Because I don't have enough to do and we were feeling a little silly...
I present to you Mr. Protuberance P. Peach!
He has been the source of much giggling and taking of bets to see who would get the privilege of devouring him. Alas, we will never know because this wise momma, who presides over the hooligans, cut him up and put him in a jar!
I just finished canning the last of the peaches this morning. I am pleased to say that I was able to can 18 quarts of peaches, make 2 batches of peach jam, whip up a peach crisp and still have a few for fresh eating, all from one bushel of peaches! YEAH!
We LOVE peach jam! It is absolutely scrumptious and super easy to make.
If you haven't canned before don't fret. You don't need anything special or expensive. All you need to purchase are jars, canning lids, screw on bands, pectin and peaches. They great thing is that the jars and screw on bands are re-usable!
8-12 peaches or enough to make up 4 cups of fruit.
1 box of powdered pectin
5 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Wash jelly jars of pint jars in hot soapy water. Place them in a stock pot and cover them with water. Place on stove and bring to a boil. Once boiling turn heat down and keep them nice and hot.
Place a large pot, filled 3/4 of the way full with water, on the stove and bring to a boil.
While waiting for the water to boil wash your peaches and check for ripeness. I usually do this by sniffing them (they should smell peachy) and by applying light pressure, if they are ripe they will give just a little. You don't want to use under ripe fruit that is as hard as a baseball.
Once water is boiling place peaches carefully into the water and cook for 1 minute. Remove peaches and place them in a large bowl of cold water, set in your sink. Run cold water over them for at least a minute.
Taking a knife cut around the peach. The skin should come right off and if your peaches are a cling-free variety they should come of the pit easily. Place peach slices into a blender. Or if you desire a chunky jam mash your peaches with a potato masher and skip the blender.
Blend peach slices until smooth. You will need 4 cups of the blended peaches so measure as you go.
Place peaches in a heavy, large pot (6-8 quarts). Place on high heat and stir in the pectin. Bring to a full boil.
Place canning lids in hot water and keep warm.
Gradually stir in the sugar. Continue stirring and bring to a rolling boil and boil for 2 minutes.
Remove pan from the heat skim off any foam (I personally skip this step). Immediately fill your hot jars to about 1/4 from the top. Wipe around the rim to remove any jam. Place lid on top and screw down the band tightly. Invert the jars on a towel. Continue till all jars are filled and then set timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes flip jars back to upright position.
And that's it! Now just listen for the glorious popping of sealing jars!
Let jars set undisturbed for 24 hours.