Thursday, September 20, 2012

Millions Of Peaches, Peaches For Me

I learned how to can my own peaches!

That magnificent, earth-shattering thought sends tingles up and down my spine!  I catch myself--at random moments during the day--repeating it over and over in my head:  I canned peaches.  I used a water bath canner to can peaches.  By canning peaches, I obtained a higher and more glorious level of domesticity.  I am a goddess.  I did it!  I canned my own peaches!

Canning is a frequently misunderstood skill, as well as a dying art form.  (Which is tragic.)  I don't know many women who take the time to do it.  And truthfully, it is something I never thought I could learn.  (Remember how when it comes to "mad skillz" in the kitchen, I am a doofus?)

But here's something you probably don't know about me:  Learning to can my own peaches has always occupied a spot on my beloved bucket list.  Really!  Right up there with "see the Sistine Chapel" and "learn to play the banjo" and "publish a book" is "learn to can peaches" before I die!

This week, I happily checked the "learn to can peaches" item off my list.  (Yaaaayyyyy!!!!)  My ultra talented and amazing friend, Denise, brought her canning equipment to my house and set me to work learning the ins and outs of preserving...well...my preserves.  It was a riot!  A messy, hot, sticky, busy, steamy, peachy riot!

Denise was an excellent (and patient) teacher.  As we worked together in my small kitchen, I thought about how terrific it is to have caring friends who are not only happy to serve, but who are willing to share their talents with me.  What a blessing!  (THANK YOU, Denise!)

Upon completion of our crazy-fun, canning session, I asked Denise what her primo canning tips would be.  She graciously gave me permission to share her insight with my dear friends and readers.  Ready?!

Mama Denise's Tips for Canning

1.)  If you are a beginner and would like to give canning a try, or if you are already a pro but would like a point of reference, you need the "Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving."  It is the canning Bible...and an all-around neat book!

2.)  When canning, you always want to use fresh produce.  Beware of using produce that is overly ripe.  If something is moldy, questionable, wormy, or icky, toss it!  You don't want one bad fruit or veggie to ruin your whole batch.  While you are sealing the good produce in, you want to be careful you aren't sealing in the bad bacteria too.

3.)  Be sure to have lots of Diet Coke on hand throughout the process.  It's long and it's hot, and having a refreshing "DC-On-The-Rocks" within reach will help!

When the dishes had been cleaned, and the kids had been tucked into their beds for the night, I tip-toed downstairs to the kitchen to take a peek at my jars on the counter.  I pulled out one of my ginormous craft totes and got busy decorating some of my jars with scrap material.  When McHubby asked, "Why bother?," and "Who are you doing that for?," I answered, "Me.  I am doing it for me.  Because I'm very proud of what I accomplished."

And because I bedazzle EVERYTHING!


27 comments:

  1. I love to preserve everything I get my hands on! It saves a lot of money in the long run, and peaches are especially good!
    http://13plumconfessions.blogspot.com/2012/09/dear-makers-of-wallpaper-part-2.html

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    1. After my first experience with canning, I can see how addicting it can be! It was great fun! Thanks for stopping by and leaving me a nice comment, Emily!

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  2. I want to learn to can! You are amazing! Teach me your ways.

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    1. McKenzie!!! Hi Honey!!! I would love to teach you! WARNING: I am still just learning. Can with me if you dare! HA HA!

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  3. Awesome! My mom used to can a lot, I really need to get her to teach me :) Love that you decorated your jars too :)

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    1. Thanks, Heidi! I was so excited to decorate my jars...much to my husband's chagrin! HA HA! He was like, "Um...what on earth are you doing?!" It was the best part, bedazzling the jars. And yes, have your mother teach you! It is addicting and fun!

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  4. Your jars look so awesome you make me want to start canning! I'm popping over from the You Like Me Friday blog hop so pop over any time!! I'm the author of mad parenting book Cocktails at Naptime www.tinyurl.com/cocktailsatnaptime and Seductive Viennese Whirl www.tinyurl.com/viennesewhirl

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    1. Hi Emma! Thanks for the sweet compliment on my jars! HA HA! Aren't they funny? I loved decorating them...but then again, I'm nuts! HA HA! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog!

