My daughter has expressed an interest in learning how to can peaches and as we ran out of time last visit. I thought I would post a very quick lesson on how to do that. Mandy...pay attention...
1. Choose peaches that are ripe but firm. I find that Freestone are best, as the peach separates from the stone easier.
2. Thoroughly wash jars in warm soapy water. I use pint size to serve the two of us. (Even though they come from a store in a sealed box, wash them. You do not know who has been handling them.)
3. Rinse your peaches well. Wash your sink. Fill it with clean COLD water. Drop your peaches into water that has come to a boil. When their skin has dulled, remove them. Immediately put them into the sink of cold water. Their skin should slip off and if it doesn't, put the back into the boiling water for a minute or so and try again. Put the peaches into a bowl that is filled with cold water and add 1 tsp of "Fruit Fresh" which is available at the grocery store. This will prevent them from turning brown before you get a chance to jar them.
4. Prepare a saucepan that is big enough to hold one cup of sugar and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and turn to low setting. You may need more syrup depending on how many peaches you want to can.
5. Place empty jars in a pot with enough water to cover them and throw the rings in with them. Boil ten minutes. In a separate pan boil lids for 5 minutes to sterilize.
6. Slice peaches into each jar. Cover with syrup. Leave 1/2 " of space at the top of the jar. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to gently push the peaches down and cause the air bubbles to rise.
7. Place the lid on the jar after making sure the rim is dry. Then place the ring on. Tighten. (Finger tighten...Don't reef on it.)
8. Place in Canner with cold water to cover the jars. Boil for 20 minutes. Remove from water carefully and place on towel or newspaper. As they cool you will hear the jars pop and seal. When cooled, check to see if the lids have sealed....Store.
You will appreciate all this extra work in the winter when you taste these peaches.... Why is it necessary that we start preserving our foods? Well, when you preserve your own food, you know that it is clean and fresh. Buying local lessens the impact on the environment. Have you ever looked at the labels on cans? Most say picked in Canada or the USA and shipped to China for packing. Can you imagine the amount of fuel that is used to do this? Think of the impact on the environment.
I don't want to be an alarmist, but we should all be prepared. Prepared for what? Unemployment, rising food cost, and loss of power to name a few... We need to be able to feed ourselves and our families in times of crisis.
One last note... Don't buy a Canner or supplies when you can borrow your mom's. Need advice? Call home. or better yet, talk to your brother the chef. He makes a mean spaghetti sauce!