Monday, December 20, 2010

Peaches in Winter

Every year we can and preserve several things. Jams and syrups of all sorts. Pizza and spaghetti sauce. I don't get carried away with any one thing because I've found that everyone gets tired of eating most things after the 15th jar, so I do mostly small batches of lots of different things for more variety. But peaches are a different story. We can't seem to can enough of them.

We can 50 to 75 pounds of peaches every other year. It's a lot of work for every year and we have found that if we do it every other year it stays fun and we have just enough jars to last, if we are careful.

My dad thinks I'm crazy.

"You can buy cans of peaches 4 for a $1.00 on sale!" He says, as I hand him a bucket of peaches to cut up. He is exaggerating of course, it's more like 4 cans for $3, but his point is that it's cheaper to buy canned peaches than it is to can peaches.

But this biannual pronouncement never slowed
anyone down on the process, him included. We all pitch in and wash jars, boil water, peel and slice with smiles on our faces. Why? Because we know it's worth it. In our minds we are picturing the eating of these peaches with frost on the ground and a roaring fire in the wood stove.

Well, it most likely is cheaper to buy peaches already canned, but store bought peaches don't taste nearly as good as the Veteran peaches we can. We have control over the amount of sugar in each jar and our peaches are ripe when we can them as apposed to the crunchy flavorless ones from the store.

But just for giggles, let's do the math: 50 pounds of peaches from the farm down the road at $1.50 a pound= $75 + $7.50 for sugar ( we won't count the jars since I use them year after year) + one day of hard, fun, family work.

That's $82.50 divided by about 30 quarts of luscious, insanely fresh tasting. melt in your mouth goodness+ 8 pint jars of heavenly jam from the odds and ends + eating them on pancakes on a Christmas morning= Well... Love.


  1. Peaches are one thing I really wanted to have canned this year, but just wasn't in the right place at the right time to buy peaches. I envy yours!

    The "it's cheaper to buy thus and such" argument seems to be ongoing for many of us. I think it's all a matter of mindset, and some folks just don't "get" that there's a difference between industry processed and home processed. Of course, the whole food safety issue is going to put home anything in a bad light. Maybe someday you'll have your own peach trees!

  2. YAH! I love canned peaches. Just for that I think I am going to go downstairs and open a jar. Yummy.

  3. As I look out our window the peach trees are covered in snow and it is around 15 degrees. Nothing is better than opening up a jar of summer on a morning like this.

  4. Leigh, You're right about that window of time to get peaches canned. Unlike other fruit, when peaches are ready, they are ready! They don't wait around. I have missed it a time or two and was really sad. As far as the nay-sayers on home canning food, I know food safety is important but all the information is out there for anyone who wants to can safely. Master Food Preservers for instance. http://extension.oregonstate.edu/douglas/food
    It is interesting that people are encouraged to be afraid of preserving their own food.
    Funny you should say that about having our own tree, I am thinking about trying a peach tree or two here at the Homestead. It just might be dry enough. The one at our other house did not survive. I was told it was too wet there.

    Robin, Cheers! Here's to good food. Hope it wasn't too cold downstairs.

    Woody, Thanks for the beautiful picture in my head. I wish we had snow and I wish we had a peach tree- you lucky dog. We just keep getting buckets of rain here. At least it is warmer than 15 degrees, brrr. What kind of Peach tree do you have?

  5. Reliance and Intrepid, both from Stark Bros. here in MO


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