I know I yabber on about food all the time, but a gal’s gotta eat, right?
I mentioned my friend Pam brought me 100 lbs of western slope freestone peaches last week. (Yum!)
So other than eating them by the pound out of the box, what did I do with them?
I canned (hot water bath method) 22 quarts. This involved washing the jars in my dishwasher, and then processing the peaches: washing and halving them, dipping them in boiling water, immersing them in ice water (or maybe just a sink full of cold water), slipping their skins off and pits out, making a very light syrup (4 cups water to 1.5 cups sugar), boiling the fruit and syrup together, and putting them in the jars. Then I use fresh lids (pulled out of boiling water) and old bands and invert the jars for 5 minutes. All 22 sealed without a problem. As crazy as this sounds, each 25 lb box took about an hour and a half to do.
I also washed/sliced and froze halves and sixths. Some I froze on parchment-lined cookie sheets and then slipped them into gallon bags. This is Christy’s method. Because they are individually frozen, I’m hoping these will look decent enough to serve in a fruit salad. We’ll see. Some I peeled, pitted, halved and froze 12 halves-per-bag to thaw and serve at dinner (as a substitute for canned.) This is Dell’s method. Others I washed and froze whole. This is Carolyn’s method and by far the quickest, but all the freezing methods were much quicker than canning. Next summer I want to try Christine’s method, which involved packing cold fruit, pouring boiling syrup over, and processing in a water bath (it’s really the Indiana Dept of Agriculture’s method.)
One could easily get the erroneous impression that all I do is sit around with my friends and talk about fruit. I’m going to compare the texture/color of them, and I’ll let you know next summer what my findings are.
Totals: 100 lbs fruit. We ate at least 20 lbs fresh. 22 quarts canned. 6 gallon-bags of halves. 6 gallon-bags of smoothies sixths. 6 peaches frozen whole. One really sticky floor.