Monday, August 15, 2011

We Put Lids On Things

The first canning class chez English went off without a hitch this past Saturday. Ten lovely ladies made the trek out here to watch me steam it up over a boiling water bath.

We took some of the finest, ripest, sweetest, juiciest peaches South Carolina has to offer and rendered them into spiced peach jam. To cool ourselves in my hot kitchen, we sipped on Hubs' delicious lemonade and water infused with cucumber slices from our garden.

Afterwards, we moved the party outdoors to the patio and noshed and chatted. We tried to use as much produce from our garden and goods from our pantry in the meal as possible. Here's what we offered the guests:

*Orecchiette pasta with homemade pesto, cremini mushrooms & types of summer squash
*Fresh mozzarella with heirloom tomato slices & fresh basil
*Mesclun greens with blueberries & fresh figs tossed with a homemade vinaigrette
*Herbed pickled asparagus spears wrapped with ham slices (the pickled asparagus recipe is from my book)
*Farm & Sparrow Market bread
*Pickled beets
*Pickled Chinese 5-spice cherries

And for dessert, my sisters that were visiting helped me whip up a Peach Crisp with candied lemon verbena (Hubs genius idea) and lemon verbena infused whipped cream (my most favorite means of enjoying lemon verbena ever).

It was a truly wonderful afternoon. Thank you to all who ventured out here. And a river of gratitude to Michelle and Heather for their blog posts about the event (Michelle's photo montage is seriously magazine worthy!).

Soon I'll be making a post about other upcoming classes, including: bread-making, home dairy, and chicken-keeping. Also, I'd love to know what you'd like to learn. Any bee in your bonnet you're itching to learn more about?


nicole said...

what a nice way to spend a saturday afternoon! and michelle's photos are gorgeous, indeed.

elisa said...

sounds like heaven. especially the lemon verbena whipped cream. swoon. x

EcoGrrl said...

and here we are just finally contemplating canning in oregon - tomatoes are still green, peaches are just coming on the trees, etc. oy!

jen said...

Ashley, I had such a lovely time at your home on Saturday. Great to meet you and see where all your ideas take shape! I can't wait for the next class.
(Also, I wrote about the class & posted some of my own photos - it will be published tomorrow on my blog:

DarcC said...

My peach tree runneth over, could you share the recipe for the spiced peach jam? Pretty please?

Elle Ross said...

Lemon verbena whipped cream sounds like eating a cloud kissed by sunshine! And how about a recipe for that spiced peach jam? Yum!

Michele said...

Ashley, thank you so much for your super sweet mention of my photos. I had a blast!!! I can't wait for the next class.

and thank you nicole and jen above for your sweet comments as well. (smile)

melody said...

so glad to know i'm the one stuffing my face in that third picture ;) had SUCH a blast!!!! loved every minute of it. thank you ashley!!!

Indio said...

I really wish I lived closer. Even though I've already jammed my peach harvest, I'm sure you had a few tips or pointers that I don't know about. I threw almost everything, but the kitchen sink into the pot. I made a ginger, cinnamon, Grand Marnier, blackberry, blueberry jam. It has a beautiful purple color.

Grace said...

Wow, that sounds like a great way to spend a day. I'm looking forward to hearing about future classes. I'm overdue for a trip up your way.