It took awhile but I am finally done with Peach Week! I do not want to see another peach for a very long time.
The effort though has resulted in:
13 quart bags of individually frozen slices
to use for peach pie, peach cobbler, peach cake, or just in a bowl with whipped cream
4 quart bags of dehydrated peaches
useful for oh so many things besides snacking on – there’s a hand pie recipe I especially want to try
6 half pints and 1 whole pint of freezer jam
for all things done with jam
to process jam later in the year when it’s not so hot
15 whole peaches in the freezer
to use in peach muffins, peach pancakes
5 pints of slices in sugar water in the freezer
to thaw and eat like canned peaches
10 pints of canned peaches
there were 11 but one siphoned out in the water bath
3 dozen or so fresh peaches
gifted to friends
Lots and lots of peach peels
to feed the chickens, the compost pile, and even the dang squirrels
~Canning uses So Much Water and my Berkey couldn’t filter water fast enough to keep up with the need. I need containers to store Berkey-filtered water ahead of time. When I canned in previous years, I had to buy jugs of water from the grocery store, which was expensive.
~I need to acquire a new knife; one that holds it’s edge better. Despite resharpening my perfectly-sized knife before beginning each work session, it just wasn’t providing as clean a cut as it used to. I guess I’ve just worn the thing out.
~Despite knowing, intellectually, how the Tattler Reusable Canning Lids work, since they were new to me, I delayed the canning until the very end of the peaches (resulting in very few jars of peaches). Naturally, the lids worked just like they are supposed to and my anxiety was unnecessary.
~Oscar learned that, if you’re going to eat the food, you’re going to help process the food. He learned the difference between a half-pint, pint, and quart jar, and wide-mouth vs regular mouth jars. He learned you can save time and effort sterilizing and heating jars by running them through the dishwasher for twenty minutes, instead of pouring boiling water in them (requiring the use of yet another burner on the stove). He Might have learned that he shouldn’t try to sneak off to build a Lego kit while Grandma is processing peaches because she will certainly ruin your fun with a long list of tasks that need to be done.
Information for Future Reference
It is easier to peel a chilled peach than a room temperature peach.
3 peaches per pint (6 per quart) – about 1.25 pounds per pint (2.4 pounds per quart) – for sliced, canned peaches;
3.5 pounds of peaches for one batch of jam
2 – 3 peaches fill a tray in my Nesco dehydrator (FD-75PR).
Contender vs Win-Blo
Kalawi Farm, where I get my peaches each year, has 29 varieties of freestone peaches but I have stuck with these two varieties. I think I haven’t tried others because Peach Week never lasts for just a week, and, by the time I’m done, I am sick of peaches. I’m thoroughly satisfied with these two varieties. Each has it’s advantages.
Win-Blo is my all time favorite. It has a firmer texture that does not break down as easily with processing. The pit comes out clean. There’s not as much mess but it’s still juicy and flavorful. It has great “keeping” power.
I like Contender. It’s sweet and juicy and great for jam though, I will freeze it also. The texture is not as firm, it’s stringier. It seems to creates more juice. It doesn’t “keep” power as well as Win-Blo. Even though it is a freestone peach, the pit is harder to remove and you frequently have to clean the inside of the slice because wood from the pit is still attached to the peach flesh.
So, why don’t I buy Win-Blo exclusively? Simply because by the time I’m in a peach mood, I barely catch their season so I’m sometimes hard-pressed to get enough. Contender is out around the time Win-Blo is winding down so I usually end up bringing some of them home, too.