you’re a peach

I prefer the quiet, lazy Tuesday evening farmer’s market to Saturday morning. The is partially true due to my man despising the market all together not because of what one can purchase and support but because of the who’s who scene of the chacos and the double lattes in hands and the dogs tied to telephone poles with hemp leashes and the bro-bra. It is inefficient. It makes him visibly twitch.

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So I have to go alone and I choose Tuesday nights. Just bug in her sling and me in my heels on the old cobblestone street.

Last Tuesday I went and happened upon the peach people. My heart was pounding and I was plotting at how I might take out the pushy lady next to me so that I could score a giant box of local, unsprayed peaches. And if you don’t care about odd shapes and earwigs, then the price is $22 for a 20 pound box. If you do care about such things, the price is $40 which is still a screaming deal. But I don’t care about hideous bugs hiding in the pits of my peaches.

We arrived at 5:25 and the farmers aren’t allowed to start selling until the bell rings or they get fined. It is this outrageous and annoying process (I have worked the other side of it for the farm I used to manage and it is even more annoying on that side). Anyway. I stood there teetering in my cute pumps, pitting out, waiting for the bell, hoping to get a box.

And, I got a box and made a mountain of peach butter. Bug helped me can and I thought about a year ago when I was canning with her.

Peach Butter Recipe :: Makes 30-36 half-pints

I prefer the natural sweetness of fruit to the sugary sweetness most recipes call for. I usually cut the sugar in half or omit all together. I did this recipe in two batches.

20 lbs. peaches
5-6 cups sugar

Blanch peaches and peel or just peel–depends ripeness and how easy that is. Anyway, put peeled peaches in a giant bowl of cool water with a teaspoon or so of ascorbic acid to preserve color. Or don’t. You can see in the picture below that half had the ascorbic acid and half didn’t. Without it, your butter will be a bit more brown but will taste the same. Set half aside because a normal largish pot will only hold about 10 pounds of peaches.

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Place half in large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add 2-3 cups of sugar (to taste) and simmer. After like 10 minutes, puree with the magic utensil or a food processor. Don’t liquefy! Leave chunks.

Cook down on low until kind of thickish and will mound a bit on a spoon. About an hour.

Ladle hot butter into hot jars and process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes or 20 if you live in Montana (above 3000 feet). Repeat with other half.

16 Responses to you’re a peach

  1. lera says:

    Ahhh! Peach butter! I just found a jar in my pantry that I made when I was pregnant with Spenser. I’m thinking I need to make homemade bread tomorrow.

  2. Susy says:

    Looks delicious. I’m just home from my mom’s with bags and bags of 100% organic all natural pears. I’m hoping to make tons and tons of pear butter and perhaps some canned pears if energetic enough.

  3. Wendy says:

    Ahhh, ascorbic acid. Mine always turn a bit brown, which is a pretty color in and of itself, but orange is even better.

    They’re gorgeous.

  4. TRB Holt says:

    That’s my girl! I can’t imagine anything better than a cup of your rich joe, with half and half, toasted birdman bread, spread thick with this peach butter, sitting at you kitchen table and feeding Margot her breakfast!

    I will make this happen soon!

    xoxo, Mom

  5. FinnyKnits says:

    Oh oh oh! That DOES look good. And I much prefer the quiet midweek markets than the weekend markets.

    The dogs tied to poles really got me there.

    We tried to walk down to our neighborhood Saturday market once, with the pooch, and they screamed at us like criminals when we tried to walk into the market (which is IN A PARKING LOT) with the dog.

    “YOU CAN’T BRING A DOG HERE!”

    But in Portland, there were dogs in the market everywhere. And as happy as could be. Not even eating anything from these carts.

    *sigh* Your butter is pretty.

  6. Kelle says:

    Oh, Girl, you make me wanna farm. you make me wanna make peach butter and stir it in a pot with a big pregnant belly! And then I read your mom’s comment and thought, Damn. I wanna sit at that table and taste rich joe and birdman bread…and i don’t even know what birdman bread is! ha! You make it all look…and sound good (i can hear the clickety-clack of your heels on that cobblestone. ah, cobblestone. how come all the streets aren’t made with it?)

  7. Melinda says:

    Yum! I’m salivating – it looks fabulous. And what great side by side pics! She’s a cutie!

  8. joan says:

    Wow you were truly a beauty pregnant even though your face isn’t showing in the above photo. I loved your belly. I’ve seen first hand your ability to manage yourself in a line. How can you doubt that you would not walk away with a box of peaches. They are gorgeous by the way. XOXO J

  9. Anonymous says:

    its time to take out the recycling!ha!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Yummy! I just took my 20 pound box of organic peaches out of the dehydrator(much less now :o) and put them into some lovely blue canning jars I bought at a yard sale. This Saturday I’m getting more and making your peach butter. I love Colorado peaches!!!

    diana

  11. I was hoping you wouldn’t notice the unbearably overflowing recycling. Thanks for pointing it out, anon. I think I know who you are…heh.

    By the way, all, we can’t get enough of this. It is delish.

  12. Nici -

    I can score a huge bag of peaches – advertised as “perfect for pies and jam” – at our local nursery. And I am going to make the butter. How much water do you use when you add the acid? Just enough to cover the peaches?

    Thanks. I’m looking forward to canning up some summer goodness.

    -Jennifer from Annapolis

  13. Britta says:

    Today is market day and ripe peaches all around. I had to search for your sugar ratio because I remembered it was good. Thanks (and i can’t believe this was 2008…it seems not that long ago when I read it new. WOW.)

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