Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Peach Canning - One Out of Four Ain't Bad

Last summer I canned about eight Freestone peaches from our local farmers market to have a little taste of summer through the winter. It went pretty well so I decided to try it again in the name of trying to make my own stuff. Everything went fine up until the very end of the process, at which point three of the four lids popped which means they were not properly set, AND I burned myself. Yes, I splashed boiling water onto my stomach, and it seeped through my shirt and looks like stretch marks. Now my dog associates the kitchen as a place where bad things happen, like burning and pain and smoke detector noises.

Don't do what I do. Good rule for life.

Let's review, shall we?

Step 1: Wash yer peaches. Boil yer jars (10 mn), boil yer lids (5 mn).

Step 2: Boil peaches for 45 seconds, then plunge into ice water. This makes them easier to peel

Step 3: Peel and section. Boil in a syrup of 6 c water and 2 c sugar for 5 minutes.

Step 4: Pour into jars. Leave 1/2 inch at the top and fill that 1/2 inch with syrup. Run spatula between fruit and jars to minimize air bubbles. I squirted some lemon juice on top to preserve color. Screw the lids on.

Step 5: NB: This is where I screwed the frick up and ruined everything, somehow! Put the tightened jars in boiling water for 20-30 minutes.

Now I have four beautiful jars of peaches, only one of which is probably safe to store for the next six months or so. The remainder I should probably refrigerate and eat within--I don't know, a month? Anyway, I'm not sure where I went wrong. The peaches will certainly last longer than they would have if I had just left them in my fridge, but I wonder, is it worth the gallons of water and all the gas and electricity I used? We'll see, I guess.

*Update: Mike3550 insists that only one lid is popped, so maybe I'm overreacting, but still!
**Update 2: Mike3550 was right. All the peaches are fine. Still, I stand by my advice - don't do what I do.


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