Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Peachy Day

"Life is better than death, I believe, if only because it is less boring and because it has fresh peaches in it."
Thomas Walker

One of the HUGE benefits of living here, is that with two family farms within 2 miles of us, and extremely generous relatives, we manage to get LOTS of fresh fruits and veggies practically whenever we need them. For example? Fresh tomatoes, zuchinnis, peppers, nectarines, pears (four kinds), rasperries, blackberries, blueberries ... you name it! We are truly spoiled rotten by our fantastic family!
This year, I have already made cherry jam, sour cherry/currant jam and blackberry jam. I wasn't planning on venturing into peaches until I talked to my Uncle Carl on the phone yesterday. When he told me the fruit was just going to rot and fall off the trees if no one claimed it, I decided to tackle canning.
My boys LOVE peaches. In fact, Asher would make a meal out of them, and has been known to go through five helpings in one sitting, slurping the juice out of the bottom of the bowl as if it were candy.
You should see him at the farm. He knows WAY before we get there that he can eat as many peaches as he wants, (I'm not about to say no!) and he practically gets the shakes in the car on the way. When we get there, he makes a mad dash for the peach grove, and as Carl and I fill our baskets, he, being short, eyes the ground. "This looks like a good one!" He shouts continually, picking up fruit and eating it up. (Yes, I did offer him tree fresh fruit, but he seems to enjoy the stuff he can reach more, and is rather good at picking out the peaches that just fell off from being too ripe, instead of being rotten). I even gave one to Rhylah and in minutes, the thing was half gone! She just sat there sucking it like a fruit bat, with a wide-eyed look on her face.
I canned peaches once before, but the fruit wasn't quite perfect and I used a syrup that was much too thick (with honey -- WAY too sweet.) This year, armed with better fruit and my Grandma's no-fail syrup recipe (1 cup of sugar plus three cups water) I decided to try again. It took me two hours to can 6 quarts of peaches. And I was dead tired. But when Nate got home from work at 7 p.m., he offered to help, so we did another 6 quarts, and it only took an hour. And it was much more fun. Teamwork is indeed the best!

Two very large bushel baskets of peaches stand ready for canning -- I think they're all laughing at me really....

My work space ... thank the Lord for plenty of counter tops!

The part that takes the longest is blanching them, skinning them, cutting them up and pitting them... ugh! But here they are! Ready for the hot jars and 30 minutes in the hot water bath!

Here are my golden jars of peaches this morning, all cooled and sealed!


Anonymous said...

hey katrina and family i left a comment on the last post but i thought you would check this one first. we miss you guys soo much the guy who moved in we didnt really meet him yet
the tree house is gone from your back yard and the garden is still there too.
well email me back sometime on my email!
with love from becky den boer

amy7252 said...

Wow! Yummy looking stuff!

t.leaf + k said...

I am JEALOUS! (of the peaches, not all the work it took to can them)

It's been way too long since I've had fresh peaches.

DawnK said...

Enjoy your peaches, this winter!! They sound yummy!

Fran Cee said...

Oh wow save some for my visit.