Thursday, September 4, 2008

laura ingalls has nothing on us

this labor day, beth and i labored over a pile of tomatoes (from her garden) and peaches (from hollmeyer orchards).the morning was spent squeezing the guts out of the tomatoes, which was oddly satisfying and actually a lot of fun. beth had previously frozen the tomatoes, so the skins slid right off and all we had to do was express the seeds into a bag for disposal.

after the peeling and pressing, the tomatoes went in a pot with some spices to make sauce. while that simmered, we turned our attention to the peaches.

consulting the ball complete book of home preserving, we found that an easy way to remove peach peels was to boil them briefly and follow that up with a dip in cold water. we would like to go on record: the ball complete book of home preserving lies.
after what we felt to be a sufficient boil and ice bath, the peach skins would still not peel. we ended up using a paring knife. well, beth did. i don't do so well with sharp objects.

the peaches were cooked for 5 minutes in boiling sugar water. it didn't smell very good.

henry ford is a wise man, so we followed his example and made a canning assembly line. pour peaches, add a tablespoon bacardi (everything tastes better with liquor!), pour syrup, lid, ring, screw. perfect. and that funnel thing? awesome.

the jars were boiled for 25 minutes, held upright in the pot by a slick rack. removing them from the pot, the anticipation was palpable as we waited for the first pop as the jar sealed. finally, the sucking securement cemented, forming an impregnable barrier to the elements. soon tomato sauce and stewed tomatoes followed suite, and four hours of work had yielded three large jars of seedy stewed tomatoes, eight jars of marinara, and six jars of 'spirited' peaches. beth and i are now confident we could hold our own on the prairie next to laura ingalls wilder.

we figured with this haul, we could eat pasta twice a week with peaches for dessert, until, like, at least december. hmm. i don't think we'd make it through the long winter.


liberal foodie said...

the sauce making sounds like a lot of fun. I wish I could make a batch of sauce; sadly, we've had rabbit and deer problems in the past.

valereee said...

K, I've found that if the peaches are ripe, a boil of 1.5 minutes will take the skins off. If they're falling apart ripe, a minute will do it. But the 30 - 60 second time has never worked for me.

liberalfoodie, I'm finding toms pretty cheap now, finally. I got 45 pounds for $33 a couple weeks ago at Northside fm, and bought 1/2 bushel for $20 Friday at Boone Co fm. I'm going to pick up some more today at Hyde Park fm.

k said...

val- thanks for the tip - the peaches we were using were probably a little shy of an appropriate ripeness level. hopefully they'll still taste ok!