Growing up we canned every year. That is to say Robear canned and we did various jobs to support her efforts. For instance, I remember hours of skinning and cutting peaches and tomatoes and sometimes stuffing them into jars, but the process before and afterward was always a mystery of sorts. How does one make peach skins slide off? and What do you do once everything is in the jar? were not answered in my assembly-line canning education. This isn’t Robear’s fault. I admit I was completely uninterested in such details and instead focused my attention on the BBC’s six hour version of Pride and Prejudice we always watched while canning.
But not this year!
This year I am proud to say I tackled the wild and unknown world of canning and discovered one major thing. It’s not that hard. In fact it’s pretty easy. I’d been scared of it for years, avoiding it like bad leftovers in the back of the fridge. But this year I was under the gun. Either I canned the peaches or no one would, and a year without canned peaches is a travesty.
Those two old peach trees growing on the warehouse property make some of the best peaches ever!
So I canned peaches. Actually I should mention that Paula helped. Without her I may not have gotten the energy to actually tackle the project. We picked peaches with the kids and brought them all to my house to can.
I think we did around 42 quarts of peaches and froze a lot more for smoothies. It went great!
So with new confidence I decided to tackle apples. We never did apples as kids but my sports addict’s aunt gave us two big boxes full of apples and I was responsible to do something with them.
First I borrowed this nifty tool from my neighbor.
It peals, cores, and slices all at once. I think I want one whether I do apples again or not.
Here’s a closeup just for the fun of it. The apple comes off like a giant slinky. How cool is that! Wish I’d taken a picture.
Next it was just a matter of spooning in a little of the sugar and spice filling I precooked on the stove, stuffing in my apple slinky-s, and poring more filling in the jars until full.
Then I just processed according to my neighbors instructions in the water bath canning pot (borrowed from another generous neighbor) and wham!
Several amazingly tasty jars of apple pie filling just waiting to be eaten.
I should probably mention I did some amazing apple sauce too, but that took more work. I think I’m partial to pie filling.
Now just so everyone is clear on one point…no one is allowed to eat these puppies any time soon. No siree! They need to sit around for at least a few weeks just for the principle of the thing. If I went to all that work, it needs to last. Right!?!
Ok…I might open one for Thanksgiving or something, but I’m not quite ready for all that work to be eaten up just yet. It must be savored slowly over the year.