Wednesday, August 21, 2013
For me the month of August if it had a taste, tastes like peaches. Sweet and juicy. The month is full of fresh produce and canning peaches is one of the traditions I have for this month. My mother, Grandmother, Mother-law and I'm pretty sure her mother and Mother-law has kept this tradition alive. For generations the women in our family have canned peaches. It is what we do.We don't do it to be super healthy, although that is a perk. We do it because nothing and I mean nothing is as good in the middle of February when the snow is 4 feet high, than a jar of peaches on the table with some homemade beef stew. I can almost smell it now. Yesterday one of the Elders who came for dinner said he never ate fresh peaches before and neither did two of my day care kids. That seems so weird to me. We anticipate peach season all year round. In fact our whole year is an anticipation of the next month and what new foods will be at the store or in our garden. I have been doing this for almost forever and as my children get older it is not so bad as they "help". I canned 2 bushels of peaches this week and yes that is it for peaches. They were $26.00 a bushel, which for those of you who don't know that is very pricey. I spent the day yesterday slicing them in half and pealing them. The skins came off with ease the two halves of the peaches almost popping open as my knife sliced through them. The pits didn't stick and every once in a while they would even split open. Which means they are really ripe and delectable. I would steal a slice into my mouth every once in a while to keep myself motivated and the kids sat and watched movies all day. which was a blessing. The jars filled quickly and the syrup I added ate up my sugar reserve quickly. The steam in my kitchen was thick as I placed the jars into the canner of boiling water. As one batch cooked I cut up the next one. Only seven jars at a time will fit into the vast pot. The rythem and order of it was almost monotonous, but very soothing. The high light of the day was when I was almost done and I looked backed at my kitchen table and I saw the rows of perfectly canned unopened peaches waiting to be enjoyed over the long winter. Believe me in Pennsylvania they are long. Today I will wash the jars and my boys will help take the jars down to the basement where they will take up a shelf along with all my other canned goods. Next month it will be applesauce. Last night my back was sore my hands sticky and my feet swollen but it was worth it to be able to go into my basement and see a full cellar. We will fill it with Spaghetti sauce and some bags of potatoes and store bought canned goods. This is one tradition I am willing to keep.
Posted by Karen Emerick at 8:03 AM