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Homemade Peach Jam!

My weekend routine has included weekly grocery shopping. When COVID-19 first began, I would go to the store everyday, just to walk around and get out of the house. As time went on, I lessened my visits to the weekends.

During my last trip to Lidl (AKA my new favorite grocery store) they were offering a two pound basket of yellow peaches for $1.50. I usually purchase white peaches grown in West Virginia at Eastern Market. Since the market is still closed, I took advantage of the great sale. Each basket holds about 8-10 peaches and sat on my counter for about 4 days. I started to smell the sweet aroma of ripe peaches and knew I had to do something with them before they went bad. I found a easy recipe for peach jam that did not require pectin, that helps fruit and sugar transform into a gel form. The recipe only used peaches, sugar and lemon juice.

The first task was to peel the peaches. A cool trick is to blanch the peaches in boiling water for 2 minutes and dump into ice water immediately. After the peaches cool, the skin peels right off. Next I cut the fruit in chunks and placed in a saucepan. I added 1/4 cup of sugar and bought it to a boil. The natural juice of the peaches created a sauce and lemons contain natural pectin to begin the gel process. I added about a cup of sugar and continued to cook down the mixture. After they started to break down, I removed the pan from the heat and allowed it to cool. I stored my jam in a mason jar.

A few days later, I found a cool recipe for jam muffins. It is a simple mixture with flour, sugar, baking powder, milk, egg and vanilla. I added a teaspoon of jam to each muffin and baked for 20 minutes. They were delicious and the perfect breakfast or snack. I envision the jam on toast or an English muffin for the summer. This is the perfect recipe to use if you have ripen fruit in your kitchen. A little sugar, heat and fresh lemon juice makes perfect jam!

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