Garden Friday – Using Every Last Drop
As blasphemous as it is to my northeast-born husband, I do not care for maple syrup. I grew up on the fake stuff (big working-class family in the southwest, what can I say?) and never have fallen in love with the real stuff. Yet we eat whole grain pancakes or french toast several times a week for breakfast. Such foods call for a syrup. I dutifully purchase maple for the husband and the boy. But given the price, I never really was comfortable pouring something so expensive that I didn’t love over pancakes for myself.
For a couple of years, I watered down preserves for my pancakes. Well, I really juiced-down (we are in small child mode with apple juice a constant in our home) plum or berry preserves. But then it occurred to me this year that thickening up the light-syrup in my home-canned peaches was another option. I can’t claim to have grown these peaches in my garden – at least not yet – but they are local through a buying club and very yummy.
You could probably figure out on your own how to make your syrup, but I’ll tell you our process anyways. We eat about a quart of canned peaches about every 5-7 days during the winter. I just leave the syrup in the jar until we’ve eaten 2 jars. This seems to equate to about a pint of liquid. I then simmer that liquid down with an additional 1/3 cup of sugar (I only VERY lightly syrup my peaches… if you are a heavy syruper, you could skip the additional sugar) until it fits into an 8 oz jelly-jar. This amount seems to last me about 2 weeks and then I start over again.
What do you do with the syrup in your canned fruits? Drink it? Toss it? Something else?