Alright Fall, I’m ready for you.
Good thing, too, because you started days ago. That’s what the calendar says anyway, though the past week has had days showcasing the sunshine of Summer and the cold nights of Winter. My experience with farming has put me more in touch with the cycles of the seasons – and life cycles in general (my own included). I’ve certainly come to see my own life path as more of a spiral than a straight line (and yes, that’s frustrating sometimes). And even the cycles of the seasons (cycles that we’ve attached to calendar dates and almost linearized) seem to spiral in and out of each other.
Because I’m still eating Summer’s raspberries
even as I plan Fall’s batch of sauerkraut.
And our greenhouse might be growing Fall and Winter’s salad greens
but it’s keeping some relics of Summer toasty too.
And several times over this year I’ve stood over a boiling cauldron of water, doing my best to bring the Summer Bounty into Winter with me.
* Ripe, Firm Peaches: 5 large peaches is usually enough to fill a quart jar.
Choose “freestone” varieties – they don’t cling to their pits.
* Honey Syrup: Light = 1 1/2 C Honey: 4C Water
Medium = 2C Honey: 4 C Water
(I needed about 1 1/2 – 2 Cups Syrup per Quart)
* Sterilize canning jars and lids and get your canner water heating.
* Prepare the syrup by heating the honey and water together until the honey is dissolved. While it’s heating, start to peel the peaches.
* I used a knife to peel the peaches, but I have seen a couple of websites that recommend doing a quick blanch (30 seconds – 1 minutes) in boiling water and then quickly submerging the peaches in cold water to stop the cooking. Definitely a faster method, though I was a little worried about making the peaches too soft. Doesn’t seem to be a problem, though you should definitely choose firm peaches to begin with.
* Halve the peaches and pack them cavity-side down in hot quart jars.
* Pour hot syrup over the peaches (this helps them not to brown too, so the sooner after you’ve peeled them, the better!) leaving a 1/2 inch of headspace.
* Wipe your jar rims clean, remove all of the air bubbles you can, put on the lids.
* Process in a water bath canner for 30 minutes
(25 minutes for pints).
This is one of the easiest and most delicious canning projects I’ve done. The peaches didn’t get soft in the canning process. The light syrup was plenty sweet – and not too honey-ey – for the peaches (and tastes great on pancakes later: peach-infused syrup!). Planning on a repeat project with pears soon!