That’s how many were left a full week later. After snacks, smoothies (my first!), chicken and peach salad (yumm!), sharing, gifting, and ice cream toppings, I still had eighteen beautifully ripe peaches, in danger of going past their prime. I didn’t want to make jelly or jams because I don’t eat them. (I still have my homemade concord grape jelly unopened from 2008!) If I still ate toast, I could manage to go through many jars, but I rarely do these days (bummer, that — I love crunchy, buttery toast!).
I forgot to take pictures, but Lynn did, and my collection was within almost as large a haul from the Tyngsboro Parlee Farm site:
I froze fresh, pick-your-own strawberries and blueberries this summer for a winter extravagance. Could I do the same for the peaches? They wouldn’t be whole like the blueberries and strawberries are. They need peeled and depitted. I dithered. I hesitated. I kicked myself in the butt and told myself to get going alright already!
I heart Google.
Freezing peaches is easy-peasy. Who knew? The best part is, I found a reference that didn’t insist I add a cup of sugar for every two cups of cut peaches. This is my new best friend in the preserving fresh fruit category! Adding white, refined and processed sugar to a naturally sweet fruit made no sense to me whatsoever. Turns out you can use fruit juice instead. I snagged a bottle of organic apple juice, a fresh lemon or two, and went to town!
Did you know that the amount of time you dip peaches into boiling water (blanching) is relative to how ripe they are? Joy of Cooking (mine is one of the 1980′s printings) said to slip them into boiling water for 45-60 seconds and then transfer them to iced water for a few minutes. On the peaches I had, this timing meant I cooked into the peaches a good quarter of an inch. Fifteen seconds turned out to be the magic number for this stage of ripeness. Skins slipped off with just a thumb roll across the surface. Lovely!
Those eighteen peaches are now chilling in the freezer, in five freezer-zip-lock-type bags. I only have one large bag of blueberries and a medium one of strawberries. Maybe I’ll dip into the peaches before January… maybe a smoothy with peaches, frozen yogurt, and peach schnappes…