Late summer. A mid-season I love.
I like the mixed feelings I associate with it.
There is the melancholy for a past I can still smell and the energy-filled anticipation of new projects.
The period between late August and September is magic, like its light. It is as if the air, all of a sudden, becomes solid, dyeing plants, leaves, and sunsets golden.
The days get shorter; the September morning air is crisper and leaves the meadows covered with a dew that makes you want to take off your shoes and walk on the soft, wet grass.
September is that time of year when, in gardens and on market stalls, summer produce meets fall produce.
It’s time to put away the summer memories. And to prepare the last jars of summer jam to enjoy on gray winter days to brighten afternoon tea or fill a tart.
At the market.
At the end of August, the first apples, called summer apples, came. They are fragrant, small, and crunchy.
Eggplants, tomatoes, and zucchini chat happily with squash, mushrooms, and early red radicchio.
Red turnip and crisp celery, very fragrant at this time, show almost brilliant shades of green and purple.
Figs, melons, berries, and grapes give off an intense fragrance.
Green jujubes take on the warm color of amber.
Hazelnuts and walnuts are ready to be picked.
In the Adriatic sea is again time to fish little and tasty clams called poverazze (from the Italian word poveracce means poor guys).
Into the air, I breathe energy and eagerness. September is a time for budgets and new projects. And, also, to say goodbyes to the summer is leaving and the autumn is coming. And to organize closets and pantries.
I stow summer shirts in drawers, close potted flavors.
A bunch of things from my summer.
On holiday, I read two books.
The first one is a classic of the American narrative, An American family by Joyce Carol Oates. The second one is by an Italian writer, Maria Cristina Maselli. She wrote a historical romance dedicated to the love story between Sigismondo Malatesta, Master of Rimini (located in the Emilia-Romagna region and heart of the Romagna area), and Isotta Degli Atti.
During my Tuscan trip, I bought some plants at a local market.
One caper, one basil, one little olive tree in vase, one garlic wreath. I picked up some twigs of rosemary and one of mint. After weeks, they still live in the glass jar where they traveled.
Melon and peach preserve: my recipe.
It may seem like an original jam for someone, but for me, it is a familiar flavor.
I remember that once upon a time, everything became jam, marmalade, or preserves. They also made tomato jam, watermelon jam, melon jam, and grape jam.
I mixed melon and peach, but if you prefer, you can make it from melon alone.
Breakfast, snack, appetizer?
Melon and peach jam is good on bread and in tarts; for filling cookies that accompany tea and herbal teas. Finally, it is also great to enjoy with cheeses on the aperitif board.
It is a versatile recipe and an original jam.
Ready to cook?
Cook with me.
Among grape-based jams, my favorite is the one with Isabella grape (HERE is my recipe).
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You can also use white-fleshed melon. In this case, if you like, add the scent of mint.
Melon and peach jam recipe
about 4 little jars
List of the Ingredients
1 1kg melon
400 g brown sugar
juice of 1 small lime or lemon
Clean the melon by removing the skin and seeds.
Cut the melon flesh into cubes.
If adding peach, peel, remove the stone, and cut into pieces.
Mix fruit pulp with sugar and lime or lemon juice; let stand in the pot for 10 minutes.
Turn on the stove, bring to a boil, lower the heat and cook for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.
Turn off, reduce to a cream with an immersion blender, and put back on the stove until the jam reaches the consistency you like. I usually cook for another 30 minutes or so.
Remember that when hot, it is fluid but once cooled becomes thicker.