Ah, the humble peach: sweet and juicy and the pride of Georgia. This year while perusing Facebook, I came across a post announcing the arrival of The Peach Truck. I would have passed right by it because there are stands all over our area selling peaches except that this truck was stopping at two well-known garden centers in the area. For some reason, that seemed incredibly important to me. If a truck loaded with peaches would announce its arrival at places with which I was familiar, I should probably check it out. Besides, I love peaches and the price per pound was phenomenal.
So, twenty-five pounds of peaches later, I had to come up with a way to use them. I must admit, the reason for my purchase had to do with a scene from my novel, The Secrets of Dr. John Welles, during which the midwife, Collie Mercer, served a humongous celebratory breakfast in honor of my protagonist’s birth. For whatever reason, I chose to have her serve canned peaches. I was probably thinking they would be extra special for breakfast and somewhat dessert like. Of course, in keeping with my posts for Edible Fiction, I have been preparing the foods from my novel and sharing the recipes on my blog. I have never in my life canned peaches. In fact, I’ve never canned anything.
Thankfully, my mother canned when I was a child. I remember all-day canning sessions of tomatoes, pickles, corn relish, and applesauce. She used a pressure canner, but my darling husband, William, supplied me with a water bath canner which was much less intimidating to a novice such as me. My best friend, Emily, provided all the canning jars I would need. I picked up new lids and rings, and I was ready to can.
The best part is that even if you don’t have a brilliant, experienced mother to fall back on, The National Center for Home Food Preservation offers detailed instructions for canning, drying, freezing, smoking, curing, and pickling foods. One simply cannot go wrong by accessing the wealth of knowledge provided here. Useful charts and step by step processes will guide you through preparation, various methods, quantities, etc. I direct you to this site in lieu of a recipe because you may choose to make larger batches than I did. One thing I will warn you though: canning is addictive. I’m already making plans for next year’s batch of peaches as well as other fruits and veg to can throughout the year.