Monday, August 16, 2010

A Peachy Day and a Spicy Evening

Canned Peaches:  Halves and Slices

 4  3-quart baskets of Red Haven Peaches
 4 hours of peeling, pitting, slicing, cooking, jarring and processing
 7 jars of peach halves and 4 jars of peach slices


I used a combination of the open kettle method and the 'recommended' method.

The Open Kettle Method is an old fashioned way of canning, and the method my grandmother would have used.  You cook the fruit until it is entirely cooked, and then put it into sterile jars and seal with sterile lids and bands, with no further processing.  
Safe food handling guidelines no longer consider this method safe.  For peaches, it is recommended that the peaches be canned either raw pack (putting uncooked fruit in jars) or hot pack (partially cooked fruit), and then processed for 20 to 30 minutes to complete cooking the fruit and sealing the jars.  I find this method troublesome because I find the fruit always floats (which results in air discoloring the fruit). Always searching for perfection, I have tried cooking the fruit through, and then processing for ten minutes to ensure proper sealing and safety. This still needs some experimentation, but the results this time were pretty good.  And delicious.

I cooked the peach halves and slices separately in the honey syrup left over from canning the apricots, cooking the fruit in boiling syrup until it is quite soft.

Then I packed the jars very full with the peaches, trying to fit as much fruit in a possible.  This is much easier with the slices than the halves. Cover the fruit with boiling syrup.  Use a kitchen knife to release bubbles trapped under the fruit, and top up the jars with more syrup if necessary. Seal jars. Process 10 minutes in boiling water bath.

Enjoy these peaches in wintertime in yogurt or over ice cream, or all by themselves.

Start by scalding peaches to remove skins.
Peaches awaiting peeling.

 To  prevent discoloration,
cover peaches in water with a bit of lemon juice.

Cooking the peaches in syrup, one jar full at a time.
Filling the packed jars with syrup, and sealing.

Peach halves in the canner, after processing.
Et voila!

Peppers galore.

Pickled Peppers

The hot peppers at the farm are just starting, and already there are nearly too many to eat fresh or sell.  So I decided to pickle some.  I used a recipe by David Lebovitz. You can pickle any kind of fresh, thick-fleshed pepper, or mix several varieties.  I used jalapenos. 

If you are brave, you can eat the pickled peppers whole, or use them in cooking like you would fresh hot peppers. 

Fait accompli!

1 comment:

  1. I bet you have a collection of lovely bowls! I like that striped one holding the ginger.