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Saturday, July 26, 2014

July is a Full Month

Full of processing peaches from our tree, mostly. Our tree, a dwarf Babcock peach, yielded more fruit than we've seen in years. Many peaches were 3" in diameter, most were smaller. We came home after a ride on July 4th and found 2 branches broken from the weight of the peaches. (Oliver ate most of the peaches from the lower branches, and Beau would find one, carry it around, a guard it. Our dogs are quirky.) So we picked those peaches and made jam right away.

As the month has progressed we were overwhelmed with peaches, tomatoes and figs from friends, and we decided jam wasn't enough. We bought a dehydrator and have dehydrated pounds of peaches, Bing cherries, and grape tomatoes. We've made 3L of peach brandy, which involved toasting the pits, cracking them, toasting the kernels & adding them to the mix.

Today we made salmon jerky in the dehydrator -- a first. We made fig preserves -- another first. And I found a recipe  for tomatoes cooked in tomato juice. I substituted V-8 juice, and followed the recipe.  I hope it turns out OK. It's not only a first for us, it's messing with the recipe, which makes me kind of twitchy. Not my M.O.

Last Friday Colin came home, bearing flowers that his friend Anastasia arranged, and 2 bottles of Marian organic brandy from Fresno. We cut up peaches, roasted the pits, cracked them, then roasted the kernels, and added them to the peach & brandy mix. I double-strained it Tuesday evening; it took much longer than I had thought. And it's so good!  It's subtly peachy, with vanilla and toast notes that were quite surprising. I'm not a brandy fan but after tasting this, I may be.

So adding to our food preservation firsts, besides the salmon jerky, we made fig preserves and tomato...sauce?  We'll see what it ends up. As long as we don't get food poisoning it's all good.

I'm anticipating tomorrow's bike ride and not canning or dehydrating anything. Time to  be free!

And in 6 mos. we'll be celebrating July and its rich harvest.

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