Monday, August 16, 2010

Wedding Success and...Jams!

First, my sister's wedding. More precisely, her wedding cookies! At times while icing the cookies, I felt as though I was in a horrible dream; that the cookies were endless, and I would be painstakingly smoothing icing into the scalloped edges of outlined cookies for eternity. Thankfully, after three straight nights of icing until the wee hours of the morning, all the cookies -- outlined, flooded, and lettered -- were drying on various surfaces in the dining room.

After that point, my greatest fear was that my beloved dog would sneak into the dining room and gobble up the finished products. However, no doubt picking up on her risk of great bodily injury should she so much as shed on one cookie, she gave them a wide berth. The closed doors also helped.

Two batches of mini cream scones the morning after the wedding marked the end of my baking for a week or so, but then I was right back in my apron. :)

I returned home from an unbelievably idyllic week in British Columbia with twenty pounds of peaches and ten pounds of apples. "You are crazy...and that is totally illegal," remarked my friend, Maggie. Turns out it is actually perfectly legal to bring in fruits to the United States, as long as one can prove the fruits were grown in the Okanagan Valley (or, I presume, another region in Canada). My fellow passengers were eyeing my fragrant box of peaches covetously as we boarded the plane; I said I would share, but only if we got stuck waiting on the tarmac for hours, which we thankfully did not.

Then commenced my canning binge.

Summer fruit jam, peach butter, peach sauce, and spiced apples...the jars were intended as Christmas gifts, but I am tempted to hoard them for myself! I will only keep the spiced apples, though, to make apple pies and tarts around Christmas time. The most destructive -- I managed to crack the grating blade -- but definitely the most conducive to future baking projects! There was a good amount left over after I had filled four pint jars for processing, so I rolled out a round of pie dough and made "pocket pies," each containing only a packed tablespoon of the filling.

The canning binge is ongoing; though all the Okanagan fruit is now preserved in jars for future enjoyment, I am sure I will find some tasty inspiration at at least one of the various farmers' markets this week.

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