Pitted, peeled and chopped

I have a special place in my heart for the September issue of Tigress Can Jam MonthlyPeaches were my first, all-by-myself sealed jar project, completed one year ago this September! Happy anniversary to me.

Boy, do I wish I’d known about the whole dip peaches in boiling water trick to skin them. I also wish I had someone there to tell me “RELAX, those miniscule bubbles in the jam are not botulism spores, not possible (put your feet up and have a margarita).”

Enough about me, Tigress has granted me the great honor to present you, fellow canjammers, with not just peaches, but the entire family of stone fruits.

Stonefruits belong to the genus Prunus which includes apricots, cherries, peaches, nectarines and plums.

Stone fruit seeds are a curious lot. Pips (my favourite word for seeds) are protected by a cyanide-producing enzyme that also produces benzaldehyde, which gives almond extract its distinct aroma. Almonds are the seeds of a stone fruit species (Prunus amygdalus), but the ones we’ve domesticated aren’t as bitter (nor are they highly toxic) like wild almonds. (Harold McGee let me in on these fine little morsels, pun intended.) I suppose this is why some recipes ask us to toss our stone fruit kernels into our boiling vats of yum, to take advantage of free almond extract. [Boiling the seeds also makes them safe for consumption.]

Stone fruits may come as no surprise to many of you. I’ve seen your summer-infused blog posts. You’re champing at the bit with your plum jams, your peach chutneys, your luxurious halved peaches doing the backstroke in syrupy glaze. Well, here’s the signal, the e-high-five to keep it up.

Start your browsers folks, blog posts with your stone-fruitful recipes must be posted between Sunday, Sept 12th and Friday, Sept 17th to make the round-up, with midnight Friday the 17th being the cutoff.

p.s. I know, I’m a dork, but you can’t talk stone fruits without involving Van Morrison.