Thursday, June 3, 2010

Canning Peaches and Space

The cold must have been good for my Mother-in-law's peach tree. It's dripping with sweet juicy white fleshed peaches. When peaches ripen you either gobble them all up or can them quickly. Usually after we gobble as many fresh ones as we can there isn't much left to can....but this year...I don't think we can put up, share or eat them all....so many of them are lying on the ground already.
Here are the ones I picked....as well as the last of the beets. I plan to can a few beets as well.
Some very special people are going to get a jar of this jam...but still...storage is getting to be an issue now that I have started canning.
It's such a pleasure to reach and get a can of produce when you know what is in it and how it has been grown. It's also nice to know that the inside of the jar has not been coated with a chemical...or the produce processed with chemicals...nope....just plain fruit or veggies just like God made them....
Here are the peaches cooking down. I don't add pectin to my jam and I use less sugar than the recipes call for. I do add lemon juice to all my jams. I just like the way it tastes.
Fruit gels when it reaches a temperature of 8 degrees above water's boiling point. Here at below sea level that is 212 degrees. So the jam is ready when it reaches a temp of 220 degrees. I sterilize the jars, fill them to about 3/4 an inch from the top, top them with a fresh seal, band them, and then place them in a large pot of boiling water and process at boiling point for 15 minutes.
It's important to know if you're new to canning that a water bath type canning process can only be used with high acid foods such as some tomatoes, pickles, and fruits.
Other produce must be processed at higher temperatures, therefore you will need a pressure canner. I bought an All American pressure canner model number 915. It will process 7 quarts and 10 pints at a time. I think the model 930 would be nice to have as well. It processes 14 quarts and 19 pints....but it would be waaay too tall for my hood so...I'll wait for now.
You have to save some peaches chunks for fresh peach cobbler....a little piece of summer heaven. The unbelievably easy recipe is here.
...but storage has become an issue. The top of my china cabinet was sufficing... but now the cans are slowly leaching downward...filling one shelf and then creeping down to the one underneath. As I learn to can more and more items, my gardening skills improve and my trees mature, home produce will take the place of bought items...and since there will be larger batches at one time I will need more storage. Storage is already at a premium in my house....so we'll have to be creative.
Louisiana is below sea level. If you dig a foot you run into water. Basements are not a possibility...But nooks and crannies can be purposed or re purposed in this case. I would like Byron to create a enclosed built in can pantry in this corner by the back door and laundry room.
....um he can add it to this project! He's building a sewing craft room in the little nursery that's attached to our bedroom. Oh yes, I can't wait to get my sewing machines out of the kitchen. Does anyone else have this problem?!...too many interests and I can't bear to give any up...they're all too wonderful!

6 comments:

Melba said...

I'm sooo jealous!

Pony and Petey said...

Thanks for the info on your canner. I just checked them out and they say not for use on a glass cooktop. Bummer!! My sister in law lives 1/2 mile away and my mom lives 1.25 miles away but they both have glass cooktops too = ( Oh well....

JeanSkirtGirl said...

yem looks great I want some xoxox love carmacita

Joycee said...

Your canned peaches are beautiful! Mom canned everything growing up but I freeze ours. Not as good though, just easier!

donna baker said...

I have done the same thing with where to put jars of produce. Even under the bathroom cabinets. I freeze things too. And, if you haven't gotten one of those food sealing machines, they are superb. Your beautiful bread will taste just as good a year from now as when it went in with the machine. It vaccuums out all the air and things just stay fresh in the freezer when you use the machine.

Moni-Q said...

I thought I would soon be seeing pictures of your newly finished craft room. :)