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?

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2 responses to “Garden Friday – Using Every Last Drop

  1. Karmen December 16, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    What a great idea! I mix my leftover syrup with cream cheese to make a yummy fruit dip or salad sauce. You can use it for lots of things, the thickness of what it is that you want determines how much of the fruit juice/syrup that you add. We’ve even used this as the sauce in frog-eye salad. Feel free to cream a bit of sugar into the cream cheese– again, depends on taste.

  2. Alliegator December 17, 2011 at 9:32 am

    My boys LOVE to drink the syrup in the jar- if I don’t pour some in with their peaches, they feel cheated. 🙂

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