Thursday, August 22, 2013

Peaches, Peaches, Peaches...and a Little Storytelling Office Work Too

It's what's happening in my kitchen this week. The peaches have outdone themselves in production, and I am literally swamped with them. So many that I may actually give away a whole treeful because I've got all I can handle and there is another tree just loaded to the breaking point.

So far, I've frozen, canned and made jam. Today I will can some more and maybe freeze a few more because I like the frozen ones better, actually than the canned ones. But after losing everything in the freezer last year, I'm hedging my bets.

The jam was a disappointment and I may try again with it too. It didn't set! I've never had 4 batches all fail; I used liquid pectin this time because someone gave me a few packs of it, and I am not happy with the result. Runny, runny--more syrup than jam. We can use it as it is but it's not what I like. It will be great on ice cream, of course, but we eat little ice cream so that will be a rare treat. Ah well. I've been fortunate over the years to have such good luck with my preserves so I shouldn't complain, right?

There are still plenty of peaches for me to work on:

These are small but delicious white freestone peaches from a tree at my son's house. We've picked these before and they are absolutely delightful, and pest-free. Many of our trees have some sort of worm in a lot of the peaches; that's on the to-do for next year: find out how to get rid of them.

 These larger peaches are yellow freestones from one of our trees. They're big but many have some sort of worm or other defect. I cut around and use what I can.

And these are...whoops! Yellow tomatoes, not peaches! We've had a bumper crop of yellow tomatoes this year--I think the greenhouse mislabeled a package because these were supposed to be Black Prince. No black tomatoes this year which made me sad because I fell in love with them last year.

Other preserving work ahead: more spaghetti sauce and more pickles. And wild cherry jelly! The wild cherries at my son's house are almost ripe and this is one of my favorite jams--the flavor is unbelievably good, very bright and clear. I missed the elderberries, sadly, because I was away from home when they were ready. They don't last long, the birds make sure of that. With the abundance of other fruit this year I'm okay with that.

This morning I am working on storytelling, designing brochures and postcards and getting an invoice and contract ready for an upcoming performance. Even though the calendar is quiet for a bit, there is still work to do to get the word out about what I do. I received an inquiry from a writers' group in Georgia about doing a presentation for them in May; they can't pay much but I'd love to do it. The trick will be to find enough other work to make the trip worthwhile. That means getting some publicity out there and finding some possible places to perform. I would love to do some house concerts; they're fun, informal and intimate. Perhaps I will find a few people willing to host one somewhere in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina or northern Georgia. If you are in any of those locations and interested in giving a house concert, do get in touch. It would be lovely to connect with more of my readers along the way.

Back to work!

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


Quinn said...

Looks like you've got your hands full - and I'll bet your kitchen smells wonderful!

Nance said...

one can work their self to death in the 'lazy, hazy days of summer'. Strength, courage and perseverance to you and Larry this month! After all is said and done, it is so satisfactory to have the quarts and pints done up on the pantry shelf. hang tough!

Tressa said...

All is not lost. you can always make a peach pound cake - easy cake mix / cream cheese recipe - and glaze it with peach jam/syrup. Or make pancakes and pour peach jam/syrup over them instead of the usual. I do get aggravated when my recipes don't turn out, more so if it's something I've made a dozen times before.

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