Canning peaches

Tuesday I have a date with a friend to make a run to Arthur for peaches and to stop at the cabinet outlet. I love going to visit the farm country — it makes me a wee bit nostaligic for farm life, although I don’t miss the stench and the filth that can be associated with it.

Why is fruit in season in the hottest part of the year so that one must have several burners of the stove turned on when it is 99 F and one is struggling to keep one’s home air conditioned to a balmy temp? Why can’t peaches and pears ripen in, say . . . December? or January?

***PS — This post is getting more traffic than anything here . . . if you are looking for instructions for canning peaches, check out my more recent entry here. Enjoy the canning season!

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11 Responses

  1. Oooh, oooh, can you teach me how to can???

  2. Sure. It’s not difficult, just HOT. From the looks of the coming days, I’m probably going to get the peaches tomorrow but not work on the canning until Wednesday and Thursday. I’m going to can some sliced peaches as well as make some peach jam (possibly peach-raspberry if I find some good raspberries). The greatest productivity will be during the twinkies’ afternoon nap, of course, but you are welcome to come join me if you are free on Wed or Thurs. I’m planning to get 2 bushels of peaches, which is one less than I have done in the past but the last two summers, with being pg and then having a tiny twinkie, I didn’t can at all so I’m thinking 2 bu will be just fine! šŸ˜‰ I usually get about 21 qts/bu but I’ll probably also eat some fresh (and maybe make a peach crisp/cobbler or pie?) and the jam. I’m sort of slow with canning when I’m doing it on my own and having little people to care for so I usually don’t get more than 3 canner loads done in a day, which is 21 qts.

  3. Well, it looks like I’m free on Wednesday (oh my, that’s tomorrow already… this whole driving home on Monday thing has really thrown off my schedule), so… I’ll give you a call tomorrow around noonish?

  4. i know in southeast asia they have a wonderful selection of fruit, even in their “winter” (which is like 50s and 60s). but i think that the cost of going there just to pick fruit might be too high. šŸ™‚

  5. Well, K and I did go to Arthur and get two bushels (and then some) of peaches all ready for canning. While we didn’t have to travel to SE Asia to get them, now I *do* need to do my canning on a day with an outdoor temp of 98 F. I’m hoping to keep the indoor temp below that level. Despite the cost of fuel and the gas mileage of my SUV Roadhawg , it was also MUCH cheaper than flying to SE Asia during the winter season. We had some peaches for dessert tonight too . . . mmmm, summer deliciousness.

  6. Oh, and I mentioned the possibility of peach-raspberry jam earlier . . . well, last week at Sam’s they had boxes of raspberries for $2.88/12 oz which seems a little pricey but they were beautiful raspberries and I was hoping that I could enjoy them with peaches to even out the cost. Today we stop in there and find that the same 12 oz box is now $4.48!!! Ouch. So, no raspberries in the peach jam!

  7. Could you freeze the peaches now and can them when the weather is cooler?

  8. MN:
    If I had a deep freeze, I could just freeze them and not bother with canning at all . . . but I don’t and even the freezer I have seems to be going on the blink again . . . it has an annual freon habit, I guess, and gets the urge during peak summer heat.

    But to your original question . . . I would think that with both freezing *and* canning the peaches would suffer and get really mushy. Bleck.

  9. Beth:

    Thanks for coming over to can with me! šŸ™‚ I did end up getting 21 qts done yesterday and I’m probably going to get more like 30 qts to the bushel, I think . . . wow, that’s a lot of peaches. Good thing the family loves them!

    I was going to mention that if you decide to do some canning you might want to check at Big Lots for canning jars — when I bought jars 8 yrs ago and again 5 yrs ago, they were way cheaper there. If you buy used ones in garage sales/auctions/estate sales, be sure to check the rims to make sure they aren’t chipped (ie, they won’t seal) . Buying new jars runs $0.50 – 0.75/jar if they have lids & rings and depending on the size but sometimes at auctions and estate sales you can find them for $1-2/dozen which is a real deal. The first year or two that you can it may not be any cheaper than buying the stuff unless it’s coming from your garden and nearly free but after a couple of years the cost/jar drops a bit and makes it more worthwhile. I’ve given up making applesauce, however and figure I can buy what I’ll use just as easily from Meijer. Also, you can borrow my canner if you want so you don’t have to buy one. I’ve loaned it out before and I’m happy to again.

    Pears come in the beginning of September so anyone who missed out on the peach fest can join me for pears, assuming I get a chance to put those up. That’s right at the time we’re going to be starting up school again and other activities but pears are the Husband’s favorite canned fruit so I’d really like to get a bushel or two of those put up. They are harder to peel than peaches and seem slower to me. But my MIL taught me a different way to can those — add a slice of lemon to the bottom of the jar when you put the pears in. It gives the pears a really different taste — I think it’s OK, not great, but the Husband likes them better that way than the usual way.

    Well, the water to scald the next batch of peaches has begun to boil so I’d better get back to work.

  10. Thank *you* for showing me! I’m pretty sold on the whole idea, but I think I may take you up on your offer to borrow, just so I can make sure it’s something I want to do and will stick with before I go hauling off and buying a canner šŸ™‚ But I really like the idea of having lots of fairly cheap, homemade food that we like!

  11. This post has gotten a huge number of hits compared to my general traffic . . . double digits two days in a row! So I think I should direct people to some actual help on this, if that’s what they are looking for. I could just write out all the steps of scalding peaches, making the syrup, processing in the water bath, etc but if you plan to can, just do yourself a favor and run out and buy the Ball Blue Book which is THE reference for canning. It’s less than $10 and you can often times find it in the store next to the canning jars and canning lids. It’s worth it. Trust me.

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