First, yes, I do know it's completely wrong to be talking about Christmas in September. However, I'm allowed for the following reason only: I'm canning fresh, summer-ripe peaches as a Christmas gift for co-workers (and anyone else who asks nicely).
My dad sent this article a couple weeks ago. Did you know he sends clippings? It's a really wonderful thing -- a little "I was reading and thought you'd like this," or "Hey, this is cool -- check this out!" moment when I open the mail, which is usually nothing but bills and catalogs.
I may have posted the link on Facebook already, as I know at least one of my friends did -- there's something so wonderful and homey about canning; yeah, it's a throw-back, but it means you can eat local wonderfulness beyond its typical growing season. A couple years ago, I fell in love with Barbara Kingsolver's 'Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year in Food Life,' and wanted to grow my own vegetables and fruits, can everything and maybe raise some chickens.
I live in a condo. With no real outdoor space. I do not have chickens.
But -- I do have access to a few great farmers' markets, and next year, I promise -- I'm going to get back on the farm share band-wagon. I did it a couple years ago (not coincidentally the year I fell in love with farming), and have meant to do it again but haven't gotten my act together as of yet. I'm saving my vegetable money now.
So -- the point of the Christmas-referent was to say that today will be spent making brandied peaches, and hopefully some poached pears, too. Those might have to wait a couple weeks.
Ask nicely if you'd like peaches for Christmas.