Saturday, July 20, 2013

Peaches and more peaches

Whilst galavanting up to Bayfield last Tuesday, the peach truck came to the parking lot of Shopko.  My good friend Jane picked my box up along with some blueberries, and I in return, gave her a box of strawberries for her trouble.   So tucked in my frig until yesterday morning was about 60 or so lovely Georgia peaches.  Today was the day where the peaches needed to be mostly dealt with.

I began my day with freezing a bunch of them.  Jane's sister apparently freezes peaches (I have canned them with Jane in the past, but she had to head out to a family reunion) using white grape juice.  So I thought what the heck, it is worth a try.  I don't generally can on my stove, I don't want to damage the glass top, so I have to work around that fact.  Freezing seemed like a good option.

So I bought 2 jugs of white grape juice and then decided I needed more, so I bought a couple additional ones.....  I did not need them.  I only needed one!  Oy, well live and learn.

Plunge peaches into boiling water for a few minutes, then cool them quickly in cold water

Peeled peaches

Sliced peaches

You begin this process with peeling the peaches by dunking them in boiling water for a few minutes- I used 4 minutes for mine.  Pull them out of the water and drop them into cold water for a bit, peel, and slice.  Sprinkle a little lemon juice on them, stir and pack into jars.

I used the approximate guesstimate of 3 peaches per jar- I bought 1.5 pint jars as I like the fact that they were straight for freezing  and for storage in the freezer- and that worked out quite well.  Pack them in pretty tightly, not smashed in, but try to fill in the big gaps.  The 9 jars of peaches took about a half of the jug of white grape juice I had purchased.....  yeah.  Maybe I can make popsicles or something.

Wipe the rims and cover- be sure to leave a 3/4 inch space for expansion

 Fill the jars slowly with white grape juice (you could also use a light sugar syrup), and use a knife to push the peaches around to remove the air bubbles.  Let them sit for a while so the bubbles have a chance to escape and make sure the peaches are about 3/4 inch below the top and they are covered with juice.  You want some expansion room for the freezing liquids.

Wipe the rims and put on the cap.  Then put it in the freezer!

Immediately after that, I had some peeled peaches left and so decided to make a batch of peach freezer jam.

Freezer jam is easy peasy- all you need is the fruit, sugar, pectin, lemon juice and water

For the peach jam you need:

2.5 cups peeled, sliced and then chopped or ground peaches
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
5 cups sugar
1 package of pectin/Surejell/Certo/or equivilant of bulk thickener
3/4 cup water

Basically you mix the peaches with the lemon juice first and then the sugar. Stir and stir
Boil the pectin in the water for a minute, then pour into the fruit and sugar mix and stir for 3 minutes.  Ladle into jars, leave 1/2 inch space, wipe rim, cover and leave on counter for 24 hours and then freeze.  See!!  Easy Peasy and I might even add lemon squeezey!

Aren't these pretty??

Lastly, as I had a messy messy kitchen and a bit of energy left- I made a Peach Blueberry Cobbler that I  adore, but only make a time or two a summer..... for obvious reasons----  YUMMMMMM

Baking in the oven
Oh yeah- this was good!

AND it is even better tomorrow when it is cold!  Sigh....

So it took me a while to clean up the kitchen, and I had done some cleanup as I go, but I sort of hate the cleaning part.

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