09 September 2009

Peach Butter with Cinnamon and Vanilla Bean

I mentioned I was out collecting mason jars, but did I mention why? I don't think I did. This labor day weekend, Miriam and I opted to labor over some of late summer's bounty and put it up over 12 odd hours in her cozy kitchen. It was the perfect thing for a three day weekend. One day to gear up, one day to do it, and one day to recover from all the hard work. Maybe we're insane, but we undertook three separate projects to do in one day. Which means that by the end, we'd made more than fifty jars of preserved food to gaze upon with self satisfaction. If that constitutes insanity, then you'd better lock me up. I'd do it again in a heartbeat...but give me some time to get through the stuff. There is a lot of food in my cupboard now waiting to be slurped, spread and crunched upon.

We bought a box of peaches from the Temescal Farmers Market, 50 cents a pound for the bruised ones. Even these were of such high quality that we squirreled away some of them fresh while we were busy cooking down the rest.

Here are some photos of the festivities. I'm going to post them in stages, so that no one has occassion to be overwhelmed. To keep things light, we paired a nice beer with each phase of the process. For the huge batch of peach butter, we selected Anderson Valley's Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema. The beer was light but flavorful, a good combination to savor over the three hours that pot of butter sat on the stove. Waiting for spoon-coating consistency can seem an eternity and so it was important to keep our hands full of cold beverages.

Next up: Strawberry Fig Jams

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