One of My Favorite Things

Hey there! Today, Kate from Centsational Girl is having a little “favorite things in your town” par-tay over at her place, so I thought I would play along.

For the last 2 – 3 months, one of my favorite things have been peaches. Now, one thing I love about living in North Carolina is that it’s not far from the good ol’ peach country. It’s really perfect because you aren’t far from the city but there are also quite a few farmer’s markets and produce stands around.

I was thrilled when a friend from my church told me about a produce stand she buys peaches from every summer. Aaaand she was able to get me a deal on them. Can’t beat that. She stopped by my house with a 1/2 bushel of peaches in this awesome basket:

(If you look closely in the background, you can see my barren cupboards {pre-curtains}. Ah yes. They look so much better now.) :)

I should have taken a pic of the basket with the peaches all mounded in it, but alas – I forgot.

When I got the peaches, they were all pretty hard. So I laid them all out in these brown bags and waited for them to ripen:

Make sure they only do one layer per bag or you’ll end up with some nasty spots. See how purdy they are?

It took about 2 days for most of the peaches to ripen. A peach is ripe when it gives a little to the touch. You should not have to squeeze the peach for it to “give.” If all else fails, feel one and taste it. If it’s juicy and sweet, then you know it’s ready to preserve. My plan for these peaches was to:

  • eat a lot of them
  • use some to make some sort of delightful peach dessert
  • preserve the rest
I followed my plan pretty well. We ate LOTS of them. Or maybe I should say I ate lots of them. It’s okay. Peaches are good for me. Plus, I figured I had to eat extra to provide some for baby too. :P (Oh, and in case you’re stopping over from Kate’s blog and you’re new here…I’m preggo. just thought I should point that out so you aren’t confused.)
After I had eaten a slightly embarrassing amount of peaches, I decided to preserve some of them. Here’s how I did it:
  1. Remove the skins. You can just start peeling the skin off with a knife. But that takes an inordinate amount of time and patience. Neither of which I have in abundance. So I found a tip from Jenna: bring a large pot of water to boil, drop the peaches in for 10 seconds. Remove, let cool, and peel. After using this method, you will never go back to peeling peaches with a knife.
  2. Cut peaches in half and remove pits. This is really very simple. In fact, if the pits don’t come out easily, the peaches probably aren’t ripe enough. Here are some of my peaches – skins and pits removed…waiting to be sliced.
3. Slice peaches. Actually, this step depends entirely on how you want to use the peaches. If you want sliced peaches, slice ‘em. If you want them in chunks, chunk ‘em. ;) Plop them in a bowl once they’re sliced:
Mmmmmm….delicious, right?
4. Add fruit preserver and sugar. I did this based on what my friend advised – 1/2 Tbsp fruit preserver, 1/3 cup sugar, and about 1 1/2 cups peaches. Here’s what my fruit preserver looked like:
I sprinkled the sugar and preserver on the big bowl of peaches, mixed it all up, and let it sit for a couple minutes. Just until it started to look like this:

Would you like to know how good they tasted at this point??? I mean – plain peaches: amazing. Peaches sliced with a little sugar on top? Divine… :P

Here’s a closer look:

 

Scrumptious!

After the peaches were coated really well, I put about 1 1/2 – 2 cups in small bags:

 

Then I divided the small bags into large freezer bags and popped them in my freezer.

I am really looking forward to being able to pull one of these bags out during the fall/winter and make some special peach pancakes, muffins, or dessert with them!

At this very moment, I have 5 peaches ripening on my counter. They’ve been there since Friday, so I’m hoping they’ll be ripe by tomorrow. But just in case they’re ripe right now…

I’ll be back in a sec.

;)

 

 

16 comments

  1. They look so delicious, and honestly I would have eaten every slice with sugar before they got into the bags :) My mom always served peaches sliced with sugar, it was all I knew until I grew up. Thanks for sharing the delicious-ness with us!

    Hugs,
    Mary

  2. debbie says:

    Looks like we are neighbors. You did not mention where you got your peaches. We have a place in our city called the Peach stand, and we love going there. I love the Carolinas!

  3. Laurie says:

    I LOVE peaches. Having grown up in peach country, I just can’t stand what we can get in grocery stores around here. I’m super excited because my mom is sending a bushel of peaches my way this weekend with some folks headed this way! I can’t wait! Last year was the first in about 8 years that I enjoyed a REAL peach!

  4. Christa says:

    Hey Debbie! yum – the peach stand sounds like a yummy place! To be honest, I have no idea where my peaches came from. :P My friend said they were from out where she lives (which is near Weddington), but I’m not sure of the exact location.

  5. Christa says:

    Mmmm…way to go on freezing tomatoes! It is so awesome to be able to pull local produce out of your freezer (or pantry) in the middle of winter!!

  6. Shannon says:

    I do the same thing with mine and then most of those bags of peaches end up in peach cobbler (my Grandma’s recipe)….my all time favorite dessert!!!! Enjoy your peaches!!!!!

  7. Centsational Girl says:

    So not fair because now I am drooling! Truly, peaches are one of my most favorite things, how fortunate to have such access to a great stash, yum yum yummers is all I can say!
    xo
    Kate

  8. Christa says:

    thanks for stopping by, Susan!! I gotta admit, though, my peaches taste awesome, but I think I’d trade them for living 10 minutes from the beach like you do!!

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