6. Make Peach Jam. No secret family recipe here. We like the recipe found inside the box of Sure-Jell boxed pectin. They have a number of varieties including regular, all-natural, low-sugar and no-sugar. I generally use the all-natural and low-sugar options.
I don't dice my peaches for jam very small. If you dice them finer or mash them with a potato masher, they won't raise to the top like these do.
7. Eat them fresh until the juice runs down your arm and chin like you did when you were a kid. Remember those days? What's wrong with us now that we've grown up? We need to let loose a little more. Start with some peaches. Don't forget to slurp. The kids will love it.
8. Frozen Chopped Peaches...
Freeze them chopped for baked goods like baked oatmeal. No sugar or special ingredients required. Just chop them and freeze them in the desired amounts (we do 2 cup bags) and toss them in the freezer. To use, thaw them and use them shortly after.
8. Can. Can. Can. Canning Peaches...
Canning peaches is fairly simple. But before you begin, PLEASE read this post on the basics of canning.
Choose fresh, ripe peaches. Peel them, remove the pits and quarter them (You can pack more peaches in each jar if you quarter versus halve them). Place them in hot, clean, sterilized quart jars pit-side down, using a long handled spoon to turn them over if they fall wrong side down.
Tap the jars on a folded dish towel (on the counter) to help the peaches settle so you can pack more in your jars. It takes about 4 1/4 peaches to fill a quart jar.
Pour a hot, sugar-water syrup over the peaches, using a table knife to help release any pockets of air left in the jars. Fill the syrup to just below the bottom of the ring thread at the top of the jars. The peaches should not come up above the bottom of the threads either. **If your jars are too full, they will bubble over in your canner and little peach pieces and residue will come between the jar lids and the rim, keeping the lids from sealing.
You have choices as to how sweet you want your syrup. We use the Extra-Light version. See the chart below. Each batch of syrup recipe is enough for about 4 quarts of peaches.
Please ignore my pencil markings. This is from my Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.
After cleaning the tops of the jars, lidding them with hot lids and ringing them finger-tip tight, place them in a hot water bath of boiling water for 30 minutes.
9. Share the wealth (of peels, that is).