I made this jam over the weekend with local peaches and anise hyssop from my herb garden. I loved it for brunch yesterday with homemade popovers.

I am having a hard time chatting about jam right now, though.

Last night I learned that my friend Jennifer Perillo’s husband had passed away suddenly. My heart is so heavy today.

It was obvious to all who are friends and fans of Jennie that she loved her husband very much- I know I am not the only one who smiled when she’d talk giddily about their date nights on facebook, or tweeted about how excited she was about their upcoming vacation. I met Mikey once, too; he was most definitely a great guy.

Jennie is one of the people who inspired me to start making jams because she’s written frequently about preserving foods on her blog. She’s a passionate advocate for purchasing seasonal produce at Farmer’s Markets, and she’s always cooking up wonderful creations with her market finds. Her boundless enthusiasm for preserving the seasonal bounty has rubbed off on me big time.

So this jam is for Jennie, and my thoughts and prayers are with her and her two girls, as well.

Recipe for Peach and Anise Hyssop Jam

Yield: approximately 2.5 cups

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Ingredients:

*3 pounds ripe peaches
*1 cups organic sugar
*2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
*2 tablespoons fresh anise hyssop flowers
*2 teaspoons calcium water

*1.5 teaspoons Pomona Universal Pectin powder

Directions:

1. Cut a small, shallow "x" in the bottom of each peach.

2. Blanch peaches in a large pot of boiling water until skin loosens, 1-2 minutes. Place peaches in a colander and run cold water over them.

3. Peel the peaches and cut the flesh away from the pits. Combine with sugar, lemon juice, and anise hyssop flowers in a large bowl and allow to stand for 30 minutes. Add the calcium water and the pectin.

4. Transfer fruit mixture to a large heavy pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low-medium, and cook for about 20 minutes. Stir briskly to dissolve the pectin at first, then stir every now and then until the jam reduces and thickens.

5. Skim any foam from the surface of jam, then ladle into sterile 1/2 pint jars. Wipe rims, seal, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.