Monday, August 6, 2012

Peach Season

We have our Johnson family reunion coming up this Saturday in a little town west of here. It's on my mother's side of the family. Sadly, all of the aunts and uncles are gone so it's just cousins and second cousins getting together. We always have a good time, but some of the older cousins aren't getting around much anymore either. 

I called my cousin Paul to see if he would make it and he said that not only would he come but he's bringing peach pies! That brought back memories of peach season from my childhood.

Peaches used to come in big baskets that were repurposed as laundry baskets to haul the wet laundry out to the clothesline. Sometimes, mom would just buy a "lug" of peaches in a flat wooden crate.

In any case, that meant it was time to can peaches for the coming winter. As the oldest child, I was given the task of bringing up all the dusty canning jars from the basement. Even worse was having to scrub them in hot water on what was invariably a miserable hot day. The kitchen would be steamy and sticky from blanching and peeling the peaches before cutting them in half and packing them tightly in the jars.

I swore that I would never can peaches when I grew up!

My dad was really fond of peaches and cream so we had that for dessert every night after supper during  peach season. I was in charge of peeling and dicing the peaches into six dishes to serve with half-and-half and sugar. There is no fancy dessert that can surpass a fresh, juicy peach--unless it's peach pie!

16 comments:

Linda Myers said...

I canned peaches and pears when my children were small. Usually during a heat wave! They sure were good, though, released from their jars in the middle of winter.

Joanne Noragon said...

Canning season was always during a heat wave. The peach halves went rounded side up into the quart jar and went around counter clockwise until the jar was full. If there were no fork tine holes in the peach half it meant mom had a child small enough to sit on the counter and put a peach half in with his/her hand.

Meggie said...

I'm all for the peach pie! Now canning peaches in the heat of the summer....I believe I will pass on that.

The Owl Wood said...

Peach pie sounds fantastic! I've never had it, but I love peaches (and I love pies)! Here in Ingerlund they were always a luxury item when I was a sprog.

Jane and Chris said...

Oh, biting into a peach, the juice dribbling down your chin...heaven!
Jane x

Kittie Howard said...

Oh, but your post brought back warm memories, Ms Sparrow. We didn't have that many peaches in LA -- until my dad went to Georgia for some reason or other and drove thru the night to get home with baskets of peaches, the jars and so on. It would've been cheaper if he'd bought canned peaches at the GA stand, but, as the oldest child I got stuck with washing the new jars, yay, me, LOL! Anyway, by the time we finished, the kitchen was a disaster, we were a mess, and we kids had 'stolen' so many bites of peaches our tummies looked like peaches. But, oh, the memories. It was sooo worth it. And a peach pie is too yummy for words.

Ms Sparrow said...

Linda: Having a family made the work of canning peaches worthwhile!

Joanne: Wow, those are some interesting details on the finer points of canning.

Meggie: Yes, I would definitely opt for peach pie, or peaches in cream myself.

Owl: It's a darn shame you've never had the pleasure of a piece of peach pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It is to die for!

Jane & Chris: The scrumptious juiciness is part of the charm.

Kittie Howard: It sounds like your memories mirror my own. I don't miss it one little bit!

Mitchell is Moving said...

What memories. I didn't grow up with canning (growing up In NYC, I didn't even know people still did that)! But Jerry grew up canning in South Dakota. So when we got together and lived in rural Connecticut, we started to can together. We had purple rosette/blue ribbon peaches at the Guilford Agricultural Fair every year. I loved doing it. But, we also had air conditioning! Peach pie is my favorite!!! Have a great time at your family reunion. I think they are amazing events -- with other people's families!

Ms Sparrow said...

Mitch: You guys would get along great with my cousin Paul!

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

My mother canned peaches, always in summer heat. I did love them, but I won't be canning anything in this lifetime. Just might make a peach (and blueberry) pie one of these years, though.

Knatolee said...

I loooooove peaches!! ONtario peaches are in season now but they never last long enough for me. SOOOO good!

Linda Starr said...

My grandmother made the best peach cobbler and she would freeze peaches and make the crust all year long, I can still taste it.

I was given the task of ironing, I hate ironing to this day. Ha.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Peaches are delicious! I've never tried peach pie though.

I've just noticed those adorable cats in your sidebar! How sweet!

The Odd Essay said...

My mom was afraid of botulism... she'd can peaches then be afraid for us to eat them. I think she was glad when frozen food lockers became available to rent (before folks could afford to have their own freezers). My favorite peach recipe is Peach Cobbler... crusty with carmelized sugary juice on top!

mansuetude said...

Peach cobbler. Love.

Rian said...

I too love fresh peaches... but home-made peach ice-cream is my all time favorite! My mom didn't can any and neither do I, but I do make it down to Ham's Peach Orchard each year and stock up on peaches, peach cobblers, peach pie, and home-made peach ice-cream.