Monday, I canned peaches. It was a real experience to can by myself with three kids under four. I’m experience at canning, but doing it without help is a first.
My dad grew up on a farm, so we always had animals and a garden. Now that we have land of our own I also have a garden and my own animals. Every summer Grandma, my dad’s mom, would come for a week to help can. We would go to an orchard to buy our peaches and other fruits, but mostly peaches. We would can around 300 quarts of peaches in about one week with Grandma’s help. My dad built an outdoor canner where we would blanch the peaches and later can them. He used the tub of an old wringer washer and built a brick fireplace around it. We could can 24 quarts at one time in Dad’s canner. It kept the heat and mess out of the kitchen.
I started early this morning by washing jars and cleaning up the weekend mess in the kitchen. After feeding breakfast to the kids and doing our chores, I put in a Baby Einstein movie about colors for the kids to keep them entertained and out of danger. I usually don’t let them watch any TV so this was a treat for them. While they were busy I got the peaches blanched and peeled. Then they got tired of the movie and started running around the house. In between breaks to check on what they were doing, I got the peaches cut and into jars. By lunchtime the first batch was in the canner. We had a quick lunch and the youngest went for a nap. I spent the afternoon cleaning up and getting the second batch in the canner. They looked great when they came out of the canner.
I was worn out that night, and very thankful that the kids all went to bed early.