The end of summer means many things to many people, but one of my favorite seasonal gifts is the availability of ripe, local peaches. I have never had much luck with growing them myself and our current mini-orchard, with its apple, persimmon, fig, and cherry trees is wonderful, but it doesn’t provide us with peaches. Yesterday, we headed out to one of our favorite (other) local farms and were delighted to find freshly picked, huge, ripe peaches–still damp with morning dew!
Since we are convinced that one of the things that makes our jam so delicious is that we strive to use the freshest fruit in-season, and cook it up into glistening jam as quickly as possible,, we couldn’t wait to get all that peachy magic into jars. This year, we’ve created a new Vanilla Peach Jam recipe, so tucked in between the soft ripe bits of peaches, there are tiny tasty seeds scraped from organic vanilla beans and we added a pinch of our homemade vanilla extract to the batch as well.
Of course, we didn’t use all the peaches in jam! Last night’s dessert was a warm peach crisp and we’ll be canning some jars of sliced peaches in syrup for winter use too. Meanwhile, our chickens have been delighted to feast on all the peach skins coming out in pan-fulls from the kitchen here at Raggedy Hen Farm.