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Hello! I've been spending long days in a very hot kitchen, how about you?! I try not to get horribly jealous of friends on holidays, in the long summer holidays, you know? Who post lovely photos of kids doing lots of fun things and going places and "chillaxing" as Tilly – just seven – says. 

Around here we try to stop for icecream, and trips to the beach, and chillaxing, and we try not to beat ourselves up about working and lobbing kids around and juggling play dates and deliveries. 

And every now and then I'll grab an hour and do something I want to do. Which today was a bit of peach action. 

A local farming friend drives to Araluen every January and picks up boxes of peaches and nectarines for his wife to preserve. She's an older lady, who shared lots of wisdom about preserving with me when I first moved back here. They asked if I wanted some fruit, I said YES PLEASE!

 

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And so I put up some peaches. It's possibly way more fun than it sounds, and seriously, those glorious golden jars of summertime on the shelves in my pantry just make me happy. There's an earnestness about preserving, a feeling of won't-run-out or ok-if-the-zombie-apocalype-comes. We can lock the door and eat through the pantry shelves before we're zombied. If that's even a verb. 

I highly recommend it. I'm not going to pretend I'm some awesome canning expert and give out specific recipes here. There are way more experienced people to do that. I love We Sure Can, Ashley English and Preserving Summer's Bounty

Peaches are pretty easy though. Sterilize some jars, drop fruit into boiling water, peel skins off, quarter, pack them into jars and pour boiling sugar syrup over the top. Screw on your lids and process in a hot water bath (I use my stock pot with a cake rack in the bottom) for twenty minutes. 

 

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Golden jars of sunshine. 

I got a bit excited reading Jackie French who makes you feel you could grow anything – plant an apple core! – and planted some seeds of the beautiful peaches. Word is around here you can't grow peaches, the fruit fly is too bad.

I'm sure that's probably the case, but the memory of peaches on the trees in the backyard here when I was very little (the old trees were all pulled out about twenty five years ago now) and that perfect fruit we've been munching on? …

 

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Hope your week is peachy. 

xxx

8 Comments on “peachy

Cassandra
January 15, 2014 at 12:14 am

Hellooo! Yes I want to get into preserving fruit too, in case the zombies come and all that. And in case I get cravings for summer fruit in the middle of winter. Fond childhood memories come flooding back. Mum did grapes too. We had them with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Mmmmmm.

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June
January 15, 2014 at 1:02 am

For fruit fly: obtain dregs from a local home brewer and place a small quantity into plastic bottles, which have lids screwed on, but a couple of nails holes piercing the plastic above the level of the brew dregs. Tie bottles a couple of bottles in different locations approx. 1 metre from tree, including tomatoes, and voila, non toxic fruit fly control and plastic recycled. Have to do it to keep the pests out of my lime tree in the heart of suburban Brisbane. No Adam, this does not mean you have to start home brewing to provide the bait, but you know who supplies mine! Cheap beer for him, no fruit flies for the limes.

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Angela
January 15, 2014 at 7:41 am

Grandma’s pantry lives on…they look beautiful. Mum still preserves peaches every summer. Although I love the look of preserved fruit in jars neatly stowed on shelves, I think the gene for such pursuits may be recessive in me… Xx

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Bec
January 15, 2014 at 8:53 am

Preserving food is one of my favourite activities, but I too feel annoyed sometimes that I have chosen a hobby that sees me stuck in the kitchen, sweaty and sore legged til late, when others seem to be lazing around in the Summer. But then, my hobby gives me food! Home grown, home preserved, delicious food.

I went to Jackie French’s open day this year, and took home a massive tray, and a box of seconds, from Wisbey’s farm in Araluen. Once they ripened, oh those peaches were divine. We ate them fresh, bottled them, and made Roast Peach Relish. I am just reading her book, A Year in the Valley.

Lots more resources for preserving here too: http://www.growing-home.com.au/harvest/food-preservation-storage-methods-faq/

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Andrea
January 15, 2014 at 10:38 am

They look so gorgeous, golden and delicious! I’ve been in the kitchen a bit too! Baking Artisan Bread in 5 minutes, and more your Lazy Lady slice, jam and coconut slice, passionfruit slice and your cornflake bikkies (had to hide the bikkies from my husband so there would be some for my kids!).

I’m so inspired by your authentic life and I just love moseying through your posts. Could you please turn your blog into a book?! You’re writing style is such a evocative mix of whimsy, emotion, inspiration, honesty and earthiness. With your beautiful pics and amazing recipes it’s an heirloom tome that I would be proud to own and buy for loved ones. You could do an annual edition!

I know….so easy to squeeze in with everything else! x

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JenK
January 15, 2014 at 11:46 am

Those peaches look divine.
Oh so jealous that Bec went to Jackie French’s open day. I just couldn’t swing it from Melbourne. I adore her books. She also makes me feel like I can grow anything and makes me all devil may care about weeds and birds eating some of my fruit. Which seems to be working as I am getting lots from the garden and not spending too much time fussing over it. I got a glorious first 4 peaches from my young tree this year even given the great sheep orchard break in of late 2013. How excited was I!!

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Bec
January 16, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Whilst we were there (and yes, her place is amazing, and she is lovely, and her family/ assistants were so generous!) Jackie mentioned it would be the last open gardens days they would be having. 🙁

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Hannah
January 27, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Lol, I have a full fowlers vacola unit my grandma gave me when I started bottling, but it’s so much easier using the stock pot with a cake rack! Looks delicious 🙂

I just wrote a post about doing your coffee workshop, checkout the new growth on the coffee plants!

Hannah

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