This last Saturday, I spent the day in New York, helping shepherd three Philadelphia street food vendors to and from the Vendy Awards. It was the first time that any vendors from outside NYC had been invited to participate in the Vendys and we were honored to attend. In fact, my only regret about the entire day was that it meant I missed the last day of peaches at the Rittenhouse Square Farmers’ Market.
Luckily, I have a husband (and have had for an entire year now!) who, despite his occasional grumbles, is always willing to help when the demands of work and life don’t leave me the time to manage everything. He took my black-handled basket to the market in my stead and brought home eight pounds of the final peaches.
Those peaches were just the thing to help me push through the canning reluctance I’ve been battling lately, as I couldn’t fathom letting the Scott-fetched fruit go to waste (and these peaches were fragile, just a day in our apartment and a few were beginning to mold. Such is the way with late-season fruit). I’m a little perplexed by the reluctance I’ve been feeling. It’s as if some interior switch was flipped and suddenly I’d internalized the idea that canning season was over, despite all signs to the contrary (and the heaps of fruit still scattered around the apartment). I’m trying hard to gear back up, to revitalize for the final push of fall, but I fear that things are going to be slower than is ideal.
However, if you can still get your hands on some peaches, you should. I put up four quarts tonight in the time it took to listen to a single hour of radio. My eight pounds, quartered, peeled and briefly simmered in a fairly light syrup (two cups sugar, six cups water) perfectly filled four quart jars. Three received added flavor (star anise, cinnamon, vanilla) and one I left plain. Processed in a tall stock pot for 25 minutes, they’ll be delicious in January (if I can wait that long).
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In a week and a half, I’m headed for the West Coast. First I’ll be in San Francisco for BlogHer Food and then I’m headed up to Portland, OR for a week’s worth of vacation with Scott. I’ve carved one evening out of that trip to teach a canning class, so if you’re in the Portland area and want to talk canning with me, you’re in luck.
The class will focus on Pear-Ginger Jam and will be held on Wednesday, October 13 from 6-7:30 p.m. It will be held at the Portland Subud Center, which is in NE Portland just off 33rd Avenue (not far from the Concordia New Seasons). Cost is $45. If you’re interested in signing up, please email me at foodinjars AT gmail.com. My mom will be helping me with the class, so it’s also your chance to meet the woman who taught me to can and who is so frequently mentioned on these here pages.
I’ve also still got space in the sauerkraut class next week (October 5), as well as the Philadelphia-based Pear-Ginger Jam class on October 23 (the November and December classes also still have availability as well). Shoot me an email if you’re interested in signing up!