It only took me a week to process all the peaches, but 3 weeks to blog about it. A bushel of peaches takes a lot of work and dedication!
I started by freezing the peaches. I peeled them and sliced them, then froze them on a cookie sheet. Once they were frozen, I put them in a gallon freezer bag. I had frozen peaches before and like how it works out.
That gallon barely made a dent, but I don’t have tons of room in the freezer. (It is small enough that I have asked DH for a freezer for Christmas!) So I had to find another way to store them. Enter … canned peaches.
I had never canned before. I had never even seen anyone can. My mom had some canning utensils in the kitchen growing up, but I never knew how they were used. Enter blogs … I love how you can learn everything (with pictures) on the internet! I really liked this post on simplycanning.com for step-by-step directions.
I used a large pot I have for a water bath. This pot has a strainer insert, so I put the jars right in there–that made putting them in and taking them out much easier, and gave some space from the sides and bottom. I did 4 jars at a time.
I prepared the jars by peeling and slicing the peaches, then putting them in hot jars. I covered them with a light syrup (two parts water to one part sugar), and then put them in the strainer. I had them in the canner for 20 minutes before I could take them out.
I dropped one jar while I was taking it out, but fortunately it did not break. I enjoyed that jar a few days later and they were delicious!
I still had a lot of peaches left! I ate about a dozen, and froze the rest. These peaches I froze in water–I put the peaches in a gallon bag, filled it with water (and the juice from one lemon to preserve their color) and froze the bag. I was more careful how I sliced these peaches, so they are sliced very pretty. I plan to use this bag for a pie at Thanksgiving!
One question I’ve been asked is how I could stand to slice so many peaches. Some peaches (clingstone peaches) have the pit stuck to the peach flesh. These are horrible to slice! I used freestone peaches — where the pit separates easily from the peach flesh. These are so much easier to can! I wish the grocery store would identify which kinds of peaches they are selling (and when), because you can’t tell by looking at them!