Saturday, July 16, 2011

Putting Food by: Peach Jam

Last week I didn't feel like waiting in the 1/2 hour line for peaches at the farmer's market, so I bought a couple at the grocery store. They satisfied my peaches need temporarily. This week at the farmer's market, they had a peck of seconds for $8, or (firsts?) for $12. I knew I wanted them for jam, so I bought the seconds. And then I ate one when I got home. It was so juicy and tasty and the ones I bought at the grocery store last week don't even compare in flavor.
I now have 7 pints of peach jam on the kitchen counter cooling. There's enough peaches for one more batch (which would make close to 4 pints of jam), and I already have them cut up and stirred in the lemon juice, but I ran out of sugar. I don't feel like going to the grocery store for a third time today (the first time I forgot the lemons and pectin and had to go back a second time), so I'm thinking I'll just eat them this week in oatmeal.

For future reference, a peck is about 10 pounds of peaches. A batch of jam requires 3 pounds. That's before peeling and pitting. After peeling and pitting, you need 4 cups of chopped up peaches.

I'm not going to go through with specific steps, because you need to follow the directions in the pectin box. Different pectin may have different directions.

To make peach jam, peel and pit the peaches. Then put in a stock pot with the pectin. Bring to a boil. Stir in the sugar. Bring to a boil again. Put in jars and process.

 The way I peel peaches is the same way I peel tomatoes. Boil water in a stock pot, put some peaches in the water until their skins crack, then plunge them into ice water.
peaches in water, waiting for it to come back to a boil

put in ice water

Working on the 4 cups of chopped peaches.

This is the rest of the peaches.

I could have canned 8 pints, but my water bath canner only holds 7 jars. And I wasn't expecting to have a whole other pint. I used an old spaghetti sauce jar. I put it in the fridge and we'll eat that first.

Also today, I pulled up the rest of the carrots and beets. Harvest totals from today:
Golden beets with greens (because that's how they are sold at the store): 7 oz
without greens: 4 oz
Chioggia beets with greens: 2.5 oz
without greens: 1.5 oz
Chantenay carrots: 11
Tonda di Parigi carrots: 7.5

That brings the yearly totals to:
Golden beets: 7 oz (4.5 without greens)
Chioggia beets: 32 oz (19.5 without greens)
Chantenay carrots: 13 oz
Tonda di Parigi carrots: 9.5

The beet seeds were from last year. The chioggia beets paid for themselves. The golden beets did not. If I had tracked last year, they probably would have paid for themselves though.

The carrots seeds were new this year. Neither one paid for themselves.

I'm looking into planting some carrots for the fall. I need to get some fall mixed greens in the ground soon too.

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