Monday, August 10, 2009

What do you get when... cross one bushel of peaches, one bushel of #1 cucumbers and four [my maiden name's]?

One crazy day!!

Last week, I headed to [my hometown] to spend the afternoon, evening and as we discovered, most of the night, working on preserves with my mom, dad and sister. We froze peaches and made dill pickles.

Before we started, Little H had fun playing in his pool that we gave him for his birthday.

Then, we got to work. Here's how it went down (sorry for the sporadic nature of the photos - there were some points when I just could not stop to take any and I kind of forgot about the camera all together until we were almost done the peaches)...

First, we did the bushel of peaches. My sister and mom were in charge of placing them in a giant bowl of boiling water to make the skins easier to remove. She then passed them to me, and I peeled and chopped them ... for three.hours.straight.

Then we placed them in freezer bags with a very light syrup consisting of - 3 cups water: 1 cup sugar: 3.5 tsp of fruit fresh. I think in total, for all of our peaches, we used 15 cups water, 5 cups sugar and 17.5 tsp fruit fresh. Don't quote me though, I'm working from memory here. We ended up putting 36 bags of peaches in the freezer, which translates to 72 cups. Peach cobbler, here we come!

Once the peaches were taken care of, we moved on to the dill pickles. We began by washing the cucumbers. Yes, we did this in the washing machine on the gentle, no spin cycle. It is much quicker and more efficient than scrubbing each little pickle by hand. After they ran through the machine, we gave them one more quick rinse and were ready to go.

We each had our own, special jobs to complete.

My mom chopped more garlic than any human should ever be in contact with in their entire lifetime.

My dad delegated (what else is new?) by reading the instructions. Unfortunately, they were a bit too tricky for him. He was also in charge of wearing the awesome gloves so he could stick his hands in boiling water.

My sister was in charge of ensuring the sanitization of all materials and putting the pickles in the jars.

I was in charge of quality control.

After filling the jars with pickles, garlic and brine, they were closed up by my dad and placed in the oven to seal. Then he had some fun.

After we were finished, this is what we were left with. Half a bushel of cucs. For future reference, a full bushel of cucumbers is too many.

We made 27 or some odd jars of pickles and celebrated with loud cheers as we heard each and every one seal.

I returned home early Friday morning to get groceries, clean the house and make food because the FD's family was coming to town for his aunt's surprise 50th party! It was a great time spent with his family celebrating the life of an amazing woman. We played, ate and had a great time. Thanks for turning 50, M, so we had an excuse to party!


b is for brown said...

May I come over? This looks like a good time!
We just bought pickles at the flea market. So wish I could try yours!

Emily said...

Holy pickles and peaches batman! I'm hoping to do your tomato sauce this week!

Annie said...

peaches and pickles, yum!
i miss my grandpas canned goodies, esp his pickles!

Holly said...

The canning gene was not passed down to me. My mom used to do quite a bit, but I've never done anything.

Emily said...

This looks like so much fun (and a lot of work). I hope were able to set out a garden next year.

Kristin said...

Another 10 jars done to add to the total. I'm not quite sure if pickles are worth the effort???

C said...

Looks like such a fun time! I love the pictures of you in the goggles!

Anonymous said...

You amaze me. I wish I could just come spend a week at your house and eat all your delicious home grown stuff. I'm especially partial to the peaches; my grandmother used to sprinkle them with sugar and free them and we'd eat on them all winter when there was no fresh fruit. Yum!

Lois Lane II said...

I just want to say I have been craving peaches...I almost came through the computer screen to eat those, lol!!

TRICIA @boutellefamilyzoo said...

Good gracious, girlie! You were busy!
I have a plan. How about I trade you some chocolate chip coffee cake and you throw in a jar of pickles?! Hmmmm......???
Everything looks so yummy! Yeah, and I am tired for you. Wooo! Now I see where you get your homesteading skills from, though. Good genes. ;)


Taryn said...

Wow- you had a great weekend! How funny- we had a large box of apples brought over to our house yesterday so I spent the afternoon making apple butter. nummy. You can seal the jars in the oven? I didn't know that.

P.S. The interviewer was supposed to call back- but has not. They are interviewing today and Wednesday so I am not sure I will even get an interview. Oh well.

Brittany Ann said...

Poor Dad! Stuck with the directions!

Gwen said...

I love home canned yummy. What a fabulous time. :) XOXO

Kristen said...

that is seriously a lot of canning!! totally random but I have always wanted to can jams & stuff :) hehe.

SnoWhite said...

Way to go! That's a lot of pickles and a lot of peaches :)

Katie said...

You chopped peaches for 3 hours straight?? You are a good woman! Actually, this looks like a lot of fun! Maybe my family can start such a tradition.

Lucky in Love said...

What a fun weekend! What on earth are you going to do with all that food girl! I don't think my freezer could even fit that much in there! ...with all the frozen meals and such :) j/k...kind of.