What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Against the clock

What sort of crazy person goes out and buy 2 bushel of peaches two weeks before she is due with her fourth child?

One who belongs in some sort of institution, if you ask me.

That crazy woman was me-and those peaches were delivered on Sunday evening.

Firsts were $25.00 a bushel, seconds were $15.00 but there were no seconds left when I got there. Pretty hefty price considering what I paid last year. (And between you and me, I am not so very impressed with the "firsts" either. About 5-7 peaches were so moldy I had to feed them to the chickens~not even a BIT was salvageable. Many more were bruised. Not something I want to see in "firsts" or pay for with "firsts" pricing.) I want peach trees in the worst way.


Since those peaches arrived, I feel like I am racing against time here. So much that MUST be done before Smooch gets here, because who is going to want to take care of peaches one day postpartum? Ummmm...not I.

This is not to forget about the brimming bowlful of tomatoes just harvested, the half a dozen or so huge zucchini waiting to be shredded and frozen, and the basketful of cucumbers that were harvested at the very moment I *thought* I had (finally) finished up the pickling!

I am not complaining. Truly, I am not. Just wondering how I can get it all done in time without killing myself, is all. :-) BEFORE they go bad, and BEFORE Smooch arrives.

Yesterday I sorted all four half bushel boxes of peaches into "tragically bruised", "somewhat bruised", "perfectly ripened" and "still a wee bit hard".

The "still a wee bit hard" peaches were put carefully into the fridge (which required cleaning it out until it was half empty) awaiting when I could get to them. Thank you, peaches, for giving me an extra day or two!

The "tragically bruised" I immediately pulverized into Smoothie cubes (peach pulp frozen in ice cube trays). They will make delicious fresh fruit smoothies and ice cream when peaches aren't in season!

The "somewhat bruised" peaches I peeled and froze in slices, for use in pies, crumbles, and cakes this winter. Yum-o.

The "perfectly ripened" I began to can. By the time I couldn't take it anymore, I had canned 18 quarts. Then of course, there was the clean-up. I ate supper, exhausted, at 8:30pm!

That took care of about 1 bushel.

Still another bushel to take care of. Plans?

Not sure.

Use 'em fresh. Been eating 'em daily. MUST have a peach and blueberry crumble sometime. Tomorrow, we will have peaches and cream pancakes. Been loving Smoothies too.

Dehydrate some. (Peach oatmeal this winter anyone?)

and MAYBE more canning. Thinking about a few preserves, but maybe I'll just do more peaches in light syrup.

And another batch of Peach Honey is in order. Go here for instructions! The great thing about this is that you can freeze your peach skins until cool weather arrives (or a less hectic time in your life) and make it/can it THEN. It's good stuff.

A hint for canning peaches: All the books say they need to be canned for 15-20 minutes. I have it on good authority that the best way to can peaches so that the peaches are not MUSHY and gross is to bring the canner back to a rolling boil and set the timer for 6 minutes. Then, place the jars upside down on the counter until cooled. I tried it and they sealed perfectly and look lovely and intact...can't wait to try them!


Bonnie said...

Core and flash freeze your tomatoes whole, until you can get to them. I did that last year, when mine were trickling in, and it worked great, just required the sauce being cooked a tad longer.
As for the zukes, I have no idea how it would work, but could you slice and flash freeze some of them to have "fresh" later? Just seems it would go faster than shredding.
I'm going to have to try your peach method, that sounds just right!
*I* would order peaches right before I'm due, just in case you were wondering....

Marlene Bibby said...

Check your email. I just sent a very delicious Peach French Toast recipe. Let me know what you think.

...they call me mommy... said...

Oh man...YUM! :P All your peachy recipes are just making me drool and that little Smooch sweater is to DIE FOR! :) Every time you update I think maybe its a baby! :D

Riahli said...

I did something similar with apples last year right before Leiella's due date...but I'm a bit crazy myself, just so you know.

I want a peach tree too, I live in the pacific NW and I didn't think peaches would grow well here, but I've recently meet two different people who have a peach tree and get great results so I am buying one come spring time! Can hardly wait for fresh peaches...I desperately want to learn how to can, I taught myself how to do dilly beans (no pressure cooker needed) but that's as far as it got. Pressure cookers are just so expensive. I mostly freeze stuff.

Mar said...

I'm jealous! However,I'll be getting peaches in a couple weeks for Labor Day weekend since I work and that gives me an extra day to get them canned, frozen, etc.

As far as price, I think just about all produce is more expensive this year, especially peaches and tomatoes. Guess the farmers have to eat as well.

Leah said...

Okay, next year I'm going to can peaches (or jar peaches, rather). this year I made tons of peach jam and then did what you told me with the rest - cut them up and froze them. My husband has been throwing the slices into his smoothies each morning. Yum.

Peggy said...

Oh I don't think you are crazy at all!! I went to a strawberry u-pick-it place when I was 37 weeks along with our youngest (I typically deliver early, like 36 to 37 weeks!) The owner about had a heart attack and "made" me pick in area right behind the stand so he could keep an eye on me... It was an area he didn't normally allow anyone to pick. It was so funny and he was so cute (little, older gentleman in his early to mid 60's!!)

I've been dehydrating tomatoes... either in "rings" or in wedges, plus throwing them in the freezer as well. My grandma always did her tomatoes that way!

Andie said...

OH MY GOODNESS...where have I been??? We love smoothies, but honestly I had never even thought of adding peaches. SERIOUSLY???? Guess what I'm having for breakfast tomorrow?? :o)

Bobbi said...

Since I left my first comment above, I also wanted to let you know, I canned for my first time today... inspired by you... pickles and one can of the rest of my apple butter : ) What joy!

Thanks for your inspiration!