"It's the company, not the cooking, that makes the meal!" ~Perilee 
(Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Homemade Peaches, Pears, and Fruit Cocktail

Well as summer draws to and end and the crispness in the air returns it brings with it many memories for me. One of these memories is helping my mother can homemade peaches and pears. Others are the smells of mom making her salsa and chili sauces. After school when you entered the front door the house was filled with the aroma's of mom's labors. There is nothing like homemade and canned products. I have continued to follow in my mothers footsteps (thanks to her training and constant teaching-still!) I can homemade salsa, spaghetti sauce, stewed tomatoes, peaches, pears, fruit cocktail, and jams. I even did pints of green beans this year which was a new experience for me. I put up 106 quarts of peaches, pears, and fruit cocktail in a 24 hour period spread over 4 days. I tried to do it when the kids were napping or in bed. I quiet enjoyed the quite hours at night to think while my hands were busy. I am so grateful to my dear mother who has passed her knowledge on to me so that I can bless my little family with what I think are the best products we can be eating!
How to can you own peaches according to Joyce Parrish (my mom):
Peel and jar peaches. Pour medium syrup over them in jars to the neck of the bottle. You need to leave a good 1/2" head space for the processing to work. Before processing you can add 3/4 teaspoon of vanilla to each jar (optional, but sure gives them a great flavor). Process in a water bath for 10-12 minutes, no longer-it over cooks the fruit.
* My mom uses her syrup hot. I used my at room temperature this year do to kitchen space (or the lack thereof!) so I processed mine for 15 minutes.

FOR PEARS AND FRUIT COCKTAIL (combo of pears, peaches and a few pieces of canned pineapple chunks):
Use the Medium syrup covering fruit leaving the 1/2" head space and process in a water bath.

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