An act of contrition

Wow.  Perhaps it’s just that my Catholic upbringing is still really residually strong (goodness knows the last time I went to mass:  perhaps in service to some dear person’s wedding or funeral, but it has been a while) but Saturday morning whilst canning up some peaches I started reciting the Act as if whom I was offending with the commission/omission of my sins was the winter pantry!

(For those blissfully unaware, the leadoff of a penitent’s confession to one’s priest begins with reciting the first line of the Act of Contrition, following with how long it’s been since the penitent last took the rite of Penance. “It’s been two weeks,” you’d say, or “It’s been twenty years.”)

MY “act” was recited in reference to the fact that it had been almost a month since I last put away some fruit!

P1000578Peach jam and peach/cranberry conserve

Ah, the wonder that is small-batch jams, conserves, preserves:  you can really mix it up.  I am awash in peaches now, finally ripening in my car (more on that in a minute), and I am still going through the freezer to use up the old stuff.  *Why* ripen peaches in the car, El?  No fruit flies that way, and it’s nice and cool in the garage.  Granted, I just can’t go anywhere, but that’s fine.

Mix it up and try some small-batch jams. Generally using only 3-4 cups of fruit, 2-3 cups sugar (or not), they stew in a large saucepan, reducing all that juicewater nicely, until you have some delicious thick jam.  I find it a good way to use up the tail ends of a fruit harvest, or to find a place for some frozen fruit.

11 responses to “An act of contrition

  1. Ah, El! I knew there was something about you that resonated. All my most serious friendships and romantic relationships, and heck most family relationships too, have been with fellow recovering Catholics. It’s a great religion to reject, and, in my opinion, it tends to leave some residual characteristics behind that are charming. I particularly find the public suffering amusing. There just seems to be a deeply rooted compatibility between me and other former Catholics.

  2. Yum Peach Jam. I want to can some Peach Butter. I should really get on the wagon & get me some peaches.

  3. So, what was your penance?

  4. Forgive me, pantry, for I have not canned. . . that makes perfect sense.

    Little bits of jam all the time — surely the way to go.

  5. Kate! Yep, always wearing the hairshirt, whether we think we are or not. I will tell you a true story: I once gave up guilt for Lent. I liked it so much I never looked back! Religion’s a funny thing. Many of my friends are either ex-Catholics (post-Catholics, one calls it) or Jews. There’s a ton of similarities there too. But yeah, it’s a cultural residue, certainly, that won’t come out in the wash!

    Selina, peach butter! It’s almost season for freestone peaches, which are nice because they let go of the pit and can (as peach halves or slices) so much better.

    Thanks, Linda. The cranberry compote is especially tasty too.

    Pamela, as ever, I get to clean the kitchen too.

    Stef, it is, especially if you’re feeling really stressed out about all the bounty. Freeze half your pickings, can the other half now that you have the will…that’s what I do.

  6. I like the idea of small-batch jams. Funny, I’ve been freezing half and canning half as well, with a bit saved extra for eating now (or more than a bit!)…. How do you make peach butter? I’d love to do that.

  7. On ripening in the car…

    *in boxes? (tarp underneath?)
    *any fruit flies in the car?

  8. Oh my, do I love the “Act of Contrition”part! I too have frozen fruit I should have already used, such as blueberry pancakes. I think I am missing the Williams peach orchard goodies. I need to make new peach jam. I look forward to a Saturday dinner of delights from your garden.

  9. MC, I would have to look up how to make peach butter but if it’s anything like apple or pear butter, it’s roasted, and smooth. Yeah, we have *enough* fruit now too, and it isn’t even apple season yet!

    Jennifer, they were just in the boxes I brought them home in, and no, no fruit flies in the car (unless they came with the peaches, which is doubtful). No tarp either. Granted, I have a farm car with lots of dirt and straw in it…but it seemed to help them ripen. It was too hot in the house.

    Nana, yeah, go to Williams! Can you make it there before Saturday? See you soon.

  10. Okay…I realize this is an old posting, but I was searching for the actual text of the Act of Contrition, because I woke up thinking about this morning (Lord knows why) and happened upon your blog. …and saw that picture of your preserves and laughed out loud as I just recently finished all my canning and also posted similar pitcures. Freaky, kindred spirit stuff going on today. 🙂

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