I wish I had taken a picture of my kitchen floor crammed full with the boxes of peaches. Instead I have a picture of this beauty:
The peaches were enormous this year. I guess the weather must've been just perfect, because quite a few of them were as large as the one I'm holding in my hand. No puny, shipped across the nation, grocery store peaches here!
So what did I do with all those peaches besides wondering if I'd lost my mind? I canned peaches and canned peaches and canned peaches. That's what. Here is the finished product, all 72 quarts (maybe it's 73?).
I only had 1 jar crack (I'm pretty sure it had a hairline crack to start with), and every single jar sealed! I was so happy about that!
I also canned 2 canners (14 jars) of peach pie (or cobbler or crisp :) ) filling.
And made pies to put in the freezer to pull out later and bake - they taste like a fresh peach pie that way! Here is the big batch of pie dough (w/out the water) for 7 pies. (I like my big bowl!)And here's the peaches for said pies.And here's the pies freezing! (I ended up rolling the dough thick, so I had 6 pies + leftover dough, and I baked one of the pies to enjoy right away.)Once they were frozen solid, we took them out of the pie plates, wrapped each one in 2 layers of plastic wrap, then into a plastic bag marked with which pie plate it came out of (so I can put it back in that same one to bake for the right fit), and then stacked them up in the freezer. It is very important to remember to line the pie plates before you make the pie! Last time I forgot, and all my pie plates were in the freezer until I started baking the pies :P
And made "Peach Caskets" - basically peach tarts. I used my Pampered Chef Press'n'Seal, leftover pie dough, and pie filling with small-diced peaches and I made it a little thicker so it wouldn't run as much.
After the Peach Caskets were frozen (unbaked), I put each one in a sandwich baggie, then all of them into a larger plastic bag. This winter when we want a little dessert, I can pull a few out and bake them without having to eat a whole pie :)
And last but not least, I couldn't have accomplished all this in a timely fashion without my lifesaver, Katie.
She had a few days off work, and wondered if she could come visit. I told her to come on and we could work on peaches!! It was great. I could tend to Susannah's needs and not have to worry about making sure the canner was boiling or not boiling too hard, or did I need to set the timer, or was the timer getting ready to go off and the jars needed pulled out of the canner... And Katie could keep working on peaches while I fed Susannah, so there weren't big chunks of time where peaches weren't getting done.