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Peaches are an Ugly Business

August 14, 2010

Canning Peaches

Good morning, dear reader. We have been busy running the canner here at ViewfromBippus. Yesterday we had a go at putting up canned peaches, in a light syrup and let me tell you, canning peaches can be an ugly business.

Friday the 13th

Perhaps the calendar had something to do with the ugliness of the process.(?) After washing the 1/2 bushel of freshly picked peaches, it was time to peel them. The preferred method is to drop them into boiling water for a couple minutes, then remove to ice water, then “slip” the skins off. Hah! We had a bunch of trouble there, including burned hands (HOT! water) ,  myriad insect bites (they love the sweet smell of peeled peaches) and less than fully ripe peaches that had to be skinned with a knife as they would not give up their skin.

Another lesson learned

NEVER, under any circumstances, set your camp stove on a plastic picnic table.  JEEZ, how stupid does that sound. At least place some thick plywood sheet under the stove.  Plastic melts under the heat of the camp stove.  Enough said.

It turns out that 1/2 bushel of peaches just about fills 7 quart jars after peeling and packing.

You gotta use ascorbic acid

Yep, when canning fruits you need this stuff, (the Ball brand is called “Fruit Fresh”) to keep the fruit from turning brown during the process.  You whip up a light syrup, which is about 5 cups of water and 3 cups of sugar, heated to dissolve the sugar, and that is what is added to the jars full of halved peaches.  It all goes in the water bath canner for  15 minutes.  Then…VOILA!  The process is through.

Perhaps canning peaches is not such an ugly business, after all.  After all the syrup washes off fairly easily, the burning sensation from *accidentally* sticking one’s hands in boiling water eventually subsides, and biting flies have to eat too, don’t they?  Just think how delicious those peaches will be, served with a scoop of ice cream, sometime during the cold, dark winter.

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