Monday, September 25, 2006

Canned Peaches

This post was inspired by a family farmer out near Show Low. He had a gorgeous crop of peaches. Beautiful, inspired fruit. He was unable to find labor to pick this crop. Thank you all you border crawling sons of bitches. You're down here on my border screaming your racist, isolationist bullshit and a decent 4th generation farmer is going broke because you are off on some fool's errand to take focus away from Iraq, which your side fucked up beyond all repair, from the economy, which your side is selling to the Chinese for fucking counterfit yuan they are printing by the bale, from Katrina and the overall incompetence of their policies.

The farmer who grew these peaches got so frustrated and depressed that he put a box for donations by the side of the road and a sign that said "I'd rather you pick everything you can carry off than watch it rot."

I canned 30 quarts of peaches and made 8 pies. The pie recipe will come later. And, in case anyone might ask. I did leave a donation. I left what I thought was a fair market price for the fruit my son and I picked. Then I dug a little deeper and left some more.

Tom Tancredo, John Kyl, John McCain, and all these other assholes can kiss my country ass.

Two or Three pounds of peaches will fill a quart jar.

Sterilize the jars and lids in boiling water. (an industrial strength dishwasher will suffice as long as there is a very hot drying cycle)

Make the canning syrup and keep hot by adding 1 1/2 cups of sugar to 6 cups of very hot water. Stir until completely dissolved and clear.

Wash fruit well. Don't worry about knocking off all the fuzz because the next thing we're going to do is to peel the peaches. You'll need a great big ass put of boiling salted water and a great big bowl of ice water that has had two 500mg tablets of vitamin C dissolved in it.

Take the peaches three or four at a time and dunk them into the boiling water. Wait until the water has reached a full boil again and then remove them to the ice water bath. This will make the skin come off easily. Slice the peaches in half and remove the pits. Slice in halves, quarters or smaller slices depending on your preference. I like smaller slices where the wide edge of the peach is about 1/4".

Put the peach slices into the prepared, sterilized jars (i use Mason® but Kerr® will do in a pinch) and cover completely with hot syrup. Let stand a few minutes to make sure there is NO AIR BUBBLES IN THE JAR! Don't fuck this part up, you'll kill people. You will want a small bit of headspace in the jar between the fruit and the lid. I find that a bit more than a quarter inch is good. Wipe the rims clean, really fucking clean with a damp towel (smooth cloth, not terrycloth or paper) put the lids on tightly. Place in a canning pot of boiling water for a minimum of ten minutes. Don't cheat. 12 minutes won't hurt a goddamn thing either. But remember, minimum, 10 minutes. Remove from the boiling water and cool for twenty four hours.

Now for the moment of truth. Check your seals. Do not tighten the lids or fuck with them at all. You either have it or you don't at this stage of the game. First, press the top of the lid with a finger, if the lid springs up when you release your finger, you didn't achieve a good seal. Put this one in the refrigerator or make pies right away. Second test, tap the lid with a spoon. A dull sound mean bad seal, a ping means you got a keeper. Now, bring the jar up to eye level. The lid should be slightly concave. Peaches canned well, with a good airtight seal should last all winter if kept out of direct sunlight and away from high heat.

Nothing will brighten a winter night like some home canned peaches over ice cream. Unless of course, you have a favorite person in mind to share them with.

Finally, to anybody who thinks their goddamn misguided and plain stupid ideas for securing our borders will have any effect beyond making people more desperate and possibly violent I offer this bit of spanish wisdom. If requested I will translate in the comments section.

la cerca de quince metros, la escala de dieciséis metros y besan mi extremo mestizo.

crossposted at Los Brassos Grandes


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Musical Boy,

I like you more every day. I have been trying to take on the racist assholes my own self and it gets lonely. The Brown People are easy targets I think. The problem of security comes from the north where the one criminal with explosives was caught entering the US from Canada. I wonder how long it will take before anyone notices that fruit and veggies cost more and the quality is lower. Houses are gonna cost more also. keep on keeping on mi amigo neuvo. Con mucho gusto.

yo soy Horsedooty!

7:00 PM  
Blogger Pogo said...

Great post. The wife & I argue about this topic on and off about twice a week - I prefer pickled peaches and she likes the sweet ones (just kidding - I like the sweet ones, too). (Just kidding) I just hope one of the Patriot Guardians or whatever the hell those assholes call themselves gets too dark a tan and gets shot by one of the other assholes. Anyone who thinks we are at risk from illegal immigratoin from MX is nuts - wrong brown skin to be scared of.

PS, Mrs. P & I will return to Cancun in Nov. to visit our favorite non US country.

BTW - ordered and got the new bridge and tuners, but the tuners were the wrong finish, so I'm waiting again.

7:17 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

aprendí inicialmente español porque muchos de los padres de mi amigo no hablaron inglés y me desear ser cortés. últimamente, el clima en el Arizona es así que envenenado que si hablo español hace los latinos nerviosos. la falta de América de enseñar idiomas contribuye mucho a la ignorancia y al aislamiento de sus ciudadanos.

cool! i predict that you will notice an instantaneous improvement once they are on board.
did you ask your repair guy about the weight issue? i'm just curious is all.

10:17 AM  
Blogger Pogo said...

Wish I spoke Spanish. I get the drift, but just barely.

I haven't spoken with him yet, just the salesman who schedules the repairs. I think it may just be that the wood used for the body was something very heavy. All the routings are painted, and I can't get a look at the grain to try and see what it is. FYI, it was manufactured in India for what that's worth. I don't play standing and don't anticipate that I will, so the weight is not really a big issue for me. I pulled out my acoustic in anticipation of putting the electricin for a couple of weeks and quickly proceded to blow the high E string, so I got to remind myself how to restring it. The action on the acoutic is certainly higher than on the Squier. I'm using pretty light strings while my fingertips come into condition (.009 on the electric and .010 on the acoustic) and even at that, them puppies get a bit sore. I guess a 35 year layoff will do that.

11:46 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

roughly translated, which is all i can do because my spanish was something i picked up rather than studied, i said that i learned spanish initially because many of my friend's parents didn't speak english and i wanted to be polite. now, the climate in arizona is so poisoned that when i speak spanish the latinos get nervous. the failure of america to teach languages has contributed greatly to the ignorance and isolation of our citizens.

i've heard of folks doing some drastic stuff to "toughen" their fingers. it all seemed needlessly brutal. more numerous, shorter practice sessions are what have always worked the best for me. which is something i didn't discover until i was recovering from carpal tunnel surgery on my left wrist. because i was forced to take it slowly and in small doses i began to notice that i was getting the same results with a lot less pain. the endurance and strength just kind of happened on its own that way. now i'm back to being pretty much able to play forever, but i limit myself to never going more than an hour at a time without taking a decent break and icing.

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I canned a batch of peaches last night for the first time and have a couple questions. I ran a knife around the peaches to make sure all of the air bubbles were gone and canned according to my book, 30 minutes. Because it was canning so long the syrup boiled and created bubbles in the process. Is that OK? Also I cut the peaches into small slices, and although I thought I crammed a bunch of peaches into the jars, after canning they are all floating to the very top of the jar. Thanks!

8:28 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

the bubbles produced by the canning process (which can be avoided by lowering the temperature) are carbon dioxide which will cause no problems. it's oxygen that will allow any surviving bacteria to flourish. settling of contents (produced by first floating) is a natural part of the process.

glad it worked. if your seals are cool, your peaches should be just fine.

home canned peaches are one of the finest things in life.

8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are a real DEMONcratic jerk!

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