Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Summer harvest - winter eating

It's January and I'm hungry for some fresh fruit.

The last of the fall apples are still hanging around - but soft & wrinkly, and without much flavour. It's applesauce this week or out they go!
The chickens have been enjoying the final few Bosc pears - they don't mind that they are mostly brown & mushy rotten. They're hoping for the apples too!
There are still some Christmas clementines left in the fruit cellar - fuzzy grey and without juice. Some boxes were pretty good, but others not.
The grocery stores have been featuring sweet cherries lately, and of course every kind of fruit imaginable is available on their shelves.
But I don't think so ...
We will not buy out of season, imported fruit in winter. Local apples and maybe some oranges and bananas (sometimes) are all we will purchase this time of year.

Right now, what I really crave is one of our own peaches - red, ripe, sweet & juicy, warm off the tree, the kind you have to lean way over to eat so the juice doesn`t run down your shirt!

However, this is what the peach orchards look like today ...

How crazy is it to see green grass in mid-January!

And here is what I wish they looked like ...

And this is what I'm dreaming about ...

Good thing some of the summer harvest was tucked away for winter eating!
While I cannot take much credit for this, I am thankful to Lorie for the effort she put into canning and freezing peaches.
Of course they are not as good as fresh - but they do taste really good this time of year!

Notice the different colours of the peaches.

Some are Babygold peaches. These are our favourites - for flavour, colour & texture - but they are the most work to can. They are not freestone and must be cut off the pit. Even with blanching they do not slip their skins and must be peeled by hand with a potato peeler. When there were still canning factories in Ontario, Babygolds and similar varieties were the peaches that were put into cans. But we do not even grow Babygolds and have to get them from another farmer.
Many customers who can peaches have their favourite variety - Redhaven is the best known & loved. Others prefer Starfire, Jayhaven, Loring ...
Jubilee is an old cultivar that we stopped growing probably 35 or more years ago. But some people still remember how well they canned and ask for them.
Lorie will can any kind of peach. She will use whatever is available when she has time to put some away.
The palest peaches in the picture are white flesh peaches. While they may not look quite as pretty in the jar, their taste is just fine.
Most of our peaches were canned with the peels - saves a lot of work and they also turned out great!

We also freeze peaches.
Wash them, slice them - don`t bother peeling them - and place on cookie sheets in a single layer. Freeze them overnight, then scoop them off and bag them. They stay loose and we can use however many we need. This sure beats freezing them by the bag or container and then having to thaw the whole frozen clump, and watching them turn brown as they defrost.
I like to put some in a bowl and microwave for a few minutes. Usually I eat them plain - no sugar or anything.

Sometimes I will drizzle a bit of maple syrup on top to satisfy a super sweet craving,

... and I`ll pretend it`s August and I`m eating fresh peaches off the tree.


  1. i am so looking forward to june! we've just about hit that time where i am getting tired of eating squash and potatoes and am excited for GREEN (and red. and purple and orange). our freezer is filled with lots of tasty fruits but not too much in the way of vegetables besides red peppers and tomatoes. next year i'll have to remember to do a bit better.

    those jars of peaches are beautiful!
    (i am also wishing for some real snow. my snowshoes are still sadly boxed away, waiting)

    1. Haya, I don't think it's possible to put enough in the freezer.
      (I'm wishing for snow too!)

  2. second one to comment...i guess i dont check your blog as often as i used to!

    1. there hasn't been much to check lately!

  3. Frozen peaches...say hello to my blender...smoothie time!