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  5. Having just finished my green beans on my own, I am wishin for a canning partner! Congrats on a first time! There is nothing quite so satisfying as the special "popping" noise that means I did it right.

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    1. MY BEAUTIFUL REDHEAD FRIEND JENN!!!! I hope you know that I will always be your canning partner! HA HA! And I hope you know that I will always love you too. Thanks for "visiting" and commenting. It makes me miss ya! Love you!

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  6. You have always wanted to learn to play the banjo? ME TOO! Maybe we can learn the song Peaches.

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    1. HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!! Yes, let's learn to play the banjo teacher. I wonder how "Peaches" would sound on a banjo...

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    2. Awesome! What doesn't sound good on a banjo?

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  7. I canned for the first time last year, and then on my OWN this year. I'm like you--never thought I could do it, always wanted to, and YES, diet coke was vital to the process!

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    1. You canned on your own this year?!?! You are AMAZING!!! I'm a little scared to do it by myself. I guess I'll try that NEXT year..ha ha! And can I just say that I love that you love Diet Coke as much as I do?!

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  8. Hahaha you are so cute!!! Love it!!! Good job on canning. I want to make some jams... So bad!!! Lol
    Xo
    Isabelle

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    1. Aw, thanks Isabelle! I WANT TO MAKE JAM TOO! That will be what I tackle next year, when strawberries are in season! Thanks for the comment and XOXO back at you!

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  9. I canned for my first time last year... out of all thie things I did can, my husband misses the peaches the most. And that canning bible is fantastic!

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    1. I agree...the canning bible is so terrific! Loaded with lots of great information! Thanks a whole bunch for stopping by my blog-a-roo and for leaving a comment. XOXO!

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  10. I remember way back in 1976 canning my first peaches...Good for you, Mama L! I don't have the patience for it now. So, we have a freezer full of our peaches!:) Hey I'm posting a cool thing to do with peaches on Monday! I know we all have peaches coming out of our ears... but it is a fav fruit!

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  11. Those look gorgeous. I tried canning peaches this year for the first time... and I'm hooked! Can't wait to break into the stash this winter. Thanks for sharing! Have an awesome weekend.

    Krista

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    1. THANK YOU SO MUCH, Krista!!! You made my whole day by saying they look gorgeous! HA HA!! I agree! They turned out so pretty. I'm very proud! HA! Thanks for the comment and for showing me some love. You're great! XOXO!

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  12. I clicked on your blog for the first time today. My daughter Megan looked over at the screen and said, look mom that's lily from my class at school!
    Her thoughts about school are much like your daughters. :) Hopefully I will run into you sometime.

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    1. OH MY GOSH!!! NANCY!!!! Your daughter and my daughter are in the same class?!?! WHAT A HOOT! This comment brightened up my whole day. How crazy you would pay me a visit and Megan would recognize Lilly in her picture. HA HA! That is awesome! I would love to meet you...but I must warn you, I usually look TERRIBLE when dropping Lilly off at school. I mean, really, really terrible! HA HA HA! Thanks so much for the comment and visit. Stop by again! XOXO!

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  13. omygosh, the jars are so cute!! love the animal print! you could totally set up a table outside your house and have lilly sell them...hahaha wouldn't she be the best saleswoman?! she could sing the peaches song and make up a little dance! haha!
    it sounds like such a fun night for you and your friend!!
    glad you got to check another item off your list!!
    i love and miss you so much. <3
    xoxox
    maria

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  14. That is so darn cute! Only you would think to bedazzle an otherwise very boring jar, and make it into something FABULOUS!!! I love it! I've always wanted to do that too, but I think I may just be too impatient......or blow up the house ;) Hope you guys have a wonderful weekend! xoxoxoxoxo (YAY I"M ABLE TO COMMENT ON YOUR BLOG AGAIN!!!!! Don't know what the heck is wrong with my phone, but I can't ever comment from there!)

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I LOVE hearing from you! Thanks for making my day brighter with your comments! I mean it. (Now go have yourself a Diet Coke!)