We made a dent in the four bushels of peaches we picked up yesterday from a local orchard. It's been a long, productive day.
First, I sorted the peaches into three categories. The first one, which we took care of today, I thought of as the 'can right now' batch. These are the ones that were bruised, very ripe or injured in some way. The second group includes peaches that are ripe and ready to eat. Their skins are intact, and they are not bruised, but they need to be processed very soon, like tomorrow. The third group has those peaches that are still firm and can wait a few days before they need attention.
I decided to blanch and skin all of the peaches that we were going to process today in the first step. That frees up the stove for heating water for lids and rings, more water to sterilize the jars, and more water for the peaches in the jars. We used only water with pectin for our liquid, with no sweeteners of any kind. After the peaches were blanched and peeled it was time to heat up two water bath canners, slice the peaches, bring in more jars, dig out the pectin and get ready to go.
It always seems like that first canner takes forever to come to boiling. We heated up the water in the canner while we got everything ready, but it still takes a while to come to a rolling boil so you can start timing it.
We ran out of room on our 'sealing and cooling' shelf, so we had to wash up and put away the things we canned recently.
I remarked to Frank that it is nice to finally be comfortable canning. At first I was always nervous, checking and rechecking to make sure everything was right. Now, I find it enjoyable to be able to confidently put away food for us to eat.
The sun has long since set and we had a very late supper. We ended up with 34 quarts of peaches today and that's only about a third of them. We'll be at it for a few more days before we are finished, and then I have about 35 pounds of Cushaw squash waiting to be canned. It's been another good day on the homestead.
Until next time - Fern