Preserving Summer

Wow. Fall comes fast. I love Fall with the colors, cool nights, and hearty foods like soups and roasts. But I’m reluctant to give up on Summer.

This year was fantastic…and average (At least according to the number of cooling degree days). The Summer almost makes up for the bitterly cold winter…almost. Growing up, for me, it was the opposite. The Summer’s were oppressively hot and humid – perfect days to spend at the pool, but terrible for any other outdoor activity. So I love being able to spend my Summer outdoors in Upstate NY. Perhaps it’s the brevity of the season that makes me cherish each moment – recorded by the ripening of the different types of produce throughout the growing season.

For me, August is the best month. Tomatoes are in full swing, watermelons are delicious, and corn is arriving by the bushel. But I especially enjoy peaches. It’s one of those fruits, like cherries and watermelon, that still have seasons. So many fruits are available year round, you need to cherish these transient fruits as much as you can.

Parboiling peaches
Parboiling peaches
Peaches ready for pie
Peaches ready for pie

And so, to prepare for the long winter, I purchased a bushel of peach seconds from Bowman Orchards (you need to call to get on their seconds list) and started preserving the peaches. It’s at this point that I must acknowledge the assistance/leadership of my wife. We canned them, turned them into pies and froze them, made peach cobbler, peach jam, and peach shrub (you know, for those winter doldrums summer cocktails). At this point, I’m pretty much peached out, but I’ll be able to cherish the warmth of Summer again when the high is 7F and the peach pie comes out of the oven. After all, Winter is Coming!

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