Even if I don't really feel like canning peaches I absolutely have to. I am fine to buy spaghetti sauce, pears, tomatoes and other things from the store but I can't tolerate a store-bought- canned-cling-peach. blech. I guess growing up on home bottled peaches has set my peach palate at a high level.
We bought $90 worth of Lemon Elberta peaches from a cute little Grandpa's orchard. It was about 7 1/2 bushels. Again, my teenagers were thrilled!
After a day of work, wrinkled pruny fingers and sore backs, we ended up with 101 finished quarts. That is 8 dozen and 5 quarts. We processed 103 but had two quarts actually break during processing. Let us pause to honor their passing.
I have never had a bottle break before. One cracked in my steam canner and the other in the water bath canner. That one actually looked kind of funny. The water was starting to boil over a little so I lifted the lid to let some steam off and noticed some peaches floating in the water. A little odd I thought and lifted the lid to investigate. That is when I saw a bottle floating to the top. The bottom had completely come off. So I removed the bottle, scooped out the peaches and let the remaining bottles finish processing. I didn't think a little peach water would hurt!
I have a lot of memories of home canning from when I was growing up. We would get the family around the table and everyone helped. One of the reasons I don't mind buying a canned pear is that they are buggers to do. Peaches aren't very hard and the difference in taste is HUGE!
I don't know if either of my girls will continue the tradition of canning peaches or not. I don't know if either of them has tasted anything else though. I love them in the mornings with cottage cheese and toast. My hubby also makes a fabulous peach cobbler.
It is a lot of hard work but is definitely worth it. I have my little cheat sheet to remind myself about how much sugar and how long to process but I am sure glad this is something my mom taught me to do!