches are preserved.

Tami arrived along with Raechal and Rae's friend, Hannah.  I love free help in the kitchen and always enjoy Rae's company.  Last time Rae helped me in the kitchen we she made Crunchy Peanut Surprise Cookies and she did a great job.  This time she and Hannah were more interested in the swimming pool and pool table than the kitchen except when they checked in to see if we needed taste testers.

Today we made peach salsa that we created after combing through several recipes and finally winging it and making our own version, a peach and jalapeno jam using a recipe from Mary Ellen of Recipes, Food and Cooking, honey spiced peaches and simple canned peaches using the Ball Blue Book of Preserving.

I'm a big believer that if you are going to be busy canning you may as well kill as many birds with one peach stone as you can so run up to your local pick your own farm, farmer's market or out to your back yard if you are lucky enough to own peach trees grab a bushel of peaches and let's get to work!

Zesty Peach Salsa

4 lbs. peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
2 lbs. tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
4 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and minced
2 T. cilantro, minced
1/2 t. cumin
2 T.  minced garlic
1/4 c. white vinegar
1/4 c. sugar

Combine all ingredients in a large pot over medium high heat.  Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes.  Ladle hot salsa into prepared hot jars, add lids and rings.  Process in a  boiling water bath for 15 minutes.  Print Recipe

Jalapeno Peach Jam
slightly adapted from Mary Ellen of Recipes, Food and Cooking

3 1/2 lbs peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
2 medium jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeded and minced
7 1/2 c. sugar
1 pouch liquid pectin
juice of 2 small lemons (1/4 c.)
1-2 T. butter

Place peaches, jalapeno, sugar and lemon juice in a large pot over medium high heat.  Bring to a boil and cook for about 30 minutes or until peaches are tender.  If the mixture foams stir in a T. of butter. You can add a second T of butter if needed.  When peaches are tender, add the liquid pectin and boil for one minute longer. Ladle jam into hot jars leaving a 1/4" headspace.  Wipe the rims, cover with lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath for 10-15 minutes.  Print Recipe

The process for both the sliced peaches and the honey spiced peaches is the same.
The syrup and the addition of spices into the jars are the only differences.

Honey Spiced Peaches
slightly adapted from Ball Blue Book of Preserving

8 lbs. peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into eight slices
1 c. sugar
4 c. water
2 c. honey
6 t. fruit fresh
1 stick cinnamon per qt or 1/2 stick per pt.
1/2 t. whole allspice per qt or 1/4 t. per pt.
4 whole cloves per qt or 2 cloves per pt.

Combine sugar, water, honey and fruit fresh in large pot over med high heat.  Cook until sugar dissolves. Add peaches and cook until heated through.  Ladle hot peaches into hot jars leaving 1/2" headspace.  Place cinnamon, allspice and cloves in jar, seal with lids and rings.  Process for 25 minutes in boiling water canner.  Print Recipe

Canned Peach Slices
adapted from Ball Blue Book of Preserving

8 lbs peaches, peeled pitted and cut into eight slices
2 1/4 c. sugar
5 1/4 c. water

Combine sugar and water in large pot over med high heat until sugar is melted.  Add peaches and heat through.  Ladle hot peaches and liquid into hot jars.  Adjust two piece caps and process for 25 minutes in a boiling water canner.  Print Recipe

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  1. Oh my gosh now you have my mouth watering for a peach! I bought a half bushel last week and hoped to at least make a peach cobbler. However peach juice has been dripping down the chin of one teenage boy! I'll see if any are left in the box!!

    1. Only a teenage boy could take out a half bushel of peaches in a few days LOL>


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