It's after 11 and I'm ready to zonk out. Today was a very busy but a highly productive day.
I don't have a lot of brain juice left for writing very much. So, I'll do most of my speaking through pictures.
The last couple years we gotten the best peaches ever ! from an orchard just a couple miles down the road from us. I've been meaning to can some each year, but we always ended up eating them. There's nothing quite like a sweet, juicy, fresh peach.
This year I bought 2 baskets. I determined that I absolutely would can them this year.
I do most of my canning & freezing based on what I remember doing with my mom & grandma as I was growing up. But, the Ball Blue Book is an absolutely necessary reference. It will tell you how to can just about anything that you can imagine...and then some.
Here are some peaches waiting to be placed in canning jars after being peeled & pitted. I made the mistake of using my regular mouth jars for the first batch. Wide mouth would have worked much better with the peach halves. I just ended up cutting them in fourths so they'd better fit into the jars.
What do you do with the mushy, bruised, or overripe peaches? I cut them into chunks and set them aside to use for jam.
Chopping up mushy peaches was an easy job for the boys.
The Blue Book calls for a medium to heavy syrup (simply water and a LOT of sugar boiled together). I use a much lighter syrup. For one the peaches are already so sweet, plus I save a little $ by using less sugar.
They are finally ready to take their hot water bath.
In you go guys.
Finished product: 19 quarts of peaches, and about 7 pints of jam. Don't you love how easy it all looks in pictures? Don't be fooled. This little project took me all day. (I should mention that I also had help with the boys today. One of the boy's 2nd cousins, a 14 year old girl who loves being with kids, offered to come and help me out.
And, then, because either I'm a little crazy or I was running on adrenaline after my earlier completed task, I decided to go ahead and do the corn that my father in law offered me from his garden tonight. I knew the rest of my week was pretty busy & wasn't sure when else I could do it. And, I certainly couldn't let it go to waste. So we had a corn party at 9 o'clock. The boys willingly & eagerly helped since it meant staying up past their bedtime!
Sometimes my husband comes up with some strange contraptions. But, this one is awesome!!! This is a propane fueled, outdoor burner. We sat the blanching pot on top of that and the water was boiling in no time. This made the whole process so much quicker.
Bagging the corn after it's been blanched, cooled, drained, and cut off the cob.
Finished Product: 9 quarts of corn
For anyone out there wondering WHY in the world I'd go through so much work for food you can buy in the grocery store, I need to tell you that nothing compares to homegrown (or in the case of the peaches, locally grown) food. We go through corn in the winter like crazy. I use it in my chicken corn soup, for baked corn, chowders, etc. With corn in particular I will not use anything that comes out of a storebought can or freezer bag. I'm just picky that way.
Ok. - It's insanely late now. And, tomorrow's another busy day. So, I am going to bed!