It looks like this year's fruit harvest will be bountiful. The harsh winter and lack of spring ice storms seems to have produced a bumper crop. Everywhere you turn the trees are full of fruit. On Sunday, we picked about 1 1/2 bushels of peaches and maybe about a peck of apples off a small new tree. We are looking forward to frozen peaches, peach preserves, peach syrup and an apple crisp. We are also very excited to try a new recipe "Gingered Peach and Blackberry Pandowdy" (from "Rustic Fruit Desserts") with the addition of the blackberries that Megan picked from the back forty.
Here is a recipe (from "Stocking Up III" by Carol Hupping and the staff of the Rodale Food Center) for Peach Vinegar that I love to make from the peelings and pits. It is simple, delicious and looks beautiful in a gift bottle.
Use peelings and pits from about 8 lbs peaches, to make this fruity vinegar. It's lovely as a marinade for chicken, duck and pork, in salad dressings, or combined with mayonnaise and chicken for a delicious chicken salad.
Tie peelings and pits together in a double thickness of cheesecloth or in a jelly bag. Combine with 2 cups vinegar in a medium-size stainless steel or enamel saucepan and bring to a boil slowly, then simmer gently 15 minutes. Remove bag and let stand until cold.
Strain and pour into a hot sterilized pint bottle. Seal.
The vinegar keeps in the refrigerator for 1 year.
Yield: 1 pint