Just down the hill a little ways is a lovely organic vegetable farm called Quest Farm Produce. The company started only a few years ago, right around the time I bought my house and, honestly, it’s location was a factor is my home buying decision. I was charmed by the idea of being able to stroll down the hill to buy my vegetables.
Dennis and Bridget’s business has thrived over the years: they’ve added a high tunnel and bee hives, they bought and restored the barn behind the storefront and they’ve been really good neighbors to other producers in the region. I love how they have worked together to provide a real service to the community. It is a true labor of love.
Late in the growing season a few years back, Mom and I got a wild hair that we needed to make salsa. We’d never done it before and we had no peppers to do it with, and we couldn’t buy in bulk from any of the big grocers. But sure enough Dennis and Bridget found us a peck of crazy hot mixed peppers that turned into tasty salsa that we canned and enjoyed all winter long.
This year’s wild hair is all about the peaches. The peach crop seems unusually delicious — even with the late cold snap and the hot humid summer. The trees have produced a sweet, firm fruit that just screams PEACH in your mouth. Well, the ones from Quest scream like that anyways. I bought a half bushel just to quiet down the little beggars.
Mom found a recipe for canned peach pie filling that was burning a hole in my soul. I kid you not, I’ve been obsessing about peach pie for some time now. I don’t even like pie that much, but I had to give this recipe a try.With the giant peaches from Quest Farm in the half bushel size, we were able to make three batches of filling on Saturday afternoon. We altered the recipe a bit each time, hoping to find the most perfect combination of flavors. The final batch was exquisite with these modifications: we upped the peaches so the filling would be chunkier, we reduced the sugar by quite a bit (which really made the lemon flavor shine through),then we increased the cinnamon by 1/2 and we replaced some of the water with peach schnapps for a bit of added peach flavor (shh!). This is yummy stuff. Why do I always do these things right before I get really serious about eliminating sweets from my diet? <sigh>
What does all of this have to do with quilting? It’s all about the peaches. In 1982 a dear friend of my mother’s (a story I’ll save for another time) gave me this peach Asian-print inspired quilt. It’s a simple twin bed sized quilt that was hand quilted and machine finished.When I was working with my mother this weekend, she asked whether or not still I had this quilt. Of course I do I told her, “Good peaches are worth preserving.” Happy canning season!