Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Peaches! Peaches!

This one's for you Bethany, because you understand why I never want to run out of peaches in my house. A little girl and a miracle can of peaches...

We'll have peaches this winter when the trees are bare of leaves and ripe fruit and the wind is whipping the branches around. We'll be able to sit down all cozy inside and taste a little love of summer that this Mommy put into a jar.
Whew! What a day. I canned 20 lb of peaches! Thank you, Cuthbertsons, for delivering wonderfully ripe peaches fresh from the Western slopes of Colorado right to our door. For those of you who are not into canning this is probably way too many pictures of peaches in progress, but I had fun with each step of the process so you get to see it all!
A stove full of pots. Two dedicated to sterilizing jars and lids, one cooking down a light syrup to can the peaches in, and the fourth burner was a boiling water bath for the peaches to dip them in to take the skins off. Next to the stove you can see the ice bath to dip them in after the hot water bath:
And then the skins slide right off! Skins still on are on the counter, then the metal bowl for the naked peaches, and the white bowl once I had cut them into slices:Putting them into sterilized jars after boiling them for 5 minutes in the syrup:
Hot water bath! The safety part of canning. Don't can at home without it:"Peaches on the shelf, potatoes in the bin, suppers ready, everybody come on in, taste a little love of summer, taste a little love of summer, taste a little love of summer, my grandma's put it all in jars"(Greg Brown):That's about half the jars there. You don't get to see any pictures of the girls helping me because I didn't have hands free to take pictures when their 'help' was around. They were taking naps when I found time to pause long enough to take a few pictures of my work in progress, but they did have fun helping me. Their help was limited since most of the work was too hot for little hands. The main part I let them help me with was the cold water bath and taking the skins off the peaches . Their favorite part, though, was helping me figure out what to do with the slices of peaches we had left in the end that didn't fit into my last jar. "They can go in my tummy, Mommy!" And the last of the peaches were gone.
Mitch took the camera to work with him today or I would have shown you a picture of Josie eating a peach (fresh) with juice all over her face and dripping down her arms and off her elbows, making puddles on the ground below. That was one good peach she was eating. These were seriously the best peaches I think I have ever eaten in my whole life. And we get to enjoy them all winter! 'Taste a little love of summer...'


Michelle said...

Oh, Katie, you make me so happy! Seeing your work, hearing about the juice-covered girls, knowing that you found the work to be as much play as it was effort--it's all such joy for me.
Now I know that I'm not all by myself being a "busy ant" thinking about and preparing for winter...can't tell you how often people express surprise, sometimes discouragingly, that I love to preserve summer's harvest. Second only to snuggling and praying, it's a favorite of my mama jobs, and I hope that I'm still doing it alongside you when we're old women.

Sandy P. said...

Hi Katie,
Thanks for all your wonderful posts - a window into your family's life for us. This is the year for peaches here too. Our propped up branches are breaking under the weight. We've eaten so many fruit smoothies, filled our freezer, and given away literally hundreds of pounds of peaches! Next will come the apples, crab apples, and pears!

katie said...

Aw, shucks, Michelle!

For those of you who are wondering, here is the story I referenced in the beginning:
When Bethany and I were living together in our little cabin in the woods we had one of our neighbors and her little daughter knock on our door one day. The daughter was crying and saying "Peaches, peaches.." The mom asked us if we had any fruit, that her daughter really wanted some and she didn't have any fruit in the house at that moment, much less peaches. Bethany looked in our fruit basket and all we had was a moldy grapefruit. Then she prayed and reached her hand up into the cupboard to the very back and pulled out a can of...peaches! She guessed I had bought them, I assumed she had. But talking later we realized that neither of us had. Neither of us had ever bought any canned fruit, much less peaches, the very thing our little neighbor was asking for. A miracle can of peaches that to this day neither of us know how they came to be in our cupboard at the exact moment that a little girl wanted them. God does love his little children and looks out for them and gives them good gifts.

akamilby said...

Ahhhh, thanks for both stories Kates! Way to can the summer for later visitation. I love summer produce! Our mini-garden is producing lots of tomatoes: it's our treat every day to go see how many are ripe, and then pop them in our mouths. Or take them inside, cut them up and share them. Yum! I hope we get to share some peaches with you sometime this winter!

Michael and Jeanette said...

Once, again, we're doing the same thing. (Or at least, Clint and Merodie are). I came home from the hospital to jars and jars of peaches (and they had brought us some fresh ones at the hospital too, since we had a whole box full). I think it's cool that we're doing the same thing, but then I realize that it shouldn't really be such a surprise. There's a thing called seasons, and harvest times, and while there's a little variance by region, it is not that great. So yes, peaches are in season here too, which means we are canning away. Our peaches came from a neighbor of Ginya's. He brought them to Helen, and Helen gave us a box of them, albiet with an apology. She explained that her neighbor normally is an organic farmer, but this year the bugs were so bad that they were going to eat all the peaches if he didn't spray them with something. She explained that they are still good, but warned us to either wash them or cut off the skins prior to eating them. It was cute how apologetic she was about the peaches having been sprayed. (And all this actually got relayed via Clint and Merodie, since we actually have not been out to the farm in quite some time, though they have gone twice recently). Ginya keeps sending us boxes and boxes of produce through them, we have squash and zucchini coming out our ears. Okay, off to bed with me. I've a little girl sleeping on the couch next to me, and my wife made her way upstairs to try and get some sleep before the girl wakes up to feed. I just finished chatting the evening away with Jeanette's sister, while her parents napped in the chairs here in the living room. A fun evening, after a meal of lumpia, pork tenderloin, and salmon (great to have grandparents doing the shopping). Now we are all off to bed. Goodnight.