sleeplessness=potholder and peach butter

I had an exhausting week last week and haven’t really been able to catch up because sleep escapes me. I don’t even promise an articulate post because this lady is tired.

I woke Saturday morning at 4a and after tossing for a bit decided to just rise. It was actually lovely and quiet and coffee and studio all to myself. I made a potholder. It took me like two hours because I was all this log cabin stuff is supposed to be real easy and I can use up some scraps but then I felt overly (unnecessarily) confident and didn’t google it and I started from the outside which any non-sleep depraved person would realize is super stupid but anyway, it was a good two hour 4-6a exercise. And it turned out pretty cute even with the wonkiness.

And then I made peach butter. The favorite canned item in my home that Andy hoards and I have to sneaky give gifts of. It has a lot to do with the peaches from Forbidden Fruit Orchard in Paradise, MT. How sweet is that name and town combo? yes. They grow beautiful, unsprayed peaches and sell them by the box full at the market. *And* they sell seconds for about a dollar a pound….if one is willing to deal with some dents and bugs and split pits, it’s a peachy opportunity.

I get so excited when the peaches start to roll out that I am kind of a lunatic about it. The seconds go fast and I am not about to let little grandma with her cute satchel cut me in line. I get my aggressive, crazed pregnant lady-with-toddler on and I get my peaches.

I just love canning. It’s in my blood. I feel a real connection to my mom, my grandma and women in the kitchen all over the world both present and past. It’s just such a good and true and satisfying thing to do. And it’s all passed down through stories and days spent in the kitchen over a hot stove.

canning with bug: 2007, 2008, 2009

So I looked at my post from last year to guide my recipe this year (last year was the best ever fruit to sug ratio) and my recorded yield was way off. I know some of you made the butter and I apologize but at least it was off in a good way….what a lovely surprise this year! 20 pounds of peaches actually yield about 30-36 half pints of butter (not 18ish. depending on how long you cook down). I amended the post to reflect the truth.

What is butter and did you just make it up and why don’t you just say jelly or jam like a normal person?, you ask? Well, butter doesn’t have added pectin and very minimal added sugar. Butter involves a long, slow thickening of the pureed fruit resulting in a sweetly concentrated spread with distinctly fruity, not sugary, flavor. For example, the Ball book calls for 7 1/2 cups of sugar and one pouch of pectin for 8 pints of jam. I use 2 cups of sugar and no pectin for 18 pints.

I even got to use the early morning potholder on the late morning butter making!

The result is pure bliss. We add to oatmeal, ice cream, strong cheeses. It’s great on sandwiches, meats and herby spreads. And then just on crusty bread with butter and coffee. Make some and sing it.

35 Responses to sleeplessness=potholder and peach butter

  1. sarah says:

    looks so good! i have a peach tree in my yard in my new house and i don’t know what to do with it – they seem too green to pick, but then i’ll go outside and there will be two on the ground but they have been chewed by some animal or bird. Do i pick them off the tree ? Will they ripen after being picked? Want to come and pick them and make me some peach butter? mmmm.

  2. Katie says:

    I’ve heard that you can make great fruit butters with a crock pot. Currently looking into this.

    Love the 2007/8/9 shots of Margot + canning.

  3. Kelle says:

    I am lying here in a lawn chair under a huge striped umbrella at our water park alone as Brett kept L…and the sky is vivid and the breeze is divine and U2’s ‘in the name of love’ is blaring over the park’s speakers… And I am reading on my phone of my friend’s peach butter and simultaneously feeling some of the first flips and flutters I have so looked forward to…and I am totally crying. At a water park. In a bikini. And now the song has changed to some profane rap song… And i’m not crying anymore. Ha. That said…your peach butter post gets me every time! I knew if was coming and remember finding your blog for the first time on that peach butter post two years ago. Love that divinity and while I never tried it any other way but with crusty bread and coffee, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Jam? Yuk…can’t do it anymore after tasting the heaven that smooth concoction yields. Can on, baby!

  4. paige says:

    geez you make a lazy person feel inspired. although, I know I will never in my life wake up at 4 am and start quilting, followed by canning, I sure wish I would, because you make it look beautiful and soulful.

  5. abigail says:

    I want to marry you, have you as my neighbor, be your sister or your best friend. I am inspired and think you are making the world a better place…free Organic housekeeping for some jars of goodies, is my offer to you!!! Thanks for the warm heart and updates!

  6. Katie says:

    Nici~your posts like this always make me feel so damn lazy 😉 However, you’ve just inspired me to get my bum off the couch and make a nice dinner for my fam :) Love & miss you xoxo

  7. Sarah, Pick your peaches! They’ll ripen up just fine. Don’t pile em or they’ll bruise. Lay flat (you can have two deep) in a dark place and voila! If you don’t want to can, you can blanch and freeze and enjoy a little summer during your cold winter. Let me know if you want more info.

