After the rodeo in Ellensburg, Ellen came away with a bounty of peaches from a farm stand in Thorpe. I’m talking about three very large boxes worth. Mary added a box of pears and on the way home the whole van smelled like peach skin. For over a week Ellen’s peaches sat ripening in her kitchen until white fuzz started to appear on the top layer of fruit.
So on a Monday morning Ellen called and enlisted Amanda and I to come help can the peach bounty. She carried several large boxes of Ball mason jars up from her basement and stacked them on the counters and kitchen table.
Amanda and I looked at each other with worried glances and admitted that our canning experience was very limited, if not altogether nonexistent. The pile of mason jars only got bigger as Ellen got her daughter Sarah to help carry more up from the basement.
In the kitchen Amanda and I nervously passed the canning instruction sheet back and forth between us before making an assembly line that involved several pots of boiling water, slippery peach skins, and lots of cutting.
Over a period of two days Amanda and I stood for hours in the kitchen, boiling peaches, sliding off the feathery skins, and slicing the slippery egg-like flesh into more boiling water before ladling them into 54 sanitized mason jars.
We came away with our own jar of peaches and a new skill to add to our resumes (well maybe not). But the next time I visit my grandmother in Alabama at least I can stand with her side-by-side and help can okra and beans from her own garden.