Friday, June 12, 2009

Peach Peel Jelly

Basically you just get a bunch of peaches, wash them very, very well, and peel them. Make sure you don't include anything yucky, like bruises or worms. Throw all that away. :) Do whatever you were going to do with the peaches: freeze, can, jelly, jam, pie, cobbler, ice cream, butter, muffins, cake, peaches and whipped cream, peaches and cream with a little sprinkle of sugar, or my personal favorite; peaches and cottage cheese. It's my favorite afternoon snack.

Save your peach peel for later use. I would add a little lemon juice to keep from browning. I put mine in a zip lock bag this time and put them in the freezer, as my family had just arrived and I didn’t have time to make jelly now. However, normally, I would really recommend you make it the same day if time allows.

There is a tremendous rewarding feeling you will get when you make something so incredibly delicious for your family out of compost fillings. LOL

When it’s time to make your jelly, you put the peelings in your pot. Cover with water. My mother-in-law said we cooked ours for about 30 minutes. I have an old fashioned fruit sieve I use, but if you don’t have one, you could just strain the peelings out or use cheese cloth.

Take your juice and follow the Sure-Jell peach jelly recipe. I also found several recipes last night which gave (better than I could) directions for what we do, except they also used the pits. I hadn’t thought of that. I believe (don’t quote me or I’ll deny it) there is natural pectin in the pit and peel, by the way. I'm not sure about that, but for some reason, that's what I'm remembering.

The lovely thing about peach peel jelly is you’ll get a glorious, beautiful hot pink, peachy, rose colored red jelly. I can’t really describe the color, but it’s so pretty. I wish OPI would make a nail polish named "Peach Peel Jelly" so I could put it on my toes.

I asked my mother-in-law what gave her the idea to start doing this and she said she was stingy and didn’t want to throw anything away. I thought that was funny. They say a man marries his mother. My mother-in-law and I are two peas in a pod. She’s one of my closest friends because we have so much in common. I hate watching her grow older. I don’t know how I’m going to live without her.

OK, back to jelly. You can’t really mess it up. It’s got so much sugar in it, it still tastes delicious even if it doesn’t jell perfectly.

I enjoy canning peaches because there is so much you can do with them. Have you tried pickled peaches? Goodness gracious they are my favorite!!!! Grandma used to make spiced peaches too. Oh wow, what I wouldn't give for a jar of grandma's spiced peaches right now. Gosh, I miss her food!!!!

One time I had a little peach and a little raspberry both left, so I made peach melba jam. Just throw whatever you’ve got fruity in your freezer, especially any type of berry, into your peach jam and experiment. I have NEVER been disappointed. I have also made peach/blueberry jam, peach/pear, peach/strawberry, peach/plum. You get the idea.

Now that I think about it, jams and jellies are one of my favorite foods. I love going down the jelly aisle at the store and getting something new. At any given time, we probably have at least 5 jars of opened jams in our fridge.

One more thing about jams or jellies which I highly esteem is they are always delightful as gifts. Every summer back in Texas (not so much now) my mother-in-law and I would can dozens and dozens and dozens of jams and jellies. Whenever you needed and instant gratitude gift, say for example, the mailman did an especially nice favor for you that day, you could run in and grab a jar of jelly to hand him. Or if someone just moved into your neighborhood, you can take them a jar of your peach melba jam and make an instant BFF. I always passed out tons of jams at church around Christmas time too. You want to tell someone you love them and give them a little something, but you don't have the kind of budget which allows you to tell EVERYONE you love them. Jelly makes everyone happy.

Can you tell gifts are my love language? LOL

Here are peach peel and pit jelly recipes you can experiment with. Just play it by ear. Like I said, you can't really mess it up. If it comes out too thin, pour it on pancakes. :)

Recipe 1

Recipe 2

Recipe 3
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