After last week’s blueberry sadness, I convinced the family to go peach picking over the weekend even though I knew I would not have much time to process them.
We got four half bushels of peaches, which is roughly 180 peaches. I know. We meant to only pick two baskets, but that just took about five minutes with all four of us picking. It’s a lot of peaches, but everyone loves having these peaches in the winter when summer seems like another world away. So, we put other things off and buckled down with our peaches this week.
Have you ever had a peach fresh off of a tree? It is a sublime eating experience. This year, since we went a week or two earlier than usual, the peaches were smaller than softball sized, but still delicious. And beautiful.
The boys were a huge help this year with the processing. Look how big they are getting!
With their help, we put up 16 quarts of peaches. If you look carefully, you’ll see one quart that’s leftover from last year. It’s a sorry sight. Over the year they slowly turned brown, but despite appearances, they tasted fine. This year, I added a teaspoon of lemon juice to each jar before processing, which I hope will keep them from getting that color. I’ll report back to you next year and let you know if it helped. For the peaches, I used a recipe from Food in Jars. The only changes I made were quartering the peaches, which helped us fit more in each jar and only adding one tablespoon of bourbon to each jar.
We also made 6 quarts of dried peaches, a batch of peach butter, and a batch of strawberry peach jam. I think we are all set now for peaches in the winter. Yay! I feel so much better about winter this week than I did last week. Believe it or not, all of that took care of all but about a dozen peaches. They will become a cobbler tonight or tomorrow, I think. Happy summer, everyone!