a look back

This summer went by way too fast. From our wedding that kicked it all off, to the honeymoon in Turkey, then a move into the mountains of Colorado, and starting a whole new job, Joda and I have tried to squeeze every last bit of sunlight and warmth from these few short months. Now, even though the calendar says we are just entering November, the mountains of Colorado have hit winter. Ski resorts are opening one by one and the winter coats are pulled – it’s time to settle in for the nice, long season. Today’s post, on the eve of daylight savings, is in remembrance of this summer.

Currently, our living situation doesn’t allow for us to have a garden of any size, but as we moved to our new town this summer, we were able to make connections with a local farm stand that collects the bounty of produce from the western slope of Colorado and brings it to our county. This has been a godsend as we value local, seasonal, fresh produce so much but happen to live in an area where land value is so high so there aren’t many farms.

Call me old fashioned, but I am obsessed with preserving these foods when they are in season to ensure we have produce during the long, bitter winters. I think of canning as a bit of a time capsule – the fact that the produce can sit in these jars as fresh as they were the day they were processed. And while time goes on and snow will fall, they will remain in summertime and bring their sweetness and a reminder of summer to the coldest of days. As soon as we open them, memories come flooding back of goo up to our elbows and trashing the kitchen in sticky, hot mess. But, it all becomes worth it as we sink our teeth into the sweet and local summer bounty.

One of Colorado’s key summer crops is peaches, specifically Palisade peaches. And while they will never compare to the peaches Joda and I enjoyed walking along a dirt road in Ephesus, Turkey, these aren’t too bad of a second. It’s very important to make sure you have actual Palisade Peaches at the correct time of the season – a lot of times they will be picked and sold (for extremely high prices) way before they are ready and the quality isn’t nearly as good. So, being resourceful in our new home town, Joda and I ordered a box (~20 lbs) of peaches from our favorite little farm stand and set to can them. We used a hot pack method and this process took about 5 hours from start to finish, a small chunk of time for the joy it will bring in the coming months.

Yes, this was done a while ago, but these peaches will be a sure reminder in the dead of winter that summer will be back soon with warmth, fun, and more peaches.

With love,

from Jess’ kitchen

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