Cooking together: Peachy Keen Salsa by Trish & Miranda

I love my girlfriends–especially as I plunge headfirst into motherhood and my 30s. This week, I had the joy of cooking with one of my favorite Nana’s-in-Training Miranda (author of the fab blog At the Cookery). We cooked and canned up a batch of Peach Salsa–it is sweet and spicy and oh so peachy.
While we chopped (and I made her chop the jalapeno, sort of a hazing into the Nana program), cooked and canned; we chatted. It made me think of women everywhere–those of today and those of centuries ago. Whether it is women working together in an office to build a corporation or two fabulous Mommas preserving summer in jar–it is the sharing of stories, tips and laughs that makes the end product special.
In each jar of our Peachy Keen Salsa, there is laughter and love and friendship. There is the background noise of our children–Max, Emma, Lily and Chloe–laughing and throwing toys around the room. When I eat this salsa, I’ll always savor the taste of my girlfriend and our day together.
Let me tell you a little about my girlfriend Miranda. Miranda is absolutely a Nana-in-Training. She loves finding authentic solutions for her family–whether it is monthly meal planning, cooking for the season or planning a meal that even a picky 3-year-old will eat–Miranda is a solution oriented momma. She is way more analytical than I could ever be-
-which is a wonderful complement to my wayward and wandering ways.
Our Peachy Keen Salsa is tomato-less. Even though I love tomatoes, I really wanted to make something that showcased peaches. We produced 20 half-pints. You could halve (or quarter) the recipe and just make a batch for your refrigerator too. If you don’t can it, still simmer it together–the heat softens the peaches and melts their natural sugar into the spice of the jalapenos and cayenne. Also feel free to adjust the heat of the salsa–adding less or more peppers.
We snuck some from the pot and tried it with tortilla chips. Miranda can’t wait to try it on shrimp. I think it would also compliment a firm white fish–Mahi Mahi (which will be our dinner tonight!) or even pork.
Here’s the recipe we followed (based on something I found online called Katie’s Peach Salsa).
Peachy Keen Salsa
18 peaches-diced, skins left on
3 small-medium onions, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
8 jalapeno peppers chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup lime juice (if you can, use bottled lime juice. if you are not canning, you can use either fresh or bottled)
4 tablespoons local honey
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
4 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne
Toss everything in a large stock pot or dutch oven. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. If processing, pack into hot jars and process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
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Pattypan Squash and Zucchini butter bake

The thing I love most about squash is the variety. There are hundreds of varieties. My first favorite has always been acorn squash–cut in half and baked with butter, salt and pepper, until it melts. Or butternut squash roasted and made into a smooth, hearty soup. And then there is spaghetti squash–which is divine when prepared like pasta.
My new farmer’s market find is the Pattypan squash. I’ve seen this little summer squashes before the grocery store–typically about an inch in diameter. The pattypan squash I found was gigantic in comparison; about 5 inches across. It sat in my refrigerator while I obsessed about what to do with it. One crazy Wednesday night (Lily has horseback riding and then I teach), I came up with this delicious butter bake as a side dish for vegetarian sloppy joes (Morning Star crumbles plus sloppy joe sauce).
This recipe is so easy and the squash melts like butter in your mouth. Feel free to substitute any summer squash and to use whatever herbs you have on hand.
The goods:
1 medium to large Patty pan Squash or a handful of small patty pan squash, sliced thin
1 small zucchini, sliced thin
4 tablespoons ghee or melted butter
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
kosher salt

black pepper
3 tablespoons fresh herbs–parsley, chives, basil and cilantro
The cooking:
Preheat oven to 400F.
In a baking dish, begin layering as follows:
Pattypan & Zucchini, (to cover the bottom of the pan)
a sprinkle of garlic
a tablespoon of herbs
a tablespoon-ish of butter
Keep layering and top with any remaining butter.
Bake for 20 minutes (or until soft and buttery).