If you read my blog often you know I have certain traditions. One consists of picking, drying, and braiding sweetgrass. This tradition began when my mom gave me a sweet grass braid for Christmas one year. I was hooked. That spring I bought five sweetgrass starts, planted them by our pond, and have never regretted it. I give away most of the braids, but two go in the windows of our bedroom. Heaven.
Picking and braiding sweetgrass takes concentration. The smell cannot be described. Especially this year as they dried by the front door. Sitting on the porch was brought to a new level.
My other summer tradition is the peck of peaches I get from a friend at work every year. While sweetgrass ignites your sense of smell, these peaches flood your sense of taste. They are so juicy I have to eat them over the sink.
Of course peach cobbler is on the dessert menu. I always can honey spiced peach slices. Then I usually make jam, salsa, syrup, and barbeque sauce. This year I tried something different, Maple Whiskey Peach Jam. Wow. It is amazing. Today we made elk chislic (breaded and fried elk stew meat) and dipped it in the jam. Delicious. A whole new level of tasty.
MAPLE PEACH WHISKY JAM (SMALL-BATCH)
2 ½ cups chopped peaches, about 3 medium peaches, not canned
¾ cup maple syrup
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh if possible
2 tablespoons powdered pectin crystals
1 tablespoon whisky
Gather glass canning jars with lids that can hold a total capacity of 3 cups (750ml). Wash the jars and lids with hot soapy water. Dry the jars and lids and set aside.
In a medium-sized pot, combine the chopped peaches, maple syrup, sugar, lemon juice, and pectin crystals. Stir to combine.
Bring the peach mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to boil until the jam reads 222ºF (105ºC) on a thermometer. Remove the pot from the heat.
Stir in the whisky then carefully ladle the hot jam into the clean jars. Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp cloth to remove any sticky residue, then screw the lids on tightly. Cool the jam completely before storing it in the fridge for up to two weeks.
We are still elk hunting. We've heard elk and seen elk, but can't close the distance. We still have two weeks.
I didn't a landscaping project with my students. We laughed at how bold the chipmunks we're at the visitors center we worked. On the last day I set up my phone camera and baited it with a piece of my sandwich.
My students thought it was hilarious. Wait for it...
Wait for it...
Wait for it...
What are some of your yearly traditions? I hope your summer is slipping into fall.