Monday, July 19, 2010

Toast(ed) and (Peach) Butter

Ok...I need to be a woman of few words tonight. Early this morning, I had my right (dominant) hand operated on to fix 2 trigger fingers and a nasty case of carpal tunnel. I just wore the darn thing out!

By the way, if you want to heal quickly from an injury, just injure something else.  Takes your mind off of it.

I'm a regular soap opera this summer.  Hopefully this is IT!  Anyhoo...I'm typing with two left handed fingers, and I'm a still a little stupid from the anesthesia.  Hopefully that will go away ("Doctor, will I be able to play the violin?"  "But you couldn't play the violin before!"...HA!).

Yesterday, I alluded to making peach butter from the scraps of my peach canning expo. Today, with my faithful assistant, we finished it up. Last night, the little crock pot was full, and bubbling away; there was no added water.  Before bed, I took the soft peach/skin glop and ran it through my Foley Food Mill:
This is the most important piece of equipment in my sauce-making-from-scratch tool kit. It separates the skins and seeds from the cooked pulp. What a time saver! Think "applesauce"; no peeling necessary!

When you turn the handle, the blade pushes the good stuff through the bottom holes and retains
the peels, etc.  Reverse the direction, and it lifts the peels for another pass at the pulp.
A low tech miracle,  I tell you!
You need one.

*Insert picture of cooked down peach butter here.  Wait, I don't have one. Here's where the "toasted" part of the title comes in. Sorry. One note: the "butter" will reduce to 1/2 or less of its original volume, and get brown.

All you need to do is let the butter cook until it's nice and thick, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.  Sometime during that process, add sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, powdered cloves and crystallized ginger if you like it.  You can tweak the seasonings any way you want to.
Sterilize your jars; you'll want them to be hot when you start.

Then, all you have to do is find some nice guy to fill your jars and put the lids on for you.  This guy was handy.  Wait...that's my other soul mate, Peter.


Process the filled jars for 5 minutes for pints and 10 minutes for quarts, and take them out to let them cool, and you'll end up with something like this:

Yum. 'Nuff said.
(Thank God for spell-check.)
For those of you that like actual recipes, here's the link...a GREAT site!

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