Saturday, September 4, 2010

Carrying on a Family Pasttime

Last weekend my cousin and her family came to visit and we all went peach-picking at a local orchard. Between the 2 families, we got just under 50 lbs of peaches! We had a great time and me and my hubby ate a few of them throughout the past week. But my ultimate plan was to can a bunch of the peaches.

Yep, that's right...CANNING. From the time I was about 13 or 14 years old, we spent lots of time every summer canning, canning, canning. We canned just about everything, was even reminiscing with my mom about the time we canned jalapeno peppers. I DO NOT recommend it by the way...latex gloves DO NOT keep the oils from getting on your skin. Ouch!

Mom was surprised when I called last night to ask for her syrup recipe (to carry on a bit of the family pasttime) and then we had a nice chat while I started my first crack at canning (without Mom's supervision, that is). It all went pretty smooth and I'm happy to say that all of the jars sealed. Okay, so there were only 5 jars, but still, big accomplishment for my first time. Here are a couple pictures of my first attempt at canning (BIG SMILE):

I had a great time all around and learned a few things along the way:
  • Picking fruit is an absolute blast when young kids are involved...they get so much joy out of the whole experience:)
  • It's not that easy to find all the canning supplies and sometimes you have to get inventive.
  • ~23 lbs of peaches really don't go that far. I still have some peaches left, probably enough to can about 5 more jars; however, I have other plans for those little guys. Next year, we'll definitely need to pick more.
  • Hard water (which we did not have growing up) leaves a coating of calcium on everything after the canning is all said and done.

Thanks to my cousin and her family for picking peaches with us (she froze most of her peaches...I'm going to freeze some of our remaining this weekend) and, most of all, huge thanks and (((HUGS))) to my mom, the canning queen! Mom, you taught me well and I feel so blessed to have grown up learning the nearly lost skill/art of canning. I will carry this torch and, Lord willing, pass it along to future generations. I love you Mom!!!