30 Pounds of Peaches

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I think I'm more pleased with how cute these peaches look, than how they will taste next winter.

On Saturday morning we went to a farm stand in the middle of the Carolina Hills looking for peaches. It turns out that they were picked about 2 hours before we arrived.

Thirty pounds of yumminess! I wish you could smell them.

All those peaches made eleven canned quarts, plus several we left out to eat fresh.

It was a HUGE mess and stress in my kitchen that Saturday afternoon. But now that it's over, I'm enjoying the satisfaction of seeing these peaches sitting on my counter until I figure out where to store them until next winter. The canning process was a little traumatic for me, but I'm definitely going to try it again! (I'm assuming that just like anything, it gets easier the more often you do it.)

Peaches are my husband Tim’s favorite fruit.

So for Father’s Day I decided to make him some canned peaches. Too bad that I didn’t really know what I was doing. 🙂

My mom and I attempted to can peaches about 15 years ago, but it was just the blind leading the blind. And that was 15 years ago!

Well it was all fun and games — thinking all week about canning peaches, buying them, tasting them, etc. — until the water started boiling, and I realized that all the many sets of directions I had printed out to help guide me, were NO replacement for having a live, experienced canner in my kitchen showing me how to do this. None of the directions seemed to agree with each other, so I was just trying to go off a 15-year old memory.

All in all, I spent about 3 hours on the verge of freaking out from the frustration of not knowing what I was doing. I’m definitely the type of person who likes to operate in perfection mode, so this was a good stretching experience for me. I had to tell myself many times. “These are just peaches. The world will not end if they do not look perfectly symetrical.”

Fortunately for me, about half way through this near disaster, Tim came in and rescued me while I was elbow deep in peaches. What was supposed to be part of his Father’s Day present, turned into a Saturday afternoon in the kitchen for him. But he joined in and peeled away with a good attitude — as usual — what a great guy I’m married to. 🙂

Then once the peaches were in actually in the jars, ready to be placed into the big scary pot of boiling water, my stress level immediately dropped. I was struck by the intensity of the fruit’s color, and just stopped for a minute to take in the sight of  how truly beautiful they looked in all their peachy glory!

I hope these peaches taste as good as they look, but I’ve probably already gotten my enjoyment from simply looking at them all week.

(I also hope that we don’t get poisoned from them. If anyone with canning experience has concerns about the safe-ness of these peaches, PLEASE let me know if it looks like I did something wrong! We could always use them for bookends if they aren’t edible.)

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