Peach Overload

DSC_0350I realized last week that I was well into canning last year at this time. I have been so preoccupied with zucchini and the start of school that I haven’t made any peach butter or plum jam this year. I have almost finished my stash from last year and I definitely need to lay in a supply of toast topping for the next year.

I had time last Friday, so I thought I would head to the local farm and see if they had any peaches. Usually they have their blemished and bruised peaches for half price, but the supply goes fast. I was in luck and they had enough that I had my pick of the baskets. I bought two, which worked out to twelve pounds of peaches. I had all afternoon free and I figured I could cook and can peaches for a bit and then work on other chores around the house. Oh, the best laid plans…

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I blanched the peaches, since I had so many. I wanted them to be quick and easy to peel. I must not have left them in the water long enough – they were not easy to peel. The skins came off in little pieces instead of just sliding off the peaches. I should have re-blanched them, but I had already dumped the water and didn’t feel like waiting for more to come to a boil. Not the best decision I have ever made.

I had enough peaches for a double batch of peach butter, and I still had only used half of them. I got those cooking and tried to decide what to do with the rest of my bounty. Since I had already blanched them, I couldn’t really put them off to another day.

I had bought a box of low sugar pectin a few weeks ago, so I pulled it out to see how many peaches would make a batch of peach jam – four and a half cups. Okay, fine. That took care of a few more peaches. I figured I would peel and dice the rest and decide what to do with them after that.

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About the tenth pound of peaches I decided that maybe the afternoon wasn’t so fun anymore. I was hot, sticky and royally tired of peaches. I diced the last peach and tossed it into the measuring cup. Grand total – eight cups. Perfect for a pie. Another day. I tossed the diced peaches in a zip lock bag and froze them.

I still had to can the peach jam. And can the peach butter. And wash all my sticky dishes. I forged ahead, water bath processing the filled jars while I cleaned up the messy kitchen. I had the realization at that point that the actual canning process isn’t the arduous part – it’s the peeling, dicing and cooking that come before the canning.

Once I finished it all, I collapsed onto the couch in the much cooler living room and vowed not to move, or to look at another peach, for a very long time. From my vantage point I could see the beautiful jars of peach jam and peach butter cooling on the counter – all fourteen of them. Not bad for an afternoon’s work.

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8 thoughts on “Peach Overload

  1. Love your blog, Sarah! Peaches have been great all summer and since they are my favorite it suits me just fine!
    Your jams and butters sound delish! ENJOY!

  2. Well done, you! A couple of batches of quick refrigerator pickles is about all I can manage in my hot, tiny condo kitchen. Even with central A/C, that kitchen is too warm to spend any time in during the summer. It’s lovely in the winter, however. Looking forward to soup season — that’s my idea of a good time in the kitchen…..

    Karen

    • Thank you, Karen! I really wasn’t thinking about how much work it would be when I started. In the middle of the process I was questioning my judgement, but the next day I was so glad I had a nice big stash of peach butter and jam. I am already thinking about doing more – crazy woman that I am. 🙂

      • I’ll be doing my (probably) last batch of pickles for the summer in the next day or so. Couldn’t find Kirbys, so I’m trying the Persian cukes from Trader Joes for a small batch. It’ll be interesting to see how they compare. I’ve never used anything other than the Kirbys.

        • Let me know what works. I have only made pickles a few times, and only with garden cucumbers. I never knew the variety, or thought much about it. A cucumber is a pickle to me (I’m not particularly fond of cucumbers unless they are pickles).

  3. Hi, So glad you got your peach fix canned. I’m like you pooped out after it is done, but the winter months of eating tell me it was worth the trouble. Wish I could find peaches up here, worthy of canning. Can only find the store stuff — yuck! Not worth my time. What is next on your list?
    My only garden bounty this year is basil and tomatoes. Am having fun with them.

    • I’m not sure what I am canning next – probably plum jam. That was my favorite from last year. And I might try my hand at grape jam when the Concords ripen this year. Rich loves grape jelly/jam and I don’t know why I have never tried making it before.

      I have been freezing more than canning this year. Mostly shredded zucchini and a little bit of roasted tomato sauce. Have fun with your basil and tomatoes!

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