RicelandMeadows


Just Peachy
July 29, 2011, 4:42 pm
Filed under: July 2011
Canned Peaches July 2011

July 29, 2011

 
     “How are you?”, “Just Peachy!” It’s funny when people say that. I will say though, that we are, ” Just Peachy!”  My dear wife canned peaches yesterday. They are as good as they look. The flavor and juiceyness of the ripe peaches are stored in those jars, making delightful sweet treats all winter long. Is there any thing that says “Summer”, like a fresh peach?  Well, OK, perhaps fresh sweet corn right off the stalk 😮
 
     As I look at the peaches, not only do I have vision of pies, cobblers and bowls of fruit, I see love. It is the ingredient in the jar that touches your heart. That ingredient can also be found in the green beans, applesauce, meat and soup. It can be found in jams and jellies and other home canned foods. The source also can be found in the freezer where freshly frozen blueberries, raspberries and sweet corn stay to be devoured by our hungry brood.
 
     Canning our food is they way I was raised. Our pantry was not only a source of pride, it was a way of life. My grandmothers exemplified, ” putting food by”, or home canning. We can everything, including meat. There is nothing to rival its tenderness and flavor, not to mention the love that goes into those jars.
 
    The work is hot and even a bit hard. It is made easier when at least two people are working together. The pantry fills slowly as the jars are filled one by one, but by the end of the season the shelves are full and a sense of security fills the house. That security is passed to the next generation at meal time when everyone realizes that the food was grown, prepared and preserved by our own hands. The children understand that 90% of the food on the plate  was grown on the farm or garden, that they helped to tend.
 
     Children often can’t wait to get away from home and the work that comes with it. Once they are out on their own, they see that the work wasn’t hard at all. The self-sacrifice made by mom and dad to make sure food was plentiful is seen as a labor of love. Those days of picking beans or watering the cattle become favorite memories and the longing for country becomes a nagging persistence that is only satisfied by a return home.
 
     Most all of our children raise part of their food. They come and help prepare their own bounty that is shared with family during the butchering or corn harvest. In the future more opportunities to bond as family are coming. I plan to have apple cider pressing, perhaps apple butter making and of course all aspects of butchering, smoking and curing.
 
     I am sure that our children enjoy turning the crank on the ice cream freezer as we make homemade ice cream. Sure its a task that requires patience, but it yields that frozen treat that everyone enjoys. I think it’s as much the fact that we are together, as it is, the taste of the sweet ice cream.
 
     Peaches kick the canning season off for us. The garden will soon burst forth all the fruits of our labor and God’s blessings. The canners will boil non-stop. The harvest season will soon be upon us. Our garden is not as good as it usually is due in part to our wet spring weather. I am sure, however, that it will feed us with plenty to share. The love that goes into the jars is in abundance too. It comes from many generations of canning women in our family that cared enough to show it for the world to see. There is no doubt that it fills our jars and lives in our hearts. I guess that I am “Just Peachy” too 😮
 
 

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