Saturday, August 2, 2014

Ah summer and gorgeous fruit!

Yes, it's summer here in the pacific northwest. And we are certainly getting above average temperatures for this summer. Which means all the bounty of amazing fruits, berries, produce are ripening early and big and juicy. Which is wonderful, but it's also making me a bit crazy!

All this bounty has me out picking fruit, sharing the harvest with family and making oodles of different wines. My sister thinks I need a fruit intervention! This thought might be in part to the fact that I have stuffed my poor little freezer full of frozen veggies and fruits. Literally, it's stuffed. And I don't have the space built yet to put all the canned goodies. Yeah, I cannot say no to fresh picked fruits and berries, especially at less than a dollar a pound to pick most or free from fab neighbors.

My latest crazy picking spree garnered me just over 24 lbs of fresh peaches. That's a lot of peaches actually! I got home after picking up other fresh goodies, to include being given 4 HUGE crookneck squash. Looked at all the fresh goodies and thought to myself, what the hell am I going to do with 24 lbs of peaches??? I had thought to freeze some, but can't now, freezer is full with all kinds of goodies I've already picked or harvested. Sigh.... Well, this means I need to can them all somehow.

Well, I had about 5 lbs of them ripe this morn, and the puppy made off with one of them, she thinks all the fruit is tasty. Yeah, right, momma's little helper, right? LOL

These are just a few of them. They smell so sweet!

Ok, what to do with them? I plan to make some into a Butter Caramel Peach Butter, but one can only make so much of that!

Well I came across a recipe for a peach bbq sauce in one of my canning cookbooks, and I decided to make some of that! Though I modified it some.

Got all of my canning stuff lined out, the water bath pot heating to sanitize the jars and lids, and got the ingredients lined out. Sorry I didn't take pics as I went along. I wasn't sure how I'd like it first. I can say it's really awesome!

So, here's my awesome sauce!

Peach Chile Barbecue Sauce

5 lb or so ripe peaches, pitted and chopped. skins on are ok
2 Tbl olive oil
1 Medium sweet onion, chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
6 large cloves of fresh garlic minced
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup of water or bourbon (your choice)
1 cup worcestershire sauce
4 oz tomato paste
2 Tbl peeled and grated fresh ginger root
1-3 Tbl red Chile powder ( I used 3, NM red chile powder)
Salt and pepper to taste

Have your canning equipment set up and 6 pint jars with lids and bands ready.

In a large non-reactive saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onion and shallots until tender. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 more minutes. Stir in the peaches, sugar, molasses, vinegar and water or bourbon. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, reduce to medium and simmer uncovered, for about 30 minutes until the peaches are very tender. Let cool for a bit.

Either using a stick blender or working in batches, puree the peaches and liquid and return to the pot. Add all remaining ingredients and bring back to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Ladle the sauce into hot jars, leave about 1/4 inch of headspace, remove any bubbles, wipe the rims clean and seal tightly with lids and bands.

Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Remove jars and let cool on a towel.

I had enough to fill 6 pint jars and the perfect amount left over to use for my supper tonight on the grill. Of course I had to taste it! Let's just say it was so awesome it was addicting! 

Now if I could just keep the puppy from wanting to sample them all before I can the rest! I figure I'll make the butter, preserve some and maybe make jam if the other two don't use up all the batch. Of course I'm sharing all this bounty with family out here.

Off to pick crabapples tonight, I know I'll be making another batch of wine from them (which will make the 4th batch of wine I will make this summer) and a spiced apple butter with them. I also will have more apples to pick soon, plums and pears to pick from neighbors. And I still want to pick black berries!

Ok, maybe I do need an intervention.... I just hate to see the bounty go to waste!

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