Sunday, July 28, 2013


When I got 1/2 bushel of peaches and needed to get them taken care of as quickly as possible, I turned to one of my favorite cookbooks for preserving ideas, The Fancy Pantry by Helen Witty. The second recipe I saw was for peach ratafia. What Georgette Heyer fan could pass up the chance to make ratafia? So in about six weeks, I'll let you know what we think.

Peach Ratafia

1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light-brown sugar
½ cup water
3 cups sliced peeled ripe peaches
Peach kernels (if you are able to get them out of the pits!)
1/8 teaspoon ground mace
1 quart good-quality brandy
1. Combine the granulated sugar, the brown sugar, and the water in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil the syrup briskly, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Cool the syrup.
2. Put peach slices and the kernels into a 2 qt. glass jar or crock with a snug cover.
3. Stir the cooled syrup, the mace, and the brandy together until they are completely mixed. Pour the mixture over the the peaches and stir the whole business. Cover airtight. Set the containers aside for at least a month and preferably 6 weeks. Stir or shake the contents once in a while.
4. Strain the cordial through a fine-meshed sieve bottle it (if corking, use new corks only.) Refrigerate the fruit.

From The  Fancy Pantry by Helen Witty

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Grandma's Bread and Butter Pickles

Soak for 3 hours:
2 qts. sliced cucumbers (Thin)
1/3 c. salt (Use pickling salt.)
2 onions (med.)
Add 2 c. celery last soaking hour

Bring to boil:
2 c. vinegar (Heinz is best. Really.)
2 c. sugar
1 t. celery seed
1 t. mustard seed
½ t. turmeric

Add drained pickles & let come to good simmer.

Fill clean jars. Process in water bath for 10 minutes. ( My grandma didn't do this, but, based on recommendations in the Ball Blue Book, I do.)