A Bushel of Peaches

Even though the garden didn’t do well this year; let’s be honest the garden didn’t do anything this year. I was fortunate enough to be given some great cucumbers to eat fresh and pickle. I also got a case of fresh peaches, one of pears and we picked two cases of apples. The canning jars will not all be empty this year after all.

I put up 20 pints of Cardamom Pears. They turned out so delicious! I have the peals fermenting to Pear Cider Vinegar using the same method as the Apple Cider Vinegar I did last fall.

I received a jar of canned peaches in payment for a couple scones at the bakery once. They were good, nice cinnamon and spice flavor but the color was, well, grey-ish. I appreciate the no food coloring but I wish I could have shared with her my recipe. They turn out a beautiful sunset color without any coloring and they still have the nice spice flavor. See the recipe below.

I wish I would have gotten a few more cases of peaches because what I had, I had to divide between three canning recipes and an Amaretto Peach Pie.

peaches Wildflowerfarm.org

I was able to make 6 pints of Peach Mangos. This was a recipe from an old cookbook that belonged to my Grandma. It called for peaches, pineapple and white cherries.

Pickled Peaches, I was able to get 9 pints of. The little boy and I had a couple for breakfast today; we both approve.

Of course I had to do some Good Ol’ Canned Peaches. Only 4 pints of those.

Peach Pie Wildflowerfarm.org

The pie was my own invention and boy did that turn out great too!

Good Ol' Canned Peaches
Print Recipe
This is the best basic canned peach recipe I have found so far.
Good Ol' Canned Peaches
Print Recipe
This is the best basic canned peach recipe I have found so far.
Ingredients
  • Peaches
  • Sugar
  • Water
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Start a kettle of light sugar syrup ( 1 cup sugar to 3 cups water).
  2. Carefully wash the fresh peaches.
  3. Cut the peaches in half and remove the stone (or pit).
  4. "Meanwhile have one of the youngsters crack the peach stones (two for each jar) and take out the kernel."
  5. Drop the peach halves into the pot of boiling syrup. Add just enough to cover the surface.
  6. Using a wooden spoon dunk the peaches. After 30 seconds or so quickly remove the skins. The skins can stay in the pot, then remove the peaches.
  7. Place 2 split peach stones in each 1 quart jar. Fill the jar with the skinned peaches.
  8. Once all the peaches have been skinned, pour the syrup (with out the skins) into the peach filled jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
  9. Process in a water bath for 20 minutes.
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The End of the Fatties

wildflowerfaram.orrg

You may remember me talking about the mistake we made in our purchase of a few “fill in” chickens; The Fatties. Well they had reach their prime as far as I was concerned. They were bigger than a small dog, ate and pooped way too much. For some reason Sunday has turned into chicken coop cleaning day where the whole thing gets a good deep cleaning and that Sunday I did not want to deal with those two fat, smelly birds any longer.

Butchering on Sunday just doesn’t seem quite right (however, neither does cleaning the coop) so they went to bed without a good cleaning and to be reckoned with in the morning.

The little boy and I went out and did chores as usual Monday morning. Went in had breakfast, read a story, played trucks; the normal routine. He then went down for a nap and headed to the coop.

Canning pot in one hand and axe in the other.

Out by the coop was the perfect chopping block already and I had an extra bucket out there for guts too. Now the only nice thing about an disproportionally fat bird is that you have no trouble catching it. So I grabbed the smaller of the two first. You see I have never butchered a chicken up to this point and I figured starting with the smaller may be better. Mind you, I have done enough bird hunting (usually rather unsuccessful) that I have the general “know how” to clean a bird.

Because I was only going to butcher the two birds that day I decided I wasn’t going to worry about plucking them which made the whole process much faster.

I will spare you the gory details; the just of it is, the head went on the block, I prayed I didn’t chop off my fingers and gave it a good chop with the axe. I then skinned the birds ( no plucking then), gutted them and gave them a good rinse in cold water to cool the meat as fast as possible.

In the house I cut the meat off the bones and placed it in quart jars for canning just as I did the venison last fall. The bones went into a stock pot and were cooked with some vegetables to make chicken stock.

The whole process went quite well.

Canned Chicken
In each 1 qt. mason jar I pack in the boneless, raw chicken meat topped with 1 tbsp. of kosher salt and 2 smashed garlic cloves, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.
Using a water bath canner I processed the jars for 2 1/2 hours.

* You can add other herbs or vegetables to the jar before processing. I did not this time making the chicken a little more “universal”.

Chicken Bone Broth
There is no recipe to my chicken broth usually more a list of ingredients that is in amounts of “what needs to be used up”.
Onion
Carrots
Celery
Garlic
Salt and Pepper
Those are the “for sure” things I add. Then its “anything goes” after that.
Parsnips
Rutabagas
Apples (give is a subtle sweetness)
Just to name a few
And of course chicken bones.
This will simmer for the afternoon. I can the broth and put the rest in the compost.
To can I leave 1/2 in headspace and process in a water bath for 40 minutes.

 

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