  8. Heather says:

    Girl, that is exactly what the husband and I did this weekend! We call ours “sauce” and buck the sugar instructions too. Flipping nothing like cooked down peaches.

    Feeling the first fall over here, how crazy to welcome another season already.



  9. TRB Holt says:

    Margot~a peach eating a peach!

    I know your great-grandma, Grammy and me are all smiling knowing that this wonderful tradition is being carried on by you and someday your girls, (not just for girls, Travis helped me do pickles just a few weeks ago!). You are right there is nothing like standing back and looking at all those yummy jars of jams, butters, beets, fruits and PICKLES…..I love my pickles! Ice cold peaches or pears, put up by you, on a snowy December morn is a must.

    So sweet the 3 pix of you in 2007, 2008 & 2009, next year you’ll be stirring with two!

    LOVE the hot pad!

    xoxo, Mom/Gram

    Ps…get some rest, Mom says!

  10. Anonymous says:

    we just had homemade muesli with organic seconds– peaches and apples from Ela Family Farm! Next Saturday I’m getting a box and makin’ your peach butter, it sounds delish!!

    Have you ever tried dehydrated peaches? I slice them, dip then in a lemon-pineapple juice blend and stick them in the dehydrator overnight. They’re great to add to oatmeal on backpacking trips.

    Thanks for your blog, it’s so enjoyable to read!


  11. Melissa says:

    girlfriend, i think you are amazing.

    way to embrace the insomnia and make the most of it. i love the last photo of your peach butter. it must be so satisfying to look at that after all your work. i love the ritual of your generations of family doing the same. Lucky Margot, baby girl 2, and Andy. So funny that he hoards it. That is totally something Leeor would do (if I canned, which, let’s be honest, is never gonna happen).

    Bring on the fall!

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  14. Lashley says:

    Love the shapes/colors/lighting in the last photo! Beautiful finished product, for sure.

  15. Chiot's Run says:

    I remember your post last year about this. I love peach butter as well. I can’t find local unsprayed peaches around here, I wish I could. Perhaps a peach tree in the back yard should be on my fall to-do list.

  16. Joan says:

    I cracked up at your mom’s comment. Next year you will be stirring with 2. Holy crap. That gramma with the cute satchel wont have a prayer against a tired mother with TWO baby girls trying for a buck a pound seconds. I wonder why you are having a hard time sleeping. Maybe a warm shower before bed would help. Sweet dreams honey

  17. Kelle says:

    I’m sending you a cruet of magic dream dust so you can sleep. :o) xoxo

  18. Beegirl says:

    Your peaches look fantastic. Love your pot holder too. Wishing you some rest.. thanks for taking the time to post. This is so lovely.

  19. damn! I’m gonna have to learn to can! this peach butter looks fantastic and I would love to do an apple rhubarb butter…heck, anything and rhubarb butter…raspberry, peach, cat food…yum!!!! (okay, maybe not the cat food, though you never know!)

  20. hermit, I think I will do a post about canning basics as I have had several questions…Stay tuned and your rhubarb concoction will be a reality!

  21. Nici…. I can’t believe a year has passed since the last peach butter post… SCARY!! and – *sigh* – the picture sequence of 2007-2009! simply marvelous :) it made my heart leap!

  22. p.s. you could totally sell yer peach butter (I would buy some for sure)… Andy might not approve though!

  23. LOVED THIS. All of it, but most of all the photos of canning. Peach butter sounds like heaven. (I would hide it)

  24. LOVED THIS. All of it, but most of all the photos of canning. Peach butter sounds like heaven. (I would hide it)

  25. sorry.. I kept hitting the ‘publish your comment’ button.. a little impatient to get to your next post about pizza.

  26. Heidi says:

    peach butter…yummy. love that you can. youareamazing!!!

    my parents can or jar tomatoes. i should see if they will teach me. kelle and i can can some toms…ooh, operation-make-a-day better. ask kelle. you’ve inspired me to learn…LOL, i no have a tomato garden…wtf am i talking about. we could find something. maybe pumpkins?!

    love the belly!!!

  27. FinnyKnits says:

    Simply beautiful that shot with the jars. Ahh! Love it!

    I will admit to opening my cupboard just to look at my canned goods. Those pickles are hot.

  28. Anonymous says:

    not sure if you check back but just in case, the peach butter has been simmering for a couple hours and is still pretty runny. Is yours more buttery then that? Maybe the CO peaches are juicier then MT peaches ;o)!


  29. Diana, Did it work out? I have had stubborn batches before that took a few hours to cook down enough. You know, it doesn’t need to be super thick because when it cools, it does thicken a bit. Let me know how yours turned out!

  30. Anonymous says:

    It turned out great, more syrupy then butter but delicious! for the second batch I didn’t add any water and it was more buttery. Bought another box of peaches this AM :o).


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