I blog today of home and peaches.
Growing up we would come to St. George, UT every Labor Day for our Annual Gubler Reunion. This was a particularly exciting trip for my siblings and I because we were never allowed to have sleep-overs growing up, so the opportunity to stay up all night and party with our cousins was overwhelmingly exciting. We would load up in the van and take the SUPER long drive from IF to StG, gradually getting hotter and hotter as we went. We would often stop in Salt Lake and visit cousins who would then join us on the continuing drive down south. Usually on that stop we would also pick up a box of peaches.
Some years we picked up 2 boxes of peaches, but usually it was just the one.
The reunion was always so much fun. Friday night the adults would leave all of us and go out for a fancy adult dinner. I always looked forward to getting old enough to go to that. Unfortunately, I never got to that point (I’m on the younger end of the cousins). We would gorge ourselves on pizza and stay up all night playing video games and watching movies. Saturday morning was always the service project and adult meeting. We would clean up my Grandparents house, yard, garage, orchard and the like. I always found at least one lizard to chase after! After that we’d eat, play softball, kickball or get into a huge water fight. And that night we would do skits and eat fried chicken. This was also significant because this was the one time a year that I got to eat fried chicken!! SOOO good. We would try and play Saturday night too, but usually we ended up going to bed-knowing that there would be another long drive in the morning. Our favorite card game was Rook-something I remember my parents staying up all night playing with my grandparents…and playing blind Rook with my Great-Uncle Merl was the best! He would let us set the points up to infinity.
Sunday morning we would pack up the van, with our peaches and head home. I think the peaches hold a lot of significance in the story because they were our souvenir from StG. We would eat them one by one and then the box would be gone-and summer with it. We loved eating them cut up with a little sugar and nutmeg and milk poured over the top. It was sad to see them go-knowing that the empty box meant school and homework and fall.
If you haven’t caught on already, we’re doing peach-strawberry freezer jam. The strawberries are delightful. The key to a flavorful strawberry (especially for jam) is the size and ripeness. You want to look for SMALL strawberries that are at their reddest point before they turn bad. Those are the perfect ones.
I don’t measure how much I have until after they are mushed. The recipe calls for 2 1/4 c mashed strawberries.
And 2 cups of peaches. They don’t actually recommend mashing the peaches…
But I like to just a bit. I feel like it gives the jam a more consistent consistency (too wordy?) if all the fruit is mashed, even if it is just a little.
Such lovely colors. I add the 2 Tbsp lemon juice at this point just to be sure no browness happens!
This is important! Be sure to whisk your sugar and pectin together BEFORE adding water.
Or else this can happen to you!!
3 cups sugar, 1 box pectin.
Bring to a boil until it’s bubbling nicely. Boil for 1 minute and then pull off the heat to add the fruit.
Quickly stir in fruit and add to jars.
And then go feed your scraps to your chickens!! Initially they turned their noses up at it…but they came around. I think they’d like the jam more (they are too spoiled).
So pretty. And I love digging out all of the random jars I acquire to use for this. Freezer jam is my favorite too because you don’t have to worry as much about lids (because you don’t have to can it) so really you can store it in anything that will hold up well in a freezer.
So yummy! Favorite bread recipe coming soon!!
- 4-1/2 cups prepared fruit (buy about 2 lb. fully ripe peaches and 1 larger package of strawberries)
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 box low-sugar fruit pectin
- RINSE clean plastic containers and lids with boiling water. Dry thoroughly.
- CRUSH strawberries thoroughly, one layer at a time. Measure exactly 2 1/4 cups prepared strawberries into large bowl. Peel and pit peaches; finely chop and slightly mash the fruit. Measure exactly 2 cups prepared peaches into bowl with the strawberries.
- WHISK sugar and pectin in small saucepan. Add water and bring to boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat and add fruit to mixture.
- FILL all containers immediately to within 1/2 inch of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers; immediately cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Jam is now ready to use. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or freeze extra containers up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator before using.
This jam goes perfectly on my most favorite bread. Enjoy!