Just Peachy

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It has been a while since I posted, but that doesn’t mean that nothing has been going on in our little household. I have been very busy! For one thing, our seventeen year old grandson is visiting for the summer. We have been having fun. He is the “darling” of my friends. Shortly after his arrival we celebrated his 17th birthday, followed up a few days later with our community Independence Day Celebration. Here he is with a few friends:

Clayton at 4th

He is a great guy and even participates in our early morning water aerobics classes.

 

Besides going to our pool almost every day, I keep myself busy. One of my hobbies is canning food. It is very time consuming and hard work but I consider it fun and a great way to provide good food for our little family. Here is what I did over this weekend with a case of fresh Georgia peaches:

Putting up Peaches
Putting up Peaches

The tally is:

9 pints of brown sugar pie filling

7 pints of peaches in light syrup

9 pints of peaches with Splenda and lemon

7 half pints of peach jelly, made from the seeds and skins

7 half pints of peach barbecue sauce sealed

2 pints of peach barbecue sauce for the refrigerator (I ran out of jars!)

1 pint of sugar free peach syrup for tea

20 peaches for fresh eating; after all I couldn’t can all of them!

 

We tried the barbecue sauce tonight on some leftover roast pork as sliders. It is delicious!

Peachy Barbecue Sauce
Peachy Barbecue Sauce

Here is my recipe:

Peach Barbecue Sauce


6 cups finely chopped pitted peeled peaches (about 3 lb or 9 medium)

1 cup finely chopped seeded red bell pepper (about 1 large)

1 finely chopped hot pepper

1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 large)

3 Tbsp finely chopped garlic (about 14 cloves)

½ cup of honey

1 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup cider vinegar

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground allspice

1/2 tsp ground cloves

2 tsp salt

Preparation : Prepare 8 half pint jars, lids, and rings. Sterilize the jars and lids, and keep them in the hot water until it is time for processing. Make sure to fill your water bath canner and bring the water to a simmer. I put the jars in the canner until I fill them, then I place each back into the canner.

 

Cooking: Puree the peaches, then in a large stainless steel pot combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring often.  I use my wand blender to puree everything when I think the vegetables are tender. Continue to cook until mixture gets thick and gets to the consistency of a barbecue sauce, about 25 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Filling the jars:  Place your hot jars on a dishtowel, place a canning funnel in the mouth of the jar and fill each using a ladle and leaving ½” headspace.  Remove air bubbles and refill to the proper headspace with more sauce if necessary. Taking a clean paper towel wet it with warm water and wipe the rims of the jars removing any food particles that would interfere with a good seal. Using your magic wand extract the lids from the hot water and place them on the now cleaned rims (I use Tattler lids so I have to use my tongs). Add your rings to the tops of each of the jars and turn to seal just “finger tight” (with Tattlers turn the ring back slightly).

Processing: Make sure your rack is on the bottom of the canner and place the jars in the water bath making sure that the water covers each of the jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add hot water to the canner if it doesn’t measure up. Cover the pot and turn up the heat under the canner and wait for the water to start boiling. Once the water has come to a boil start your timer for 20 minutes. When complete turn off the heat and remove the cover and let the jars sit for another few minutes. Remove the jars and place them back on the dishtowel in a place that they will sit overnight to cool. Do not touch or move them till the next morning. (If using Tattlers, like me, use a dish towel to protect your hands while tightening the rings completely, then allow the jars to cool undisturbed)Some recipes may take overnight to seal. Check your lids and reprocess any jars that did not seal.

I canned 7 half pints that sealed plus 2 pints extra that I refrigerated. Your mileage may vary. The sauce was deemed as delicious by my two menfolk tonight.

Is your curiosity piqued by the idea of Peach Jelly made from the skins and seeds that might otherwise be thrown away? It is most delicious and almost free! Now, I know that a lot of people think that peach seeds contain deadly amounts of cyanide. But I have made this jelly many times and I (as well as many of my friends and family) survive to this day! The almond-like seed within the pit lends a slight almond flavor to the peachy-ness of the jelly.

Waste not, want not: Jelly from peach skins and seeds
Waste not, want not: Jelly from peach skins and seeds

 

Here is how I make it:

 

Take the seeds and skins from your prepared peaches; I used about a quart of skins and seeds.

Cover with about one inch of water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes. Cool and refrigerate overnight.

Strain the cooled material through cheesecloth, and squeeze gently to extract all of the liquid. Measure 3 ½ cups of liquid. I actually had 5 ½ cups, so I kept a pint aside to make syrup. If you don’t have 3 ½ cups of liquid, just add a bit of water to make 3 ½ cups. If you choose to, you could boil the juice down to make 3 ½ cups instead of setting some aside.

Prepare jars, lids and rings as I indicated above. Measure out 4 ½ cups of sugar and set aside.

Return juice to cleaned kettle. Add 1 box of powdered pectin and bring to a full boil.

Add sugar all at once and boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim foam. I added about 1 teaspoon of homemade vanilla extract, just to make it a little different from my last batch of peach pit jelly. It is completely optional.

Fill hot half-pint jars leaving 1/4 inch head space. Adjust two piece caps and process 10 minutes in boiling water canner.

 

What about that extra pint of juice? I added about a cup of Splenda and heated it in the pot after I transferred the jelly to the jars. (I left the little bit of jelly in the pot and stirred it into the syrup). I ladled the syrup into a jar and refrigerated it to add to my iced tea. Yummy!

And now for another shot of my handsome grandson, Hubby, and friends waiting in line for the Fourth of July goodies :

Waiting in line for lunch
Waiting in line for lunch

 

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3 thoughts on “Just Peachy

    Cristina said:
    August 4, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Alison misses your Peach Jelly! You should give me some recipes to use with the little plums I am growing and without a canner. Waste not want not 🙂

    Like

    itsjusttoni responded:
    August 6, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    I miss Alison and you! How about plum jam or canned plums. They can be canned in a water bath (in a pot tall enough to have the jars covered by an inch or two of boiling water).Plums also make a great Chinese style dipping or cooking sauce.

    Like

    […] rotisserie chicken carcasses to make stock. I use fruit peels and seeds to make jelly like I did here. Recently, we picked our precious homegrown pineapple. After cutting it up for Mr. M, I just could […]

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