Archive for the ‘live leaner’ Category

What do you do with 25 pounds of peaches?

You learn to can them!

Last week our CSA offered 25 pounds of peaches for $30. Last year we skipped out because we didn’t know what to do with that much food. This year friends of ours were nice enough to get us a canning kit as a wedding gift. Canning is really easy and safe, just follow the USDA’s home canning instructions. Your tax dollars at work, right?

It takes some time but what better way to wait out Hurricane Irene than to make jam and peaches in syrup? Most canning recipes also work for “fresh preserving,” or storing your food in the fridge for up to two weeks without actually canning in hot water.

Here’s our frugal recipe to try: peach jam is fantastically easy and so much better than any store brand. The initial investment is a little pricey (take the Ball Canning Discovery Kit for $11 if you’re not sure if you’ll like canning, or the Bernardin Canning Starter Kit for ~$60).

Peach Jam for canning and fresh preserving

Fresh peaches! 4 cups peeled, chopped, and mashed

4 1/2 Tablespoons fruit pectin

3 c. sugar

3 Tablespoons lemon juice

The Ball canning company makes it clear that you should  NOT modify the proportions of these ingredients or the canning process won’t work right. Leave out the lemon juice and you might even give yourself botulism. How exciting! You can, however, use strawberries, or another highly acidic fruit safely instead of the peaches.

Bring the fruit and lemon juice to a boil that won’t go down when you stir it.

a rolling boil that won't go down when it's stirred (foam optional)

Add all of the sugar and pectin.  Return to a boil that you can’t stir down. Stirring constantly, boil for at least 2 minutes.

If you’re canning, ladle the contents into sterilize jars and process according to the USDA directions.

Cool for 24 horus, then check the seals according to the USDA directions. Store them in a cool, dark place. We’ve picked our old TV stand/DVD case in the bedroom, which used to be a record cabinet!