Presently Processing Peaches

Awesome Alliteration. It was a busy weekend for both of us. Aside from all the heavy lifting and shoveling dirt, the kitchen turned into a peach processing plant. (It's my day for awesome alliteration.) Yesterday's yield was 7 half-pints of Peach Chutney.

I can't remember where the peach chutney recipe came from, but this is the recipe I'm using:

Peach Chutney
Makes 7-8 half pints


2 quarts sliced, peeled pitted peaches (about 10 large)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup chopped onion (about 1 large)
2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

3/4 cup bottled lime juice


Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pot.  Simmer until thick, about 1-1/2 hours.  When chutney has cooked down some, use a potato masher to break up peach slices, if necessary.  Continue stirring frequently to prevent sticking.  Ladle hot chutney into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space.  Adjust two-piece caps.  Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner. Increase processing time 5 minutes for every 1,000 feet of elevation.

When I purchased the peaches, I didn't have in mind to make peach jam, but I'm realizing I may have overshot the mark in my estimate of how many peaches I would need. Fortunately, I like peaches, and these are good. I've been eating my fair share as I work. And so, next up, peach jam. This was pretty quick to make.

Just before writing this post, I was reading about "floating fruit." Apparently this is a normal part of making fruit jams, but there can be a lot of different reasons for it. In my case, I think my fruit is just slightly under-ripe. Most of it is coming off the pit just fine, but a few of the smaller peaches have been pretty hard and difficult to pit. There is a remedy that involves turning the jars upside down, then right-side up, at hour-long intervals. As the jam cools, this can help to redistribute the fruit. As it is, I'm not worried about this, nor do I care much. We had it on our English muffins this morning, and it was deliciously peachy.

And since I'm not even halfway through the peaches, I decided a peach crisp for two was in order. Like I said, I'm eating my fair share too, although Mike requested the crisp.

My friend Marei says this is a peach crisp for one, and she admonished me to put a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on it. And I responded that I don't even think it's legal to eat a crisp without ice cream. Honestly. I think that kind of behavior might earn you a nickel stretch in the federal penitentiary.

So while I was making jam and chutney and crisp, Mike was out shoveling dirt. Now the peony bed is ready for some peonies. Ours are supposed to arrive in October.

If I were a peony, I'd think this looks like a good place to put down roots. Wouldn't you?

So it'll be more peaches today. I'm making Zesty Peach Barbecue Sauce. A few years ago I made some "Spicy Peach Barbecue Sauce," and it was so spicy it knocked our heads off. (Having our heads knocked off is a frequent occurrence during canning season.) So this year, I decided to go for "zesty" over "spicy." Surely that won't be as hot as the first round. And speaking of "spicy," I'm sure I'll have plenty of peaches for a new jam I'd like to try. The new one is Peach Jalapeno Preserves. I have some jalapenos from our CSA shares, and so it seems like a good way to knock off two food sources in one jar.

A few of my canning sisters on Facebook have been making peach jam without first peeling the peaches. They say it makes no difference in the quality of the jam. And, heck, when I make salsa, I leave the tomato skins on, so I'd like to give that a try. Just now I posted a question to the "hive mind," about whether I could leave the skins on regardless of the recipe. I'll give the hive mind a while to cogitate on that and then make my decision.

Before I can do anything today, I need to make a trip to the grocery store for some needed ingredients, and I need to stop off at the post office. Aside from that, it'll be peaches all day long.

5 comments from clever and witty friends:

Julierose said...

You are having a "peach" of a day (sorry--sigh) anyway all that canning looks like a lot of work--but the results look delish!!
Hugs, Julierose

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Wish we had a local peach farm - everything looks delish! Super looking bed for the peonies - will make the other flowers jealous. I would love something like that for a miniature rose bed.

CathieJ said...

It has been quite a long time since I canned anything. Everything that you made looks so delicious.

piecefulwendy said...

Well, your day sounds just peachy (haha). I might need to try that chutney, but the bbq sauce sounds tasty too. Of course, given the choice between canning and quilting, I'd opt for quilting every time, so we'll see if anything happens here. It's going to be a hot and humid day here. I have a few runs this morning, then I'm tucking inside where it's cool and sewing.

quiltzyx said...

Pleasantly perfectly pleasing peaches!