Food and Garden Dailies started as a way to record my family's favorite recipes. It has come in handy many times when I'm asked for a recipe. I simply email a link to the blog! But I couldn't just stick to recipes. The kitchen is tied to the garden in so many ways...and so I let you into my ever changing garden as well.

If you're interested in my all-time favorite recipes, check out this post first: My Favorite Recipes

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Crazy Peach Day

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It's prime peach-picking time here in the Willamette Valley. I had big plans to go picking on Friday morning, and then can on Saturday. Katie and her friend, Rebecca joined me on Friday to go picking. Peaches are SO easy to pick. The ripe ones just fall into your hands when you touch them. They are so easy to pick that it only took us about 20 minutes to fill our buckets. Upon weighing them, we learned we'd picked 95 pounds! Yikes! I was hoping for 50...

Unfortunately they are soooooooo delicate. By Saturday they looked like they were a week old! The perfect unbruised peaches were full of brown spots. When my friend, Jen, came over, she looked at the peaches and asked, "What happened to the peaches???"

Another friend, Julie, was also there. We started with her peaches: Nice perfect peaches from the Farmer's Market. How the heck did hers make it to market, to her home, to my home, picked at least a day before ours and look so good???? Well, for one thing, she took hers home in nice little nestled pockets in a box, whereas mine were just sitting in a box, able to smoosh into each other. Her peach seller also advised her to lay them out on newspaper when she got home; not to leave them in the box. That would help absorb moisture. (AHA! Mine just sat in their boxes for a day....I'll remember this tip next year....) we went to can over 100 pounds of peaches. (Thankfully a couple friends took some off of my hands on Friday, so I was down to 85; Julie brought 20.) Quickly we realized we needed a second canner. I have a lot of friends with canners. Most were participating in the Hood to Coast marathon, however, and weren't home. Another had hers in use. Tricia, however, had one we could use for a few hours. WHOOHOO!!

We started at 10:30, though I started getting ready at 9:30. By 2:00 we were pooped. We were about half through. Jen and Julie stayed longer than we anticipated, but needed to go. I was ready for a break too! After an hour break, I went back to it all, working until about 9 p.m. Finally they were all done. 47 quarts! (The last two were frozen, as I simply ran out of steam to can two more jars....)

And, I still have half the pears from the other day to do. I'll get to those tomorrow. In the meantime, here they all are:

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