Thursday, August 20, 2015

Peach Jam

When we were first planning our move out to Ohio, I envisioned myself as becoming some kind of pioneer woman out here - the kind of woman who cans tomatoes and darns socks.

Well, this past week I came pretty close to making this vision a reality:  I made my own jam... from fruit I picked myself. 

And just to be clear, this was not from one of those U-Pick farms next to the highway. Oh no. I scavenged my fruit from the wild.  Sort of.

The unoccupied rental property across the street has a peach tree out front, and last week the peaches reached the point where they were ripe and actually falling off the tree. So naturally, I went ahead and helped myself (along with my neighbor who I think might actually be a real pioneer woman).

They're smaller than the peaches you find at the supermarket, and they don't taste as sweet. In fact, the first time I ate one, I thought it was an apricot. The property manager says this is because we've had so much rain this year - peaches apparently like to dry out between waterings. 

Being organically grown (as about as organic as you can get since nobody tends to this tree), all of the peaches had spots or areas where bugs had gotten into them. We ate several of them fresh, but there were so many that I decided to try my hand at cooking them down for peach jam.

Now, these are the hot, lazy days of summer, so the only way this was actually going to happen was if I could find a simple recipe that didn't require a lot of work or a trip to the grocery store. And what do you know, I found one!

One of my favorite DIY blogs, A Beautiful Mess, posted a recipe for chia seed jam a while back. It's a little weird, but I had everything I needed on hand, and since I got the peaches for free, I didn't really mind if it turned out to be disgusting.

Since I linked to the recipe, I'm not going to write down the whole process - you can read that on A Beautiful Mess. But I will tell you that it came out great!! 

If I were to make this recipe again, I would use 2 cups of diced peaches instead of the recipe's 1 1/2, and/or I would use 1 1/2 Tablespoons of chia seeds instead of the recipe's 2. Other than that, this was a really simple and quick way to make jam. It was delicious on multi-grain toast with goat cheese. Yum!

Next I'm going to try the blueberry lemon one; already bought the ingredients this morning! 

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