Friday, August 27, 2010

What To Do With 4 Bushels of Peaches

Wonder if I had lost my mind, that's what!! Susannah and I made the trip on a Friday, driving 2 hours each way, to pick up peaches for myself and a friend. Thankfully my sister lives probably all of 5 minutes from the orchard so we had lunch with her, and then when everything took much longer than I anticipated, we were able to stop by her house again so I could feed Susannah before we headed back home. The bed of Daniel's truck was full of boxes of peaches!

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.


Cristy said... [Reply to comment]

WOW! I'm so impressed. Where do you get the peaches?

Cate said... [Reply to comment]

Wow! I am soooo jealous! You put a lot of hard work into all those pies and jars, though--enjoy them!

Katie said... [Reply to comment]

Wow, I am so impressed by this! My mom and I bought 50 pounds (to split) when we were in South Carolina and I thought that took forever to do. We just made pie filling and froze it. I wish I knew how to can really well like ths...

Oh, do you like the pampered chef tool? Those little pies look really cool...I may need to get one of those.

Candi said... [Reply to comment]

WOW! That is so exciting!! I bet Susannah will love them to snack on soon! I hope you'll share how to jar them? I'm still new to all of the preserving thing, applesauce is about my speed. Do you need to put the ring around it? Or is the lid good enough? Sorry for so many questions, but I figure you'd know how to do it safely :) Thanks!

Alicia said... [Reply to comment]

Miriam, I love this! I have never done canning and can't start now (due to extremely small kitchen and no storage space) but it is TOP on my list whenever we move!! Loved your pictures. :D

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

im just wondering... i see that you buy a lot of flour (at least to me, or maybe we just don't buy much) and butter or margarine. do you have a giant stockpile or is this a regular consumption amount? what do you use it all for? and please don't think im implying anything bad or sounding judgemental in any way... I'm not.. in fact, i am always so so impressed with how well you shop and that it seems you are mostly a homeade food family - how very impressive!! i wish we were!! im simply wondering what all you use that for...

Sally said... [Reply to comment]

I just looked at the pictures (I don't even have time for skimming tonight). You are amazing! This looks great. Your home-making and mommy skills are a blessing to your husband and family. (I'll read the post another day.)

Judi B said... [Reply to comment]


I decided to take a break and catch up on your blog today. Wow on the peaches! I had fun with them this year too. First time I canned peaches and it was a lot of work, but I'm sure it will be worth it when we're enjoying our labors later this year and into next. I'd love to get your peach pie filling recipe that you can. Do you have one for apples? I'm sure you must as well as I'm sure that they are delicious! Please send recipes my way when you have a minute. I'd appreciate it. I done one applesauce session with my sis, but I'd like to do one more with some apple butter and pie filling too.