Peach Rhubarb Ginger Jam

May 18, 2012

My life is closely attuned to the seasons now that I am making my living preserving the harvest.   The first beautiful peaches of the season arrived at our kitchen two weeks ago.    Peach season always collides with rhubarb season, one of my other favorites.  I can remember my mother picking wild rhubarb in our old neighborhood in New Jersey.  She would walk up the side of our mountain donning her apron and pruners–I can see her just as if it was yesterday.   I didn’t usually go with her on her walks in the woods.   I was always amazed that she could identify a wild plant and bring it home to prepare a dessert for us, sometimes exposing herself to poison ivy along the way.  All it took was a simple brush by the dreaded, shiny, three-leaf plant and two days later her arms would be covered in oozy, itchy blisters.   I seemed to be immune thank God.   The wild rhubarb was never bright red, mostly green and incredibly tart.   She would fix us a strawberry rhubarb pie or cobbler or sometimes simply stew it with berries and serve with cream.

Peach Rhubarb Ginger Jam

It is best to prepare the ingredients for this jam the day before cooking.  Allowing this to macerate overnight allows the peaches and rhubarb to absorb the sugar.  This recipe should yield 8 eight oz jars.  If your peaches are really sweet, you can reduce the amount of sugar without hurting the texture of this jam.  This jam should keep its beautiful texture and color for up to 12 months in a sealed jar.



Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

May 11, 2012

This recipe is for one of my all time favorite cookies, Oatmeal Chocolate Chippers as my Mom used to call them.   I have adapted her recipe over the years to tweek it and make it just a bit more healthy (not much considering it calls for 2 huge sticks of butter).   I don’ t know where the recipe originated, it is hand-written on an index card covered in crunchy cellophane (always the ones that are so sentimental to me).  She always used Crisco shortening and I have exchanged that for butter.  I have also used some White Whole Wheat Flour and Bread Flour in this recipe to give the cookies a little more “chew”.   My Mom would have used Nestle Chocolate Chips, my Grandmother would have insisted on raisins, but I love bittersweet chocolate.   Ghirardelli makes a large bittersweet chip that is just a little more dear than Nestle and oh so much better tasting.   You can chill the dough before scooping if you have time, if not, they will not suffer one bit!  My mom would sometimes add a cup of chopped walnuts or pecans to these too…I have chosen to leave them off the ingredients list.


Oatmeal Chocolate Chippers


Peach Lavender Cornmeal Buttermilk Muffins #Baketogether

May 10, 2012

The Baketogether with Abby Dodge this month featured a fabulous recipe for Cornmeal Buttermilk Muffins , a sweet or savory version.   As the first juicy peaches are now coming in from South Georgia, I wanted to incorporate peaches into the recipe.   Here I have used my Peach Lavender jam to create a sweet version of the original muffin recipe.   So…instead of fresh fruit, I added 5 oz of my Peach Lavender jam to the egg mixture.  The baked muffins are marbled with the jam and they burst with bits of peach flavor, really pleased with the results!  I also decided to put a little sweet topping on these and used my trusty Vita Mix to blend sugar and dried organic lavender flowers to elevate these muffins.    You will note I reduced the sugar in the muffins ever so slightly as I was using jam, plus adding a sweet topping.  Taken directly from Abby, if you are new or would like to join the #Baketogether, please know that  we are a very inclusive  group of happy bakers.  You can  Subscribe to Abby’s rss feed so you are always  in-the-know and check out this post for some info on how we #baketogether.


Marbled Peach Lavender Muffins