Michele R. sent me a request for information on canning peaches. This is how I do it. This comes pretty much straight from the Ball Blue Book. It is available at Wal-Mart and you can check http://www.freshpreserving,com which is mentioned in the ‘blue book’, I consider that little book the canner’s bible.  I also dicovered you can get at least part ofthe book as a .pdf file. I did not know that.

You will need Canning jars and new two piece lids. Do not use ordinary jars, they are not heavy enough, and will often break when the boiling liquid is put in them or they are in the water bath. Also some of them are a milli-micron ‘off’ size and will not seal properly. (Learned the hard way)

A pot big enough to hold the filled and lidded jars with at least 3 inches of space above them. If you do not have a water bath canner any pot big enough will do, put a towel on the bottom to protect the jars and the pan.

You will need 2-3 lb of peaches to make a quart jar or 2 pints full.

You will need some sugar or Splenda and water.

Wash and peel peaches. If you dip the peaches in boiling water for about 30 seconds then into ice water the skin slips right off. cut in half and pit.

 Slice them however you want into a sauce pan. Cover with water, 2 tbsp of lemon juice and 1/2 to one cup sweetener of choice. Let it come to a boil over medium low heat.

While you wait for the peaches to get hot, wash jars and place them empty  (I put mine in upside down) in the large pot, fill with water to cover jars and let it come to a boil. Place lids in a dish of HOT water.

When the peaches boil, fill one jar at a time with peaches, Shake the jar to make sure they pack in nicely. Fill jar with the syrup in the pan, leave 1/2 inch head space. Wipe the top of the jar clean and put the lid on. Put it back in the big pot. Do this and get all your jars ready and in the water.

Heat it back to boiling, with the jars covered by 2 inches of water and time it for 15 minutes for pints or 20 for quarts.

I know It sounds like a lot of work! It isn’t that bad. 

Peach Jam: this makes about 9 half pint jars Prepare jars and water bath as above.

4 cups peeled, sliced peaches

2 package pectin

2 tbsp lemon juice

7 cups sugar

combine peaches, pectin and lemon juice in a large sauce pot,  bring mixture to a boil stirring occasionally. Add sugar all at once and return to the boil, BOIL 1 minute and remove from heat.

Ladle jam into the jars. Wipe the opening and put on the lid. Place in the water bath.  Boil your jam for 10 minutes.

The only ‘odd ball’ thing I really recommend is a set of jar tongs, available at Wal-Mart to get the jars in and out of the hot water. I highly recommend those. most of the rest of it you will own or can borrow from some one before you invest. Jars can be reused many many times, as can the rings. New lids (flats) are a necessity each time you can.           

 I hope you will try this. It is not hard and if you only make a few jars this year, you will have learned the skill and discovered just how good it can be.

Enter a jar in your local fair, you might win a ribbon, and i guarantee you will have fun!