I love peach season! With the exception of bees. I don’t like them much. This year we picked around 250 pounds. That was a blessing. The peach orchards have had a bad year. The spring in the valley was too wet and most peach growers have nothing on their trees. I have come to like a particular variety, PF series and a Starfire series. These peaches are full of flavor and color. These little beauties are rich with pectin and I don’t need to add much sugar these tasty treats.
I like peach canning season best, not for the peaches, but for the family relationships that are strengthened and preserved. I have fond memories of my mom canning on an old wood stove in the kitchen… of my pealing and slicing and putting the fruit in the jars… my sister in her swimsuit in the bathtub washing jars. These are great memories of feeling like we all belonged, were important and loved as we all worked together to preserve fruit for the long winter to come.
Now I have kids of my own and I try hard to create that same feeling. I have to admit, I’m not that good at it. Only a couple of my kids want to participate in this yearly ritual. Hey! At least I try.
In the end I still get everyone to help, even for a brief second, whether it’s carrying buckets or jars, washing jars, keeping fires burning, plopping fruit in jars, or just keeping little people out of trouble. Everyone has a job.
This year we all worked together and picked our 250 pounds, canned 88 quart jars and cleaned up all before 3:30. Now that is a success. Even better…. everyone got along!