I'll be perfectly honest, I don't expect anyone to be as insane as I feel right this moment and take on 120lbs of peaches for the year. Yes, we use that many. And yes, it has become a yearly ritual for me to do a lot of peaches... but wow. Last year I did 4 boxes, and this year I did 5, and just after I did all of the tomato sauce. I am not sorry, but I am CRAZY tired. I have been running on nothing but coffee and junk food for days and I feel it (and isn't that ironic?). In the last two days, I have spent 18 hours canning, picking up stuff for canning, or preparing to can. That doesn't include eating the junk food I have bought, or cleaning up (which I haven't done yet). BUT, if you wanted to do a box or two of peaches (which would take you an afternoon and you would still be perfectly sane at the end) this is how I do it.
First, get your stuff together. You will need:
- "Freestone" sweet canning peaches (Ask your farmer or market guy for freestone peaches... he will know what you are talking about.)
- Jars (for each 20 - 25lb box, you will need about 12 jars)
- New lids
- Pineapple Juice (2 46oz cans per box)
- Honey (3 cups per box)
- Two huge bowls (or three if you are not using your sink for the cold water bath)
- One small garbage bowl
- a sharp paring knife
- A water bath canner
- Large pot for blanching peaches
- Large pot for syrup
To cut up the peaches you will use your paring knife and slice them down to the pit slowly moving around the peach. This should also work very easily with the 'freestones' and they should literally fall into the bowl as you are cutting them.
Enjoy peaches on oatmeal, peach cobbler, and everything peaches all winter long.