Spiced Peaches

I have been in a bit of a canning frenzy lately. Produce has looked particularly beautiful  this year and once I got started I didn’t want to stop. One of my favorite new recipes is for spiced peaches. I bought a bushel of peaches and did half of them in a light syrup, spiced nearly half a bushel and made jam out of the remainder. I found peeling peaches much more time consuming and challenging than peeling beets and tomatoes. I dropped them into boiling water and then into an ice bath just like tomatoes but the peach skin wasn’t quite as cooperative. The first thing you need to do is get rid of the fuzzy peach skin and then we can start spicing the peaches.


As with any canning project you will need to sterilize your jars in a boiling water bath.

You will need:

Approximately 40 peaches peeled and sliced

7 cups of  sugar

2 cups of water

1 cup white vinegar

2 cinnamon sticks crushed (I wrapped them in a dish towel and smashed them with a hammer)

12 whole cloves

Combine sugar, water, and vinegar in a large heavy kettle.   Bring to a boil and continue to simmer until liquid begins to thicken. Add peaches and spices and simmer until peaches are thoroughly heated.


Once the fruit is heated fill your prepared jars with the peaches and cover with the syrup leaving a half inch of head space. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 35 minutes. Remove jars to a towel to cool.

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You can can your peaches whole, halved or sliced.

These peaches can replace syrup on your pancakes or waffles, spice up your oatmeal, add interest to ham, pork chops or chicken, or serve as an ice cream topping. Or just eat them out of the jar.  If you like peaches you will love these!

Lamb Stew with Puff Pastry

It’s a cold September Sunday and stew sounds comforting. I have lamb stew meat in the freezer but this recipe would be good with beef as well. Stews and soups are the kinds of one pot meals you can throw together with whatever you have on hand.

Get out your large Dutch oven and let’s get started with our stew. It’s what’s for dinner.

3 T canola or olive oil

1 # lamb or beef stew meat

1/3 c flout

1/2 tsp rosemary

1/2 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp fennel seed

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp salt

1/2 c dry white wine

3 T butter

3 T flour

4 c broth (beef, mushroom or vegetable)

14-oz can stewed tomatoes

1/2 c celery diced

1 c carrots diced

1 c rutabaga diced

1 c onion diced

1 1/2 c potatoes diced

3-4 cloves of garlic minced

1 pkg frozen puff pastry (optional)

1 egg beaten + 1 T water

Heat 3 T oil in heavy Dutch oven over med high heat.  In a large zip lock bag combine 1/3 c flour and spices. Add stewing meat and toss to coat. Add meat in batches being careful not to crowd and brown.


Remove meat to a plate and continue until all meat is browned. Deglaze the pan with 1/2 c white wine (or broth) and stir to incorporate all the browned bits. Add 3 T butter and melt. Whisk in 3 T flour to form a roux. Continue whisking over medium high heat and gradually add the broth. I like to use “better than bouillon” to make my broth but use your favorite.

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Once you’ve added the broth and it’s come to a boil reduce heat and add tomatoes (I use my home canned tomatoes) and diced vegetables.

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Cover your pot and put in a 325 degree oven for 1 1/2 – 2 hours until meat and vegetables are tender.

Once the stew is done ladle into four individual oven proof dishes. Roll out the puff pastry and cut to fit the ramekins. Brush with egg wash and bake in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until pastry is golden brown.

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Serve with a tossed salad.

You can change out or add other vegetables to your stew…green beans, turnips, parsnips, peas. You can serve your stew without the pastry… Just ladle into serving dishes and serve with bread and salad.  Stew is one of the ultimate comfort foods.