Cookin' With Leo
Well, I was sittin' on the patio the other day thinkin' of springtime
an' enjoyin' a cool one along with the weather. That got me to
thinkin' of all the good things that the season brings. Got to
thinkin' of the bounty from the blooms of spring and how grandma used
to harvest all that bounty and make goodies out of it all. I wouldn't
say it was easy for her, but then she loved to grow all sort of
goodies in the yard. I remember a cherry tree that I used to climb
about this time of the year and pick the cherries that were beginning
to ripen. And, there was an apple tree that produced a lot of mostly
green apples, even though the snake had left, that were not too good
to eat but made a lot of good apple pies and apple sauce. And, there
was a peach tree too. The peaches on that were not the greatest
either. But, they were of a size that fit nicely into a jar, and they
made great pies too if enough sugar and cinnamon and butter was added.
So, after dreaming about all that good spring and summer stuff, I
decided to go look into my old reliable repertoire of recipes and find
the one that made those poor peaches taste like some of Eve's palate
pleasing peach preserves. That was before she found the snake in the
apple tree and turned her attention to green apple pie, which made her
and Adam both sicker than a snake-bit blue-tick hound dog. Well,
later on when Adam, who loved grapes, and of course wine, found out
how to take out his vengeance on the green apples and the snake,
started making apple cider and such, Eve began to experiment too with
all of Adam's concoctions. And, although she never ate another green
apple as long as she lived, she made great pies and preserves with all
the bounty scavenged from the Garden of Eden. And, somehow Eve's
recipes got passed down to my predecessors, who were an uneducated
lot, to say the least. However, they carried these garden goody
recipes through the ages, and of course my Teutonic and Celtic
ancestors, who only robbed the rich and gave to the poor and stole the
kings venison, passed them on to grandma who finally wrote them down
and thus they came into my possession. So now I will share these
ageless goodies with you, my devoted readers, who await, with bated
breath, my contributions to society, from the ages, wherever.
So, let's get started with this recipe for spiced Pickled Peaches.
First thing you got to do is decide how much work you are willing to
do. If you don't have a peach tree in the yard and you have to go to
the super then you may want to get about 5 pounds of peaches. Get the
cheapest ones; don't get carried away with size and eating quality.
We are going to make the worst peaches taste like the best. On the
other hand if you have a peach tree or if you want to get into puttin'
up goodies for the next winter, then you may want to get a big box of
#70 peaches. They are not big and the designation means there are at
least 70 peaches in a standard 30 pound box. You can find them at the
farmers market or the produce markets and are relatively cheap. This
recipe will take care of 5 pounds. If you are ambitious and are going
to do the backyard peach tree, or 30 pounds, then multiply this recipe
Here is what you will need to go with 5 lbs of peaches.
1 whole clove for each peach
1 piece of stick cinnamon for each jar.
Tie together in cloth bag:
1 teaspoon whole cloves.
½ oz stick cinnamon.
1 teaspoon whole allspice.
1 ½ cups apple cider vinegar (50 grain).
½ cup water.
4 cups sugar.
An' here is how we do it.
First we will slip the skins from the peaches. That was one of
grandma's tricks. And, here is how she done it.
Get a big kettle or
cauldron, fill it with water and bring it to a boil. Toss in a pound
or two of peaches at a time, and let them boil for at least a minute
or a minute and a half. Remove them with a slotted spoon. Pinch up
the skin and if it comes free like a blister then you got it, just pop
the fruit free of the skin. If not return the fruit to the kettle for
a few more seconds.
Put the skinned fruit into ice water to cool it.
Now insert a clove into each peach.
Use a cloth bag to hold the rest of the spices (reserve a piece of stick cinnamon for each jar) and tie that up with butcher string.
Combine the vinegar, water and sugar, add the spice bag and bring this to a boil.
Add the peaches and let them boil for at least 5 minutes or until fork
Place them in hot sterilized jars and drop in a cinnamon
Let the liquid boil down and fill each jar.
Be sure the rims are wiped clean and seal the jars.
Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
Remove and let jars cool.
When cool, check that lids are tight.
For 5 pounds of peaches you will probably need 5 quart
jars. For 30 pounds of peaches you will need at least 20 quart jars.
Enjoy your summer goodies!