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Stories need to be told.  You heard me say a few days ago in this post.  I truly believe it, our stories need to be told.  When I speak to large groups part of my message is encouraging people to share their stories because if they don’t someday those stories will be gone. Well after many conversations (some with others and some in my own head) I have decided that I am going to take the opportunity to share stories for people that may not have the means or platform to do it.  I want to tell of their successes, tragedies, funny stories and how they truly lived farm, ranch, rural, and ag life. I want to tell the stories that I wish I had written down about my grandparents and their parents. 

Do you know a farmer, rancher, or person involved in agriculture that you think would love to give a gift of their story for all of us to enjoy?  I say gift because it truly is a gift to those that will be reading the stories. It will be a gift to the next generation and will be a gift to the people that lived the story. It will be a way for them to know their legacy to continue to live on. I want to talk to people of all ages, genders, and states!  I want to tell your story.

Will you allow me the pleasure of telling your story through pictures and words? It would be my pleasure.

Complete this form to recommend yourself or another farmer, rancher, or person in agriculture.

From the Gravel Road-

Jen

Please direct any questions you may have to Jen at jenniferkschmitt@gmail.com

I absolutely love to preserve foods! Do I love them mess? No, but it is so worth it in the dead of winter when the temperatures are below zero. I stayed home with our girls for a few years when they were little and I did a ton of canning during that season of life. I remember timing things out perfectly so that I could handle the blazing hot jars during nap time so that I didn't have to worry about them getting burnt.

My mom taught me how to can, as a first-year 4-H'er in 4th grade I took strawberry jam to the fair. 🙂 Ellie and I talked her into helping with almond peach jam and peaches this year. This was mainly because Ellie did not believe me that Grandma knew how to can and definitely didn't believe that she taught me everything I know. (While canning peaches that day my mom said she quit canning when she experienced a year when every jar didn't seal. She had gotten a bad batch of seals and even wrote the company about her frustration. It sounded like many people had the same experience that year. ) I can't imagine putting all of that hard work into your bounty to find that nothing sealed. I now realize why she threw in the towel. 🙂

I love making almond peach jam as it is a favorite with many of our family members and friends! It is adapted from the Sure-Jell recipe insert. I bought a lug of peaches from our local Mennonite store and then ended up buying another box at Fareway. It's very simple to make and is a great recipe to gather your kids to help with since there are lots of steps with the peeling, etc. I hope you enjoy making this recipe as much as we do!

Almond Peach Jam

I absolutely love making this sweet jam. I tend to give it away to family and friends at Christmas! This recipe is adapted from the surejell box insert.
Servings: 7 jelly jars

Equipment

  • Hot water canner
  • Jars, seals, rings

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Chopped Peaches
  • 1 box Sure-jell
  • 5 ½ cups Sugar
  • Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Almond flavoring

Instructions

  • Use a pot of boiling water to blanch peaches. Blanching is dipping the peaches into the boiling water for about 30 seconds then transfer to cold water. This will make the peaches very easy to peel.
  • Bring boiling-water canner, half-full with water, to simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling.

  • Peel and pit peaches. Sprinkle with lemon juice while cutting to prevent browning. Finely chop fruit. Measure exactly 4 cups prepared fruit into 6- or 8-quart saucepot. Stir in box of sure jell. Add butter to reduce foaming. Bring to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly.

  • Stir in sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon. Add almond flavoring and stir.

  • Ladle immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with 2-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars in canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.) Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 10 minutes. Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger. (If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)

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