Startled by Peaches (+ Peach Salsa Recipe)

peach-fuzz-1322572-1279x852Seven years ago I brought home a bunch of what could generously be called, well, sticks. It seemed as though it would take forever for them to emerge as anything but kindling. But year followed year, and the sticks turned into trees, which eventually began to take shape as an actual orchard. It isn’t huge; we only have 12 trees, but it’s a productive combination of peaches, apples, pears and plums.

This spring the trees were an absolutely breathtaking array of colorful, bee-infused blossoms that soon transformed into our first ever fruit harvest. The peaches ripened first. They came slowly for the first week until suddenly I found myself overwhelmed by a rather startling amount of peaches. I got out the jars and the canner and got to work, determined not to miss out on a single peach. Continue reading

In a Pickle…and Those Darn Tomatoes!

Try pickled beets in the Perfect Pickler! It's available now at Lehmans.com.

Perfect Pickler: large size fits your 1 gal to 2-1/2 gal wide mouth jar; small size fits your 1/2 pt to 2 pt wide mouth jars.

Beyond Pickles I have always made a lot of pickles. We eat something pickled nearly every day. Pickled beans and beets are our favorites with carrots and cauliflower nearly as popular. We like bread and butter pickles too but by now, last year’s are are getting a bit soggy and nobody likes a soggy pickle. Lately, I have been making a lot more lacto-fermented pickled than traditional canned pickles in brine. We can make a ½ gallon of pickles and eat them over the course of a few weeks and then just make up another crispy batch. The process is really simple too. All you need is a sharp knife and a cutting board and some ½ gallon jars. Almost any vegetable can be fermented although a few things don’t appeal to me. I have tried pickled greens and found them, well…odd is all I can say about them. Continue reading