I documented my mother as she canned this year. It was the first time in 28 years anyone ever got a picture of the process.
When my three sisters and I were young, my mother was the ultimate homemaker. She sewed our cozy flannel nightgowns and floral church dresses, or “Sunday dresses” as we called them. She volunteered at the Sunday School daycare and brought snacks once a week. I still remember munching on saltines baked in the oven with cheddar cheese. It took time and effort to complete these tasks with four little girls underfoot, but the project that most amazes me now was her annual canning.
As we got older and my mother joined the working world, we missed out on canning most years (though I do remember one epic grape jelly project taking place when I was in high school). It had been ages since she last canned peaches, but this year she found new motivation: three grandkids to nurture and four daughters old enough to learn the task themselves. Step 1:
Boil canning jars in large tub and canning lids in small pot. (These can sit in the simmering water while other steps are completed.
Remove jars from simmering water with tongs. Step 3:
Blanch each peach by dunking it briefly into boiling water. This will loosen the skin, making it easier to peel. Step 4:
Peel, halve and de-pit each blanched peach. Step 5:
Cut peaches into 8ths and fill your canning jars. We used some humungous peaches, but you'd be surprised how many it takes to fill each jar! Step 6:
Drizzle two tablespoons of raw honey over the top of the peaches, then pour boiling water to the neck of the jar. Step 7:
Take lids from boiling water and place over top of filled jars. Screw on caps. (Sorry, no photo!)Step 8:
Place the filled and sealed jars into the large pot with boiling water. You will let these boil for 20 minutes.
As they boil, you will hear the seals *pop!* Then when you open the jars later to eat your canned goods, the seals will *pop!* again and you'll know they were sealed correctly. It took my many years to appreciate the special projects my mother did for my sisters and I. Now that I am old enough, I am happy to thank her for her efforts by learning from her. What traditions do you hope to pass on to your children?