This valentines day weekend I celebrated with a good old fashioned case of bed-confining illness and enjoyed the best valentines day gift ever, being waited on hand and foot by my beau Aaron (not to be confused with my blog partner Erin). After all that tender loving care I was able to go to work today and will now be able to contribute a post since the computer screen no longer beckons a splitting headache.
A few months back while perusing Farmer Ron’s produce stand, Erin and I made the decision to buy an entire box of peaches. The price was right and our desire to do some canning was in full force so we handed over some dollar bills and walked off with our large box of juicy peaches.
After consulting the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving we decided to can our peaches in apple juice as a less sugary option and also to try out a spicy peach salsa recipe we discovered online. The apple juice canning recipe was super simple, 2-3 pounds peaches per quart and unsweetened apple juice, the salsa was an easy dice and dish, but the prep of the peaches themselves was a little more demanding. Blanching, peeling and pitting those suckers was a little more work then we bargained for, but we rolled up our sleeves, put our chatter boxes on and poured ourselves a glass of beer.
Canning the peaches in apple juice was very straight forward and the results were amazing. As far back as I remember my family would eat canned peaches and though I find them delicious I’m not too eager to eat much of the syrup that surrounds them. These peaches are not syrupy or sugary, as proposed by the apple juice recipe, and they are super tasty. Their only downfall is that they take on a browner color, but isn’t the color change true for most foods we produce ourselves? It doesn’t bother me a bit and when I serve them to guests I offer a quick explanation as to why my peaches are brown, they usually respond positively and are happy to have some home-canned peaches.
The salsa on the other hand was kind of a fail. No it was DEFINITELY a fail in my opinion. I don’t know if we failed somewhere in the execution or if the recipe was just all wrong but the results were not as desired. Frankly, the flavor was just bad or maybe just not there. It’s hard sometimes to put a finger on why something is not delicious.
So here are some of my conclusions to our peach canning experience . . .
1.) Grab a friend to help you out, even if you only go home with half the bounty, having someone there to keep your mind off of your bottomless pit of peaches helps.
2.) Use apple juice! It just tastes/feels a lot better even though its a little pricier than using sugar and water.
3.) While I love experimenting, I think next time I’ll just can them all as is to bake into pies, cobblers and to eat fresh out of the jar.
Speaking of pies, here’s one that I made with my peaches a couple weeks after canning!
Until next time!