Four years ago I made my first fruit butter, and learned how to safely preserve them for enjoyment during the winter months by canning. Since then, I’ve fallen “victim” to the same madness right around the end of August when – I suddenly realize it’s almost the end of peach season and that the summer will soon be over. I realize I haven’t eaten nearly enough peaches yet, and start gorging on them. I also realize that there’s little time left to can all that peachy goodness for the fall and winter – and the frenzy of peach canning activities begins. I have not yet learned how to plan to make smaller batches over the course of the season, so that I’m not spending 12 – 14 hours in the kitchen in one day. Each year I say I will, and each year I forget – but the frenzy is fun and rewarding, so the lesson slips by for another year.
I began the peach weekend with a visit to Two Century Farm, and learned from my mother that she and my father used to bring me there when I was small; I’d be held up high to pick the peaches off the trees! The name Two Century Farm speaks for itself and it’s been owned by the same family for 200 years – driving down their tree-lined lane is magical and I’m disappointed I didn’t think to bring my camera – so focused was I on getting peaches into the car! We brought home a little over 30 lbs of peaches, and I ended up buying 10 lbs more at the Burlington Farmers Market – you know, in case I ran out.
I started peach butter on the Saturday morning and let it cook down all day. Sunday was a full day of peeling, slicing, cooking down and canning. I was lucky enough to have the help of a friend for the last several hours of it – her help, a dinner break for sushi, and some delicious baked oyster mushrooms, made the work go by faster and made for a great night!
The result of this year’s peach frenzy? The house smelled like peaches for hours, my hands have received an organic treatment of sorts from the juice/acid from the peaches, and most importantly 40 lbs of peaches were transformed into 22 jars of peachy deliciousness.
I’m no canning expert – so I have to thank these people in particular Well Preserved, Food in Jars, for sharing their expertise so freely on their blogs. When I have any doubts, I consult the National Centre for Home Food Preservation
I branched out and tried some jams this year, including some savory ones which I’m pretty excited about. Some of these jars will be given away as gifts this winter, others will be
hoarded tucked away and rationed out in our own kitchen over the coming months. Next year, I could plan (ahem) to make even more!
Did you get enough peaches this summer?
Links to recipes
- Slow cooker peach butter
- Peach jam
- Peach ginger jam
- Peach thyme black pepper jam
- Peach rosemary jam
- Lazy peach preserves
- In addition to many, many great tips and tricks on their site, Joel and Dana have these peachy tips as well