Photo Essay….Canning Peaches

Finished work…Salsa, jam, peaches in juice, apple butter and pumpkin butter.

My friend Dawn and I spent a day canning together. What a blessing to work together, side by side, talking and sharing while our hands are busy putting food away for the winter. There is something about this “putting away” that appeals to my nature, a sort of nurture and love that goes into the process. We’re putting away nourishment for the family, we’re going through the motions of preserving this fresh food that will appear on the table again and again, in the cold months to come. The easy nature of a friendship cemented in Christ warms the heart as we peel, slice, sterilize and boil. The sounds of seven children, playing happily around the house warms the heart as much as the steam warms the kitchen. There is a satisfaction in setting aside hot jars filled with fruit, jam, and butters that seems to go down to our roots….I think of the generations of women before me who went through these very steps, changed so little over time. The foods grown in home soil, picked with worn but loving hands, put away to rest on shelves all winter long. I think of the women who had to do this, with every sort of available food, to ensure that their families would have something to eat. I think of long winters, the garden laying spent beneath a blanket of snow, a family sitting around a rough-hewn table in a log cabin. Where else could they have turned? My jars sit side-by-side with cans of food from the store, theirs alone would feed the family until the next harvest. It gives me cause to consider, to remember, to respect. Perhaps more than a desire to eat peaches all winter long, that’s what makes me get out the canner every year. Thankful for a good harvest, and for the women in my life…both past and present…who warm my kitchen and heart with their help and friendship! Here are some photos from the last week’s work….

Jars and rings, ready to be sterilized. How grateful I am for our dishwasher!

Empty jars wait their turn

Supplies…

Peaches, blanched and ready to be peeled.

Peeled and soaking in fruit fresh, to keep them from turning brown.

Sliced and ready to be heated and packed

Jars cooling on the sideboard…listen for the lids to “pop”!

My cleanup crew, erasing some of the sticky residue that covered the whole kitchen…

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2 thoughts on “Photo Essay….Canning Peaches

  1. I agree with your entire post. It was a really warm and connecting time. With my love of history it fed my soul to do something that women have done for generations before me. The time spent together with you was such a blessing for me. I love seeing the jars stacked in my cupboards reminding me of the gift God has given our family by bringing us together with yours. Thanks my friend! (ps – I get the same sappy feelings of connectivity when I sew)

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