The Bernice Garden Farmers Market, held each Sunday at 1401 Main Street from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., is filled with numerous local vendors—selling anything from burgundy okra to necklace charms. A few Sundays back, I paid close attention to the table manned by Kate Finefield and Joshua Pangle of Goatroper Farms.
And while homemade goat milk fudge is typically the main draw for Goatroper, a monster jar of peach preserves is what piqued my interest on this particular Sunday morning. I’m a sucker for just about anything peach. There are not many things in this world better than a perfectly ripe, juicy peach. I plunked down $12 for a 16-ounce jar of the thick preserves, headed home, and have been eating them ever since.
To get a better idea of what I’m talking about, picture a batch of fresh, local peaches cooked down to a chunky, delicious mound of fruity stew. The easily spreadable, pectin-free peach preserves have just a hint of nutmeg. This adds a little spice, which couples nicely with the slightly sweet peaches. And the absence of pectin keeps the preserves from becoming too gelatinous and jam-like, characteristics often found in store-bought commercial jams and jellies.
A typical morning has me spreading the preserves on a piece of toast. You could even get crazy and drizzle a little local honey on top. The picture above shows some on a beautiful piece of toasted Rustic Bread from Mylo Coffee Co. If you don’t have something as fancy as that, I highly recommend taking a frozen store-bought waffle, spreading on a thin layer of cream cheese, and topping it with the peach preserves. For a more savory way to enjoy, they’re even fabulous with pork tenderloin.
Surprisingly, this batch was Kate’s first attempt at peach preserves. I can safely say she’s already an expert at the craft. In the upcoming weeks, Kate plans on making apple jellies, hot pepper jellies, and various other fruit preserves. Jars come in 6, 12, and 16-ounce sizes and will be sold at the Bernice Garden Farmers Market and the Westover Hills Farmers Market (Tues 4p-7p).
Goatroper’s slogan is “Where Spoiled Goats and Sweet Milk Abound.” Looks like they need to work “preserves” somewhere into that statement.