Peach Butter

August 10, 2009

Every year I make peach jam of some sort– one year it was peach and ginger, last year lemony peach (lemon zest and lemon balm, verbena, thyme). This year I decided to try something a little different– peach butter. The recipe is simple– 4 1/2 lbs medium peaches, peeled, seeded, chopped, boiled 20 minutes with 1/2 c. water and then run through a food processor (I used my stick blender).  Measure out the pulp (should be about 8 cups), add 4 cups sugar, the juice and zest of one lemon, and boil it down until it’s of spreadable consistency.  I added a teaspoon of ground cardamom and a splash of vanilla, too.  It’s that last step– boiling it down– that takes a while.  I expected a couple of hours, it was more like the better part of the day.  Definitely not a quick project. Lots of stirring towards the end to make sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom.  Some minor peach burns from spatters as it became thicker.   But the result! I may never go back to peach jam. The flavor was so bright and concentrated– peach jam with the volume turned up several notches. I got about 6 pints in the end, one of them in the form of 4oz jars for gift-giving, but I may not be able to bring myself to give any of it away.  My peach butter. All mine.

Carnivorous plants update: Something ate one of the pitchers on my S.  rubra, the venus flytraps seem to have survived my unnecessary repotting– one seems to have been trod upon by a cat-sized foot, not clear yet how well it will recover. One of the flytraps caught a housefly– you can see the little fly eyeballs staring out, cold and lifeless.  The sundew has dew and is thriving. The only one still in question is the Nep, still don’t know if it’s acclimating or dying a slow death.

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Carnivorous plants!

July 31, 2009

Well, the plants I ordered finally arrived…the seller had apparently had some difficulties with a computer virus that had knocked him instantaneously back into the 20th century. But anyway, once that was straintened out, my CPs (that stands for ‘Carnivorous Plants’, btw, not ‘Complementizer Phrases’) arrived forthwith.  2 flytraps, a sundew (D. dielsiana), 2 pitcher plants (S. rubra and S x Dixie Lace), a pinguicula, and Nepenthes copelandii.

Now is the time to form your betting pools with respect to how many of the plants I will kill, how soon, and in what order. Personally, I think it’s a toss-up between the Nepenthes (just because it’s my favorite, that means it has to be the first to go, right?) and the flytraps (because I repotted them, and then 15 minutes later read that I should not repot them). On the bright side, it’s nice and humid and sunny where I’ve got them, they’re in a 1:1 sand/peat mix, and I water only with distilled water.  Skipping over the total newbie mistakes, moving on to the intermediate-newbie mistakes. I am only a second level carnivorous plant grower, I fear. *sigh*

My Sarracenia purpurea continues to thrive, at least. Growing a new pitcher every other week, it seems like!