Sunday, August 21, 2011

It's harvest season!

Harvesting the Good Things
I've been busy these past 3 days with the box of peaches I bought on Friday. I'll be making my jelly later this year when it's cooler, but I hadn't made peach butter in several years and it's a family favorite. You have no idea how much work I can get out of my 3 fellas by offering them a small jar of peach butter! ;)

It's a long process, starting with dropping the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds so the skins slip off easily. Then they're chopped, one of my secret ingredients is added and they're cooked until soft. Next is putting them through the food mill to make a fine puree and remove any bits of seed that may have crept in there. Then we add the sugar and cook them down while stirring. This is the tough part--standing beside the pot for 1.5-2 hours, stirring and testing to see if it's condensed enough to jar and seal. As it cooks down, it splatters everywhere and you have to watch your hands and feet to make sure you don't get burned with flying hot peach butter! I usually bring a book and hope the peach butter doesn't splatter it. But it's all worth it, since I made 16 cups and that should last us for 2 years.

The remains of 26 peaches!
Peaches in the pot, and more for dessert!

Pureed and measured so I can add sugar

I’m still plugging away on the lace curtain. I have 4 more repeats of the lace pattern then I can start the hem, which is all stockinette stitch and should go much faster. I have also begun a swatch for an autumn-themed vest for myself. Below is the swatch, knitted in the round so I get the correct gauge. The yarn is all my handspun from my blended batts and it’s lucious–the ground color (beige) is a blend of BFL, Merino and tussah silk and it’s just so slickery-soft. The vest will be knitted in the round and steeked. Then I’ll add a leaf border around the fronts and just a bit of the red around the armholes. Or maybe I’ll use the brown/green yarn? Both the red and brown/green yarns contain angelina because I love glitter and glitz. You can see just a bit of the gleam in the closeup photo.

So, what's everyone else doing with their garden produce or their farmer's market purchases this year? Any good recipes out there?


Doris Sturm said...

Wow, I'm not sure I could stand in front of the stove for that long to stir the peaches...but it does sound wonderful. I've never heard of Peach butter before, but why not?

That knitted autumn pattern looks wonderful, but very difficult to make with all the color changes...but it will be worth it after it's all done...

All the best,
Doris and Gizzy ;-)

Feisty said...

Doris, the yarn is variegated so there are only 2 yarns in each row. There's actually only 3 yarns--the background beige, the red border and the autumn-y green yarns.