Sunday, June 22, 2014
What We're Making: Peach Butter...and I Have a Bad Attitude About It...
It's no secret around these parts that Mr. Wonderful is a mad scientist. He loves to cook, he owns way too much kitchen and garage gear, and he lives to disassemble things when they break. Whether he's mixing mortar or sourdough starter, anything that feels scientific gets him all dreamy-eyed and twitterpated.
So it wasn't a big surprise when he informed me he was going to take a bunch of our ripe peaches and make peach butter.
He's made jelly before, and of course there was the wine-making madness back in Hollywood. But fruit butter was a new undertaking and, being the devoted wife I am, I offered to help. For the record, there is no butter in fruit butter. I have no idea why they call it that. It's really just fruit and sugar. They should just call it Peach Tooth Rot.
I couldn't help but make about a thousand dirty jokes while I was helping. Mr. W: "I'm going to make some peach butter tonight." Me: "I got your peach butter right here, baby." And so on and so forth.
We began by cutting x's in the bottoms of the peaches and blanching them in boiling water. Then they were given a little ice bath and we divided them up to peel.
There might not be anything more disgusting than a de-skinned peach. I imagine holding one is similar to holding a freshly harvested kidney or gall bladder. However gross they felt, it didn't stop me from carrying on with the dirty jokes. Mr. W: "These peaches are so slippery!" Me: "I'll show ya a slippery peach..." Sorry, Mom.
Once all of the peaches were peeled, we added them (4lbs worth) to about 1/2 cup of water and 3 1/2 cups of sugar and let it simmer until the peaches were soft.
Then Mr. W busted out one of his favorite pieces of lab equipment—the hand mixer—and pulverized them until they were smooth. They continued to cook until the mixture was thickened.
This is about where I remembered that I don't like to cook.
I was in charge of sterilizing the jelly jars in a pot of boiling water and all of the sudden I felt this overwhelming hatred for the kitchen. Why would I be using every pot in the joint to make something I could go buy at the store? My attitude became bad very quickly.... And Mr. W told me I should go sit in my flower room (AKA our guest room that has all my girly stuff in it). Instead I sat nearby and calmed myself with Pinterest.
After about forty minutes—or four days, I can't remember—the peaches were reduced enough for Mr. W to spoon them into the jars.
He then sealed up each one, boiled it again and then did an overnight test without the screw portion of the lid on so we could make sure all the seals held.
We ate some of his butter on some steamed bao pork buns today and it was pretty delicious.
That said, next time he decides to do a big experiment in the kitchen, I probably will plan to have something really important to take care of in my flower bedroom...