This website is published through the courtesy of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Any opinions expressed, however, are totally my responsibility.
Jim Andris, Sept. 17, 2003.
1 orange, quartered and sliced thin
Combine in kettle orange and peaches; boil 20 minutes. Stir in sugar, ginger and salt; boil until thick. (Ed. note: be careful here, thick is actually just a little thicker than thin.) Stir in almonds. Pour into sterilized jars and seal.
Hardly anyone takes the time to cook anymore, let alone can things. But over the years, I always have, even when I worked full time for 33 years as a college professor. Admittedly, we're talking about just two or three days a year spent doing this. Hoever, my mom, grandmother, and great grandmother all canned food while I was growing up, and I was the lucky observer and consumer of this labor.
When I was younger, I had little patience with the past and thought dwelling in the past was inferior to creating the future. Now I am myself almost in the past, and I have spent half a lifetime researching my ancestors. In addition to being a challenging culinary skill, canning is a way of connecting oneself to a time when people had to do this to survive.
These peach conserves are exquisitely delicious, although you can cook them too little or too much. You don't want them too thick, let alone burnt, and you don't want them to be syrup. I err on the side of thick, though. On toast with cream cheese, they are the best.
I got this recipe and the plum conserve and the French mustard pickle recipe out of an old five volume set of cookbooks Favorite Recipes of America.