Thursday, August 19, 2010


This is how I spent my morning ... millions of peaches, peaches for me.

And I also wanted to show-off (again) my tiny kitchen - just as a kind of, if *I* can do lots of canning here, then others out there, with their more spacious kitchens, should find it even easier. Right? That peach-strewn counter is the only counter I have. That's it.

I bought 30lbs of "utility" peaches (that is ones that aren't pretty enough for retail, but can still be used for things like ... well, canning, but frankly, my daughters don't really pay much attention to the titles, and they'll eat those canning peaches out-of-hand just as quickly and with as much enthusiasm as they will the fancy peaches - in fact, more, because the canning peaches are often more juicy and ripe, and so they taste better ... just FYI :). They cost around $0.75 per pound, and after I dropped Big Little Sister off at the Ballet Seminar being sponsored by her dance school this week (with the talented and very sweet Ryan Carroll as their teacher), I peeled and sliced and canned what was left of the 30 lbs after the girls had devoured a quarter of them.

I ended up with nine quarts (the eight pints are pictured here, and I have five quart-sized jars, too).

While I was finishing up and starting lunch, Little Fire Faery asked me if I "liked" canning, and I thought about it. Do I like it?

And I guess the answer is yes. It's tedious, and standing over a sink and peeling and slicing and shoving fruit into jars for two hours usually results in sore shoulders, aching finger joints and stiff knees, but it's also calming. I just let my mind wander while my hands do the familiar work.

My goal is to have one jar of something for every day of the non-growing season, which is around 200 jars. It's not a lot, especially since, for the purposes of my goal, I'm not differentiating between jar sizes. I want 200 jars of something. And it's also not a lot when one considers that a jar of sauerkraut (for the purposes of my goal) is equal to a jar of peaches, but when it comes to eating what's in those jars, especially to the palates of my very persnickety daughters, a jar of sauerkraut is definitely NOT equal to a jar of peaches.

Still, if I have 200 jars of something we won't starve, and that's the point of stocking up, right? Food security.

I hope to find more peaches, but apple season is quickly approaching. In fact, when I picked up the peaches, some of the early varieties (cortlands, specifically) were already ripening. Now to figure out which PYO apple orchard is picking first ....


  1. Summer is coming to a close so quickly! It's hard to believe the peaches are nearly done - the farmer I've been buying from thought last week would be the last week for them. Even the blueberries are finishing up.

  2. Yummmm.... Peaches :)
    What a great idea to think of a jar a day for the non-growing season. I would think it is a great motivator for stocking up your pantry. I'm with the girls about peaches/vs sauerkraut though.. they are definitely NOT equal!

  3. Those look wonderful! Im with you on the bitty kitchen. We have one of those too.

  4. Funny, that's what I was doing this morning too only on the West Coast! I was too tired to continue with the peaches last night and so decided getting up at 5:30AM to finish would be a good idea. What a way to start the day! By the time the family was up, I had canned all the peach jam I'd made.


  5. 200 jars is reachable since you can get about 8 jars per session. So in approximately 25 canning sessions, you've got a pretty respectable stash! I'll be looking forward to updates this winter. You'll have to keep us updated on the state of the larder.

  6. There is something zen about all those "home ec" activities.... hanging laundry, canning, knitting, cross stitch... I enjoy them too.

    Thought of you the other day; we had a meal that had all primary components from within a mile of our house. Seasonings were from far away, and the beef was butchered about 50 miles away, but still, made me think of you :)

  7. If you can get more peaches, you ought to try making peach butter. Fantastic stuff!! My girls are gobbling it up a lot faster than the peach jam-- funny girls. My quirky peach tree with the ping-pong ball-sized peaches are ripening now, so I think I'll make more peach butter with them. I hate to see them going to waste out there.