Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Peaches Everywhere

I ventured out and battled the heat last weekend and went to the local farmer's market. I was looking for some unusual fruit and vegetables for a class I am teaching this week. I did not come across anything unusual but there was no short supply of peaches. They were everywhere. Every corner I turned was another stand with peaches. Now, I am not complaining. In fact, I love peaches but they have a very short shelf (or table) life. People often complain when they are hard as rocks at the store. It is better that way. Because in two days they will be perfect and in 4 days they will be soft and mushy.

So, when you buy too many peaches, do the next best thing. Can them. I made this peach chutney with some ripe but firm peaches. It was delicious. If I have the strength and discipline to save a jar or two I will have a real treat to complement my holiday ham this year.

August is Peach Month
August 22 is Eat a Peach Day
August 24 is National Peach Pie Day

Peach Chutney

1 tablespoon oil
1 cup chopped onions (about 2 medium)
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup sugar
½ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup lemon juice
½ teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon ground allspice
3 cups chopped, peeled peaches (about 4 medium)
¾ cup dried cherries or cranberries

In a medium saucepan heat oil. Add onions, ginger, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. Add sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and allspice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Let simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Stir in peaches and cherries. Simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes. Ladle hot chutney into sterilized canning jars. Seal and process filled jars for 10 minutes (start timing when water starts in boil) in a boiling-water canner. Remove jars and cool on a wire rack.

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