Preserving Summer (just like Grandma did)
Many of us grew up with our grandmas and mothers canning the harvest of the garden to be enjoyed all through the winter. Even though we can buy everything at the grocery store, it’s still a wonderful tradition for many and a money saver. Here are some of our favorites that are worth the work!
RECIPE & PHOTO BY MELISSA SPELTS
My mom and grandmothers always had bottled peaches in their pantry. With peach orchards surrounding us, we live in the perfect place to have canned peaches in our pantries.
Elberta peaches are my favorite. They are so sweet and delicious. There are many varieties of peaches, and some of those would be great to can as well. Ask your local farmer which varieties are best.
CANNING PROCESS STEPS
Step 1: Gather the peaches
Start with 11 to 12 lbs of peaches; this will make 7 quarts of bottled peaches. I like my peaches with light syrup, so I use 2 cups of sugar to 1 quart of water.
Step 2: Remove the skins
This method is called blanching. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Dip the peaches in the hot water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. This loosens the skins so they will slip right off. Use a slotted spoon to lift out of the hot water and place in a bowl or sink of cold water.
Step 3: Fill jars
After removing the skin and pit, slice up the peach and place in canning jars. Once your jar is full, add your sugar and water, leaving 1⁄2 inch of space at the top. Remove all air bubbles by sticking a spoon down to the bottom and lifting the peaches gently a few times. Air can get trapped where you can’t see it and needs to be removed.
Step 4: Add lid and ring
Wipe the rim of the jar clean with a damp rag and put the lid and ring on.
Step 5: Process
Load your full, closed jars into a water canner with about 2 inches of water above the jar tops. Bring the water to a boil and let boil for 30 min.
Step 6: Finish
Use a jar lifter to remove hot jars and place them on a towel. Then let them sit for 24 hours. You can tell if your jars are sealed by pressing down on the middle of the lid. If it pops, your jar didn’t seal. If you have jars that did not seal, place them in your fridge and eat them within the week. Sealed jars will last for at least 2 years.
HOME CANNING SAFETY:
-Always start with clean jars
-Boil the lid and ring before using
-Work in a clean environment
Click the links below for more awesome canning recipes!