I got the scare of my life today. I was preparing the wine syrup early this morning for the locally grown peaches I bought last Monday when the alarm went off indicating high natural gas level of 228. I opened some windows, went outside with the alarm, reset it, changed its battery, plugged it. It kept going off although I could not smell anything. Finally, I called 911 after 15 minutes and 3 minutes later a firetruck arrived with 3 young [good looking] firemen. They checked the kitchen, the gas fireplace, and the basement and their monitors all got zero reading. It was a false alarm, damn those made in China things!! I was relieved that my house is safe and nowhere near in danger of exploding (as several houses did, not in my community, though). Whew! I was a bit embarrassed to bother the firemen but as the saying goes, it's better safe than sorry. My daughter called to get an update and I told her the good news. She commented that one of the firemen might be the guy she went out with a few times. When I asked her for his name she said "douchebag", 'nuff said.:)
Anyway, every summer I like to take advantage of fresh produce, especially locally grown that I preserve for the off-season. I got a few peaches from Wegmans that were grown in a farm an hour away from my house, they were just picked and arrived at the store early that day, I was told by the produce guy. I let the peaches sit on the counter for 4 days to ripen. They should be a little bit soft to the touch but not mushy.
Peaches in Wine Syrup
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- In a medium stainless steel sauce pan, combine white wine and equal amount of sugar, add the vanilla bean and seeds and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to medium, simmer for 10 minutes. Remove vanilla, rinse, dry, and keep for later use. Continue to cook the syrup for another 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the peaches. Boil a large pot of water. Dip the peaches, then remove the skin. Cut in half or into quarters, discard the stones. Add the peaches to the syrup and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Fill pre-boiled and dried jar/s. Let cool completely, then refrigerate.
It is easy to peel peaches when they are fully ripe but not mushy. If the peaches are not fully ripe the skin will stick to the flesh. Also, make sure the water has boiled, then turn off heat, before dipping the peaches.