Peaches

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.

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2 thoughts on “Peaches

  1. Ooh! I do the cold-pack thing when I can peaches. And I’m not even from Indiana! 🙂 It’s fast – much faster than the six half-pints of peach butter I finally canned this morning, after cooking them down over a period of two days. Somewhat more involved.

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