JamishT's Peach of an Article
A Peach of an Article
I’m not trying to be pompous, but I have a ton of random skills and an awesome beard. These two make me an excellent candidate for the office of husband, but no one has seemed to notice that yet, besides psychotic girls (I’m into sociopaths, dangit!) and creepy old men. Anyway, one of those skills I learned as a young whippersnapper was how to can various foods. More specifically, peaches.
Now if you don’t know what a peach is, may God have mercy on your soul, piece of Dial Soap™ scum. If you don’t know the deliciousness that is canned peaches, go to your local grocery store and buy a can (if you want to save money, steal it from JamesT while distracting him with a kitten). Take the deliciousness in that can and multiply it by 10,528 and you’ll be close to the taste of home-canned peaches.
I promise they're delicious!
Growing up, we canned everything from applesauce to meatloaf, and we were dang good at it. We didn’t enter into any local fairs’ canned food contests, because my mother didn’t want to shame any of her friends. Also, I’m pretty sure my mom is simply too humble for that crap, honestly. But I digress. There are 6 kids in my family, and we lived on a small farm. That means that we ate like grown men when we were children and one of us was a girl (she still is a female). Canning was serious business at my house. In a day, we’d can 150-300 quarts of whatever was in season, depending on how much of it we needed for the year. Another factor is what is being canned.
Not this type of canning.
Canning is like terrorism in that it uses pressure cookers (too soon?), but different in that canning helps feed people instead of killing them (although accidents do happen).
Different foods take different lengths of time in the cookers to kill all the microorganisms that cause spoilage. A quart of peaches take a mere 10 minutes, where as a quart of kernel style sweet corn takes 85 minutes.
Oh hi, Iowa!
What was I talking about? Oh yes, canning peaches.
Peaches are in season from the end of June ‘til the beginning of September here in the US of A.You’re gonna want at least a bushel or two. You want to make sure they’re ripe by either lightly squeezing them (the ripe ones are firmly soft, not squishy or hard) or tasting them (yum yum!). If they’re not ready, lay them out on newspaper or something in a cool, dry place (like a basement). If they’re overripe, eat them immediately or throw them into your neighbor’s yard. Basically, you’ll want to treat them like children.
A prime candidate. Both of them.
When they are all ripe, get a pot of water boiling. Using tongs (or chopsticks if you wanna impress the ladies), dip each peach in the boiling water for 20-35 seconds. Then waterboard them in cold water, but without the board and leaving them in the water (see, another terrorism link!). If you have help, they can start the next steps as soon as the first peaches have hit the cold water, leaving you to do my childhood task, peach dunking. Pro-tip: to make it fun, imagine the peaches are your least favorite animal/people!
Why are you staring at me?
The next steps start with skinning the peaches, which is the reason for the short boil. If the peach dunker knows their dunking, the skin should slide off like in those de-gloving pictures Sunglasses showed us (you will never look at a peach the same now). The peaches are then cut into as many pieces as you want (halves, quarters, innings…wait) and pitted. The pits make for great slingshot projectiles or pig food (aka, bacon makin’). Make a sugar syrup, and fill your cans up to ½ inch from the top with peach pieces and syrup. Lid ‘em, throw ‘em in the pressure cooker for 10 minutes, and ‘em let them cool for at least a couple hours. Bam! Canned peaches.
That bomber is full of successfully canned peaches.
Here’s a couple sweet recipes if you really want to try it.
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