Peaches, peaches and more peaches

As you know from previous post, myself and my family were recently on vacation in Newport, RI.  While on vacation we had the time and the opportunity to pick some peaches.  This…… was not something that I had ever done before.  Always apples, never peaches.  I was so excited because for one it’s cool because I super love peaches and for two I now know how to can and was excited at the prospect of putting up some peaches for a delicious treat during the cold winter months.

Anyway, we loaded ourselves into our trusty jeep and headed to Sweet Berry Farm. At the time we were there, mid-September, they was the option of u-pick for peaches, apples and almost for pumpkins.  We grabbed 2 peck bags from inside the store and we were off.  (We were picking a peck for experimentation at our house and one for Chris’ household.)

Dear Hubbie and C-man picked most of the peaches.  I was there mainly to document the process in photos.  C loves to visit farms, so we encourage him to really check it out and get in there and get to work.  So to be truthful we let him do most of the picking.  He loves it and I love that he loves it.  I hope that we’re fostering a real connection to food that he’ll grow up with and carry on.  But now we’re getting on to my parenting and away from food! Ha!

Any way, we picked the peaches, transported them home and then …… I forgot about them…….. for four days.  Just four days! As it turns out that was just enough time for them to start getting soft, so it was time to figure out just what I was going to do and get to work.  Unfortunately, I have had a crazy busy couple of weeks at work so once again this really took the back burner. Because of all of the balls I was juggling in the air, I decided that for now, I had to go ahead and just peel the peaches, pack them in syrup and can away.

I scoured the internet and all of my different preserving cookbook type resource (i.e. Put ‘Em Up).  I was trying to find the perfect preservation recipe that looked like it worked well and was easy enough to do after a long day of work.  I finally landed on this great blog post over at Heavenly Homemakers.  I peeled the peaches, cut them into quarters and sprinkled them with a solution of fruit fresh and water.  I cooked up a double batch of syrup following the guidelines on Heavenly Homemakers.  (5 cups of water to 2 Tbsp honey).  Then I packed the peaches into the jars covered with the boiling syrup and prepared to process in my canner.

All in all I learned some lessons here. I used the entire peck of peaches and it appeared that I had about 8 quarts of peaches in syrup…..pre-processing.  After processing it became apparent that I needed to work on my procedure.  I should have actually packed the fruit in the jars. I would say that what I did was more fill the jars with peaches, but don’t squish them down sort of technique. The fruit shrinks up as it processes so I now have 8 quart jars that are about half syrup and half peaches.  Everything is useable of course and all of the jars sealed, I just wish that there was more fruit in each jar…… live and learn.  I hope to make some deliciously yummy fall/winter desert or just eat them plain right out of the jars in the very near future.  Any suggestions? What do you use your peaches in syrup for?

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