Check out my sis's blog for a cute pic of me showing off our finished product!!
That's right, we canned peaches. Something on my to-do list that actually got accomplished!! We used googled "canning peaches" and found a very helpful website, which the link is now broken to, to guide us through the process, but here is a simplified overview. By the way, having 3 people makes the process happen about 2 times faster than just 2 people! I'm glad Julie's SIL could help us out!!
What you need:
* Good peaches (5 per quart sized jar)
* Water bath canner with rack
* Jars w/ lids and rings
* Fruit fresh, or lemon juice
* Sugar, lots of water
* Paring knives.
* lots of pots and bowls
* A good attitude and a friend or two.
1. Pick out good peaches! If you are in my area, Reams had an amazing deal on super yummy peaches: 13.99 for 25 lb box, or $.59/lb. They were really good. Most roadside stands have amazing peaches: local produce is always better!
2. wash peaches, run jars through hot rinse cycle in dish washer or sanitize by boiling.
3. Get syrup ready. We made the light syrup, which was 6 cups water, 2 cups sugar. That was a little too sugary for my taste. If you increase the water 1-2 cups, you should have enough syrup for 6 quart jars of peaches. All you do is get the water hot, slowly add the sugar, stirring well, boil it for a minute, then turn it way down to keep it hot until you are ready to use it.
4. Peel and cut peaches. Here's how: boil peaches for 35-45 seconds. Remove and put in ice water. We found that VERY cold ice water works the best, it isn't great if you have just a few pieces of ice in the water. After the ice bath, cut the peach along the seem, press together and twist to half the peach. The peel should come right off, and the pit will usually just stay in one side. We haven't found a fool-proof way to get the pit out easily. We just cut it out, dug it out, or used my little tool to take the tops off of strawberries or tomatoes.
5. After cutting peaches to desired size, put in a bowl and mix lemon juice or some "Fruit Fresh" to prevent browning.
6. When the bowl is full, put into hot, sterilized jars, cover with hot syrup*, and put hot lids on. Then screw the rings on, and process in your water bath canner for 40 minutes (at 3000-6000 ft above sea level, less for lower elevations).
*This is the cold pack canning method, for hot pack canning, which is supposedly safer we haven't gotten sick from the peaches yet, simmer the peaches IN the syrup for 5 minutes, then pour into jars.