Friday, August 19, 2011

Sweet as a Georgia Peach

As the summer is winding down, so is our garden and the selection of wonderful cheap produce in the grocery store. But, have no fear; canning is here!!

Canning is an art that is almost all but lost, but thanks to hipsters and hippies it is starting to make a come back!

So last night, I decided to put on my most ironic t-shirt and over sized glasses and give canning peaches a try.

It is actually pretty simple, but a little time consuming.

The secret ingredient to any type of canning is to have a very large pot. I am talking huge lobster pot. (You know what I mean, the type that is either black or blue with white specks all over it.) Fill the pot almost completely with water and bring to a simmer.

Once you are simmering, very gently drop your peaches down into the water. Let them get all nice and toasty and when you can easily peel the skin off with either your fingers or a fork, then plunge them into an ice bath.

When they are cool to the touch start peeling. I found it was easy to use a fork to start the peel and then you can just pull it off. Once peeled, cut them in half with a knife.

After you are finished halving the peaches, start making your simple syrup. If you have never made a simple syrup it is actually, well, pretty simple. We decided to make a lighter calorie version where we combined 1 cup of sugar with 3 cups of water. (If you want a more sugary syrup then do a 1-to-1 ratio). You stir until the sugar is dissolved, bring to a boil and then turn down the heat.

Before you add your syrup you need to put the peach halves into jars. Then, cover to the fill line with the syrup. Make sure to wipe all of the syrup and peach stuff off of the rim, put the lid on and tighten the collar.

Next step is to plunk the jars into the boiling water. For where we live in Pennsylvania, we set them in the water for 35 minutes. When your time is done, bring them out of the water and let them cool. If you press on the lid and it doesn't making the popping sound, then you are good. If it does make the popping sound, don't worry. You can still eat the peaches, you just have to use them soon and refrigerate.

As you can see the process is pretty easy, but it does require some time.

I hope you give this forgotten art a shot. In the end it will help you save money and will give you a sweet reminder of warm summer days in the dead of winter.

No comments: