I hope that you all had a wonderful week. Time for me to pen another blog and continue letting you all into my little world here in Port.
As you all know, the summer is starting to wind down as we head even closer to Labour Day; kids going back to school and all you parents will finally get your sanity back. But, what this also means is that we are in prime canning season. Yes you heard me, canning season, that time of year we turn into furry animals prepping and storing our bounty of summer fruits and veggies into a ‘canned’ state so we can nourish ourselves over the long cold winter, which if you follow the Farmer’s Almanac it is going to be a doozy this year…You know THAT time of year.
But what comes to mind even more profoundly more than anything about this time of year, is the bonding that Mom and I would have over each and every one of these seasons. As far back as I can remember, Mom canned beets, peaches, lady rose pickles, pickles, apple sauce, jam, you name it she canned it. I remember pulling up a stool next to her in the kitchen and I would be in awe of the smells, textures and colours of all the beautiful fruits and vegetables my Mom was carefully and with precision chopping, sauteing and stirring on the stove, like an orchestra of beautiful sights and smells singing to every one of my senses.
You have to remember, we didn’t have a lot of money growing up, my Dad became very ill and was no longer able to work when I was very young and my Mom had to stay home to take care of him. As you can probably guess this made money very tight in our home and resourcefulness became a means of survival. Mom had to become creative in making a dollar stretch while still ensuring that we all ate good, healthy food. This is where canning came in. But, what I remember most from these times is the life lessons that my Mom was teaching me whether she knew it or not; the value of a dollar, if you want something out of life you have to work for it, making your own food is more economical and better for you, and most importantly my love for cooking, and that by being creative in the kitchen you were able to not only feed your family with nutrition but with love as well.
So many years later, I find myself back in canning season once again with Mom. Both of us laughing, music playing and a sense of satisfaction that we are once again making food that is not only nutritious but filled with love for our family and friends.
Peaches are in prime season right now, and as tradition should be, it must be passed down to keep it alive. So I would like to pass on the tradition of canning peaches by sharing our canning recipe to all of you.
This year, we altered the recipe a bit as both my Mom and my Stepdad are diabetic so we we decided to get creative with the ‘syrup’ we used this year; pure apple juice. But, if you are a true traditionalist then by all means substitute simple syrup for the apple juice in the recipe I am about to share below.
So from our house to yours, here is our simple recipe for Canned Peaches:
- 1/2 bushel of Free Stone Peaches (peaches that come freely from the pit, Red Raven is a good example)
- 2 cans of pure apple juice (enough apple juice to cover the peaches adjust accordingly)
- 1/4 cup of lemon juice
- 1 cup sugar (adjust to your own taste)
Place the whole peaches in a large pot of boiling water so they are submerged around 5 minutes, just so the skins can come away from the fruit easily. Remove the peaches and place them in the sink with cold water. Once the fruit is cool enough to touch, peel the skins off of the fruit and slice the peaches into pieces and place in another pot. Repeat until the 1/2 bushel is complete. Pour the apple juice over the sliced peaches until they are just covered. Add the lemon juice and sugar. Bring the peaches just to a boil and remove from heat. While the peaches are being brought to a boil, have a separate pot for a boiling hot water bath to place your canning jars in. Place the rubber stop lids of the canning jar in a separate pot and bring to a boil as well. All of this is for sanitation and to ensure your jars will seal. Now this is where the real ballet begins, now it is all about timing, once the peaches have been brought to a boil and removed from the heat you have only a small amount of time to get them in the hot jars and sealed. Remove the hot jars from the hot water bath, but be sure not to touch the mouth of the jar, fill the jars with the peaches and liquid and then place the boiled lid on top of the jar and then put the ring around the lid until secure and then place the filled and sealed jar upside down on a tea towel until cooled. Repeat until all of the peaches have been filled in jars. Once cooled, flip the jars back upright and if the lid is concave or appears to be sealed downwards then it has successfully sealed and can be stored. If not, simply place the entire jar in a boiling water bath and leave the entire jar submerged for 10 to 15 minutes which should reseal the lid. If not, you have have to start all over again for that jar.
Label with what is in the jar and year it was canned and voila you have delicious and nutritious food to feed your family over the cold and unforgiving winter.
Again, thank you for stopping by and for coming along on this blogging journey with me, it does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. But before I go, what do YOU like to can or what are your recipes that you and your family love? I would love to hear!
Until we meet again,
Love & light I send to you always,