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.