Monday, August 09, 2010


from left to right
peaches in syrup, peach jelly on top of peach butter, honey spiced peaches, honey spiced syrup

A good friend and I thought it would be a great idea to can some peaches. There is a family owned peach orchard near me that has been in operation for close to 100 years. My mother used to buy peaches there every summer to can. There is no store, stand, or shop. Just a few tables (loaded with peaches) set up in the barn. The barn is no more than 30 yards from the home of the farmer.

The first day we worked together, we got about half a bushel or so of over ripe peaches. They were $16 and far too ripe to can in syrup. So, we opted to make peach butter instead. We were wise enough to not add water to our peaches because they were so juicy. We got 10 half pints of peach butter (each). There were two verities of butter, ginger and amaretto. Both super sweet and yummy. We also had 2 quarts of juice left, which we split. My friend made syrup, and I made 8 half pints of jelly.

Two weeks later, my friend and I buy peaches again. This time, 1 and a half bushels! That's about 75 pounds of peaches! We each got 11 quarts of peaches in a medium syrup, and 10 pints of honey spiced peaches to use as gifts! I also reduced and canned some of the honey spiced syrup because it was so good.

It was an epic canning session that took two days. We peeled, de-stoned, and sliced each peach. We carefully and thoughtfully prepared our syrups (using locally produced honey). We filled our jars, and process them two canners full at a time.

I am pleased to have captured these sweet treats of summer to use this winter in a jar. I am pleased to support local farmers. I am pleased that I have reduced the miles my food has traveled to my plate. It is sustainable. But what really pleases me is the connection to my personal history. I am following in the footsteps of my foremothers, and my own mother. I am connected to my food in a personal way when I can. I am developing a bond with another human being over our food.

Like knitting, canning puts me in touch with the past. It connects me to a basic survival need in a personal way. It connects me with other people.

It is real. It is human. It is basic. It is simple.

Happy Knitting (and canning)!


kepharel said...

Hooray for canning! :) Dan really liked the honey-spiced peaches - he ate the entire jar of leftovers in one sitting! I gave a jar to my aunt yesterday, along with a jar of pickled beets. She was very impressed with us!

BathTub said...

Hey Mollyknits. It's BathTub from Ray's Swamp. Since Ray validates himself by the number of responses he gets (he calls it kicking the hornets nest), a few of us are trying to resolve to post over at the swamp less often. Just thought you might like to join in.

You could always join us over at the wearesmrt forums. I think you already signed up?

Cheers :)