I love peaches and since it's so hard to find good organic peaches year round, I wanted to can some this weekend. I went over to the local farmer's market and found some great peaches and also decided to do some nectarines and blackberries as well. Last year I attempted to can nectarines and it turned into a slippery, mushy mess so I wanted to give it another try. But, it was another slippery, mushy mess, so I think that ends the experiement with canning nectarines. I managed to can them, but they were just a lot messier than the peaches.
Luckily, everything else came out great.
I'm so excited about the peaches! I went with a blackberries in framboise recipe for the blackberries.
I either miscalculated how much I needed, or the recipe was off, because it was supposed to yield 6 cup jars and I only came out with two and a jar of the extra syrup.
The syrup tastes great in tea as a sweetener instead of honey. I bet it would also be good on ice cream even though it's not as thick as a traditional sauce.
Canning is fun and for just plain fruits, it's a pretty easy process. I'd like to try to branch out with some fancier recipes like butters and conserves and sauces, but I think I'll have to give out a bunch of the jars as gifts because I don't know how much conserves I can reasonably eat on my own! Making pickles and things would be fun too, but I'm still a bit scared of the low-acid canning at the moment.
Still thinking about my trip, so, I chose some of my favorite Flickr photos from places that I visited. Seeing all the pretty towns and villages and all the trees kept making me wish I lived back there....until I left the a/c and remembered that it was almost 100 degrees out and that it also snows! For now, I'll keep my memories and maybe plan a trip in the fall.
My great-grandparents were married in this church (second row, first pic)!
Well, it looks like I went m.i.a. again. The past month has been a whirlwind of job interviews and a trip back to New England to meet my dad's family for the first time. I saw Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire in a week. My family somehow managed to live in just about every town from Hartford up to the border of Canada at Vermont along the 91 freeway through the area, so there was a lot to see.
The trip was a spontaneous trip after a late invitation to a family reunion in Southampton, MA. My dad's entire family stayed in the New England area, so we were the only ones flying in. I had only met one or two of the family members before and it has been at least 20 years since I saw them last and a lot of the other family haven't seen me since I was a baby. It was a very chaotic and interesting experience to say the least. Because I've also been working on my family tree, we took the time to visit some of the old family houses and other related things too, so those were cool to see.
I got to see the houses my immigrant ancestors built Historic Deerfield, MA
And some houses other family lived in
And who could resist going to the Yankee Candle Company flagship store? You can smell all the candles from the parking lot! This place is so huge they hand out maps when you walk in. After a minute you can't smell anything anymore.
The entire trip looked like this from the car I've never seen so many trees in my life. You couldn't even tell that there were towns anywhere because of all the trees.
I also saw a lot of very New England-y thingsLike church steeples rising above the trees - Keene, NH
And town squares - Keene, NH
And very old houses - Historic Deerfield, MA
And I got to eat at an inn and tavern than has been open since 1776, the Griswold Inn in Essex, CT. This place was amazing. It was like an enormous antique store and I wanted to take half of the things home. (An old wagon is parked in front, sorry it's so dark)
The whole historic section of Essex was adorable. Many of the houses had signs stating the original owner and the year it was built.
Isn't that a cute birdhouse?
And of course there was a river
And we took a day trip to the Mystic Seaport, which is a "living history museum" - a recreation of a historic seaport, complete with a real whaling ship
The quarters in this ship were so tiny, I can't imagine a bunch of men living in them for months at a time!
There was also a recreation of the Amistad
And lots of cool other things
Oh, and there were some real, historic ship figureheads too. These were enormous. Sorry the pics didn't turn out great. It was really dark inside and the figureheads were mounted pretty high up on the wall.
I'm so happy that I got to go and see where my dad grew up and where the family still lives and meet most of them. Hopefully I'll stay in touch with them and get to know them better. The heat wasn't even as bad as I was scared it would be. Super fun trip and I am so glad I went!
I also got a job offer the day before I left, so I've been trying to get back into work mode. Luckily, it's a good job at a good organization and the morale is very high. So, I think I am going to like working there. And of course, now I will have money to start buying craft supplies again! (Now I just need to make time to make things...)