Around the corner from my house is an abandoned property. It’s a little pre-fab ranch that was put up in violation of town ordinances probably about fifteen years ago by a lady who lived there for a few years, then sold it to two kids who went to school here from Florida. When they graduated, they basically never did anything with the property and not it is just an eyesore that various people around town take turns mowing the damned grass.
It’s a small lot, but in front of the house are two trees, one of which is a peach tree. It’s never been properly attended to, and it was never trimmed appropriately and the limbs can’t support all the fruit, and no one ever picks it and nurtures it the way it should be taken care of to grow properly.
At any rate, I drove a fertilizer stake in it last fall, and decided this year I was going to something with the fruit rather than let it rot off the tree. So I picked a bunch of them, and they were hard, but the problem was that I couldn’t wait for them to ripen on the vine because they would rot or the deer would get them. So I put them in paper backs, let them ripen, and then peeled and cleaned them and cut out the bad parts. It was pretty labor intensive to get a decent sum of fruit off them, because they are clingstone and small, but I got enough to make some peach jam. I had a bag of cherries in the fridge that Tammy bought but had lost interest in before she left, so I pitted them and threw them in:
It came out pretty ok, I think, but the proof will be in a couple weeks when I open one to test it:
The next mini project was to take all the peels and stuff left over from prepwork, throw it in a pot, and boil it (and no, I am not processing home made cyanide). Let it boil all the flavor out, the ran it through a chinois, and added a metric fuck ton sugar:
Currently the syrup is cooking down to the desired thickness, and then I will can it and have some peach syrup to use when I have company. Fun.
Every time I post something about the garden, or garden pictures, or some project I’ve done, or something I have cooked, etc., there are inevitably a couple people saying in the comments “I wish I could do that I don’t have a green thumb” or “I can’t cook” or some variant, and I chuckle. I don’t have a green thumb and I am not some master chef, either. I just am completely undeterred by the potential of failure. Gardening and cooking aren’t something you need to be afraid to try. It’s not like I am packing my own chute before jumping out of a plane. I made jam.