When The Peaches Are Ripe

My friend Wendy gave us a basket full of peaches from her yard on Saturday. I had no idea she had peaches! 

We ate several peaches right away, juice dripping down our faces and hands, but we noticed that half of the peaces were growing soft with brownish spots within a few hours of getting them home, so we had to start processing them. 

First, we divided those that were growing soft from those that were still very firm, leaving those that were firm to be processed the next day or the next.

We scrubbed the peaches carefully in cold water with a rough sponge to remove the fuzz and dirt. Then we boiled them for a minute or two, then dropped them in ice water, then sliced them and pulled off their skins and took out their pits. Juice went everywhere! 

We put several peach pieces into a gallon jar with light syrup. This took at least a few hours and we had vanilla ice cream with peaches on top for dessert that evening. 

Next morning, we started making jam even before breakfast. We heated the jars and lids for canning. We scrubbed, boiled, and processed the peaches, this time putting them straight into the blender. We boiled equal parts sugar and peach puree in a big pot. I didn't have pectin, so we had to cook and cook the jam until it set itself. 

This was another mess all over the kitchen. As we were cleaning the juice off the counters, floor, and ourselves, Adele asked, "Is there a blessing for sticky feet?"  I thought about it and said, "I don't know. I think the blessing is the sticky feet." Adele agreed. 

We used every drop of jam we made, one way or another. We canned a four small jars and heard the satisfying "Pop!" four times as they cooled on the counter. We filled a fifth jar, but set that on the table to cool and go into the fridge without being canned and sealed. We can use that this week or next before it spoils. We used the dregs of jam in the big pot to make toast for ourselves for breakfast. While eating, Adele said, "I might make this my presentation for Foundations one week. I can tell everyone how to make peach jam start to finish." "Tell me how you'd do it, " I said. And she narrated to me what we'd done.  

Next day, I made a cobbler in the skillet and we ate it with more of the vanilla ice cream. 

Mrs. Tallon, a dear woman who was a mentor to me as a teen, used to put fresh peaches in syrup once a year and we'd eat them over vanilla ice cream. I thought of that a few weeks ago, and I also thought, "I'd like to do that this summer. But wherever to find peaches...?"  So I give glory to God who knows my inmost thoughts and gives me good gifts. I had other plans for this Saturday and Sunday, but when the peaches are ripe, peaches in syrup, jam, and cobblers are to the right thing to do. 


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