Canning As Therapy -- A Bushel of Peaches, 48 hours

For the past two months, I’ve been pestering my farmer’s market friend Sharon, of Mead Orchards in Tivoli, NY, to sell me a basket of peach seconds. I have fond memories of the crazy weekend I spent a few years back making peach ice cream, jam, and pies in 100 degree heat after buying a box of utility peaches. Sharon brought my peaches last Saturday, in the middle of our recovery from a five-day power outage and flooded basement post-Hurricane Irene. There was lots to do — papers and boxes to throw away, an office to relocate, grocery shopping, and plenty of clean-up. And then there were my peaches, two half-bushel boxes weighing a total of about 50 pounds. I figure 200 peaches give or take. Unlike my other chores, the peaches needed my immediate attention. Battered and bruised from a couple of hail storms, they weren’t going to last long. So I turned my back on my basement and got to work. Here’s what I made in the 48 hours before my peaches spoiled:

  • 2 almond-peachtarts
  • 1 peach crumble
  • 8 pints of peach preserves
  • 9 pints of peach butter (in the crockpot, a huge labor saver!)
  • Several pounds of dried peaches

We ate a few and my friend Alix took a dozen for her mom’s pickled peach recipe. Now they’re gone. My basement isn’t, unfortunately. And I’m planning to ask Sharon for a bushel of apple seconds in a few weeks.