I am sure I have mentioned before how we live in a rural area with lots of orchards and farms, yet still minutes from Niagara Falls. This is our first full summer here and I am taking in as much of the produce in season as possible. At this time the trees are full of ripe, juicy peaches and the apples are not far behind. It is beautiful to drive by the miles of orchards all around. A man in our church is a fruit farmer. Unfortunately, he was hit badly by 10 minutes of hail that freakishly popped up last month and he has lost much of his peach and apple crops. Yet, he is a man of great faith and knows God will provide as he always has. They are picking what they can and hoping to sell some for juice even if it doesn't make the grade A test. He has allowed us to go behind the pickers and take whatever we would like. They leave behind the ones too small for the processor or ones that are slightly damaged. Greg said he felt like an Old Testament gleaner. Since my intention was to make jam and pies, I was grateful for the free peaches, no matter their slightly small or dented condition.
Before last year strawberry freezer jam was the extent of my "canning". Michelle Wooderson inspired me last year with her posts on peach jam making. I tried it and now I am fast becoming a canning addict, lol. Today I put up the fourth and last batch of peach vanilla jam. Ohhhh is it gooooood! The house smells so incredible while it is cooking. Since the peaches were free, I made extra batches to give away at Christmas time.
Of course they needed labels and being a stamper means they can't just be ordinary labels, lol! I wanted a home spun feel so I purchased some full sized sheets of kraft labels. (thanks, Lynn) The Just Rite monogram stamper was the perfect solution for such a specific label. Did you catch the bottom part? "Harp Made"...get it?? A spin on "home made". Well, I thought it was clever, lol. I used the small apple stamp from Paper Treys Limitless Label set to create the peaches. Worked out pretty well don't you think? I used SU's new In Color, Tangerine Tango and Always Artichoke. Just for the sake of storing I added the '08 in the center. I stamped a whole sheet at a time. The monogram stamper makes projects like this quick to do in mass, gotta love that! I punched them out with a Marvy 2" circle punch and then sponged white craft ink on the edges.
I am so thrilled that my kitchen is functional again, I would hate to miss out on all the wonderful produce in season. While my mom was here we put up corn and zucchini in the freezer. Today someone else from church gave us a big box of tomatoes so I have sauce in my future soon too.
What kinds of in-season things do you like do?