Friday, August 19, 2011

Packed a Peck of Peach Pickles

"Life is better than death, I believe, if only because it is less boring, and because it has fresh peaches in it."  Alice Walker

When my children were little ones, many years ago, I would wait and wait, sometimes not so patiently, for peaches to come down in price to $0.38 per pound.  As soon as King Soopers, in Denver where we lived at the time, advertised peaches from Grand Junction at this price, I would gather up the three bambinos and head to the grocers to stock up on peaches to last for as long as possible.  We had peach cobbler and peach pie and frozen peaches and canned peaches for winter.  Most deliciously, I would make peach pickles, spicier than canned pickles with a cinnamon kick.  These peach delicacies would not last long in our household.


I had forgotten about peach pickles until I came across my old recipe this summer when I was clearing out my recipe file from days gone by.  My little ones have all grown and flew the coup.  I am no longer under the budget constraints to have to wait for peaches to reach an all time low price.  Besides, I seriously doubt that I would ever find peaches from anywhere for as low as $0.38 per pound.  Currently settled in the Midwest, our peaches hale from South Carolina, rather than Grand Junction, Colorado.  Nonetheless, I headed myself out this week to purchase a lug of peaches and set about making this gem of a pickle.

Taking my first bite brought me right back to little ones clambering under my feet for a bowl of peach pickles back in the day.  An "old school" recipe that is dear to my heart.  Try it, I think it will be a favorite of yours as well.
"An apple is an excellent thing, until you've tried a peach."  George Du Maurier

Ingredients:


7 cups sugar
1 pint cider vinegar
2/3 lug of peaches, skinned, cut in half, stone removed
1 pint water
18 whole cloves
6 small cinnamon sticks

Instructions:

1.) Boil the sugar, vinegar, and water together for 10 minutes in a large kettle.

2.)  Add the fruit.  Boil until tender.

3.)  To each sterilized, hot jar, add 3 whole cloves and 1 small cinnamon stick.  Put the fruit into the jars, cover the fruit with syrup, leaving 1/2 inch headspace, and seal with rings and lids.

4,)  Process 20 minutes in a boiling-water canner, but start counting the time as soon as you get the jars into the canner.

*Any leftover juice is wonderful as a seasoning for ham.  You can save leftover juice once the pickles have been enjoyed.

"The ripest peach is the one highest in the tree."  James Whitcomb Riley

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