Thursday, July 29, 2010

Canning 101

I've been saying for a LONG time now that I would like to learn how to can food. Well, yesterday I finally did it! We all went outside yesterday and picked the peaches off the last peach tree.

As usual, Sarah was a great helper.

But it didn't take long before she found a way to be rewarded for her hard work.

I never fully realized how time-consuming and messy canning was. My kitchen was a disaster. At one point I just had to step back and take a picture of the momentous process.

I had pot of boiling water to dunk the peaches in and a bowl of ice water to plunk them in so the skin would come off. I had a bowl to put the peelings in and another bowl of lemon water to keep the peeled peaches waiting. I had a cutting board for the peaches, a bowl for all the yucky spots, another bowl with lemon water to put the halved peaches in. Then I also had a pot to heat up the peeled, halved peaches, a pot of boiling water to cover the peaches once they were in the jars, and finally the pressure cooker that I used to boil the filled jars. Whew....

So, after six hours of work...yes, it took me six hours to do this. Apparently I am NOT a "natural" when it comes to canning. Anyhow, after six hours of work I ended up with...drumroll please....

FOUR, only FOUR quart jars of peaches! My children could eat one or two jars just by themselves in one sitting!

I will say that our peaches did have quite a few bad spots. With this being our first year growing an orchard, we definitely have some learning to do. Little worms did some damage and we also suffered from brown rot. If I hadn't had to cut off so much yuck then I'm sure the processing would've been faster and ended with a larger quantity. Oh well, I guess this is what has to be done if our family is going to have organic peaches. However, next year I might try dehydrating peach slices instead of canning!


  1. Messy and time consuming, yes. It's almost like you need 2 or 3 more pairs of hands! I always wonder "why did I decide to do this?" afterwards, but being able to have sweet corn, peppers, tomatoes, etc grown from your own garden in December will be worth it :)

  2. Thanks for the encouragement Amanda. Fortunately, I'm stubborn enough to keep doing it no matter the hassle! ;)

  3. I'm very proud of you!!! I did peaches last week, a friend had an abundance that she couldn't deal with, so I took them off her hands. I borrowed a dehydrator and dried them, boy, they sure dry down to nothing!! but they are good dried. After I filled up the dryer, I just cut them and put them in muffin tins. I froze them that way, then plopped them out and froze them in gallon bags. Great for plopping into smoothies and for salads.