Peachy Keen

Tasty and juicy, peaches are one of summer's delights.
Tasty and juicy, peaches are one of summer’s delights.

I am back! After a bit of illness and some, seemingly, insurmountable technology issues life is returning to normal. Well, whatever is considered normal which often means a state of chaos. Enjoy!

The colors of summer are abundant, beautiful, and inspiring. Locally-grown fruits and veggies acquire special seasonal appeal. Color prompted me to make Zesty Peach Barbeque Sauce, found in the Ball Canning Home Recipes collection. This recipe signals that summer is in full swing.

Ingredients in the pot
The camera does not due justice to the colors.

The beauty of the peaches, the red pepper, and the onion is rivaled only by the taste and texture of the sauce. It tastes best with grilled meats such as chicken or pork, but friends also like it with beef. Make the colors star by using clear jars when canning this sauce.
As usual, I deviated from the directions. My initial aberration was due to laziness. I did not want to chop the peaches into a fine dice and simmer the ingredients until they reached the thickness of a barbeque sauce. I chose to chop larger pieces and make something more akin to a peach salsa. This would probably not be recommended by any university extension service or professional canner, but it worked for me.
Besides expanding my repertoire of tangy and tasty condiments, this recipe highlighted my tendency to overestimate the amount of fruit a recipe requires. I almost always purchase and prepare more than I need, but too much of a good thing can increase my options. The sliced peaches go into a lemon/water bath and are refrigerated until the canning process is completed and the kitchen has been restored to some degree of order. Then I make a cinnamon-rich peach cobbler.

Cobbler turned crisp
Peach Cobbler turned Peach Crisp

But not this year. The peaches were draining, the butter melted in the pan, and the dry ingredients─sans baking powder─ were assembled. That’s when I realized I was out of milk. What’s a baker to do? Just add oatmeal to the dry ingredients, remove most of the melted butter from the pan, add the peaches, top with the crisp mixture, and pour on the melted butter. The result was so wonderful, I just might make another crisp this weekend.
If you decide to do so, too, my only caveat is that the melted butter left some dry spots in the crisp topping. Next time, I’ll add solid butter to the topping not moistened by the melted butter.
Keen on peaches? Buy them in abundance and make yourself a batch of Zesty Peach Barbeque Sauce and a cobbler or a crisp. Enjoy the taste of summer.

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