Canning,  Food

Peaches! Peaches! What to do with a Million Rotting Peaches!

Uh, look what we brought home!So, not too long ago, our kitchen looked like this. I just noticed the sushi wraps in there, and that has nothing to do with our canning XXtravaganzas.

But the peaches do! We ended up with about  a bushel of rotting peaches. We went around all the farmers markets, and had missed peak peach time. But the orchards all had plenty of rotten peaches they were thrilled that we were dumb enough to buy!

A note on canning – often times canning recipes call for the “freshest fruit at their peak” which always cracks me up! Those are the ones I am going to eat, people! Not boil up and stick in a jar for 6 months! But anyway, I’m sure I’m missing out on some subtleties of flavor, but I am not sophisticated enough to notice the difference.

You are supposed to skin peaches, but eh, I never do. I just chop out all the gross parts and throw them in a big pot and turn it on. I usually make peach butter because you don’t have to add pectin, just boil it for a long time. You add some lemon juice to raise the acidity so you don’t get botulism, and maybe a smidge of sugar (or apples if you have some around, to raise the sweetness), cinnamon, etc?

This year I decided to get fancy and made a few jars of the following:

Canning extravaganza–Lemon Thyme Peach
–Lemon Grass Peach
–Vanilla Nectarine
–Toasted Almond Peach  (The almond stuff was really amazing till I burnt the crap out of it. I canned the burnt up mess anyway, maybe the charred taste will mellow out like a fine wine…)

To make these variations I just scooped out a 4-5 cups from  my 3 gallon vat of peach butter and threw in whatever chunks of herbs from the yard. Ta-daa!

I also froze up the sliced peaches in sandwhich baggies. Frozen peaches is one of my favorite things! I usually just make cobblers with them, nothing fancy, but opening them in the dark of winter always gives me a little burst of hope that maybe we aren’t all going to freeze to death.  If you could cram summer into a frostbitten ziplock bag, it would taste and smell exactly like these peaches.

The last thing I did with my peaches was blend them up with some habaneros to make a pretty excellent hot sauce. I think the ingredients are just peaches, habaneros, vinegar. Food processor it, boil it, can it, eat it. Slowly, in very small amounts. Tip: a lot of the spice is in the seeds, so I just removed those, and it is fairly tolerable.

By the time we were done canning/freezing all the peaches, the kitchen was basically coated in a layer of syrup. Walking across the kitchen floor was becoming difficult. Sqriik, Sqriik, Sqriik.

And I spent a lot of time scrubbing out the bottoms of the pans that I burnt the peaches in. I used baking soda for this, and also HOT TIP! I have this Cutco Spatula Knife which is SERIOUSLY awesome for scraping out the bottom of pans and other crusted on stuff. Nothing else compares.


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