Then I roll up my sleeves and set to defrosting one of our two freezers (they take turns). This year it was the upright that needed defrosting. The process of shutting one down not only saves electricity (for the time being) but it gives me a really good idea of what we have left in the freezer department.
I whipped out my trusty canning journal and made a list of what we have left along with notes for this year. This helps me know what to put up less of this summer. Here are my notes...
Not everything was going to fit in the chest freezer, so I cooked up two chickens, shredded the meat, bagged it and squeezed it into the freezer part of our fridge. I stuck three quarts of frozen applesauce in the fridge to thaw- we'll eat those in a matter of days. Then there were the ~16 pints of chopped frozen peaches. We intended to use them in baked oatmeal, but blueberries often win out around here when it comes to oatmeal, so all of the peaches didn't get used.
When I saw those bags of peaches I had an epiphany. It was not an original idea in the grand scope of things, but for me, it was. I decided to make peach jam. In May. I thawed the peaches and stored them in the fridge overnight, adding a little bit of lemon juice to prevent browning. Even though there was only chopped peaches in those bags, a lot of juice/water separated from the flesh, so prior to making the jam, I used my immersion blender to make a peach puree so everything was blended together.
Except for a slight change in color (it's slightly darker), it worked and tastes just the same (wonderfully peachy). And, because we loved canning nectarines so much this past year, we now won't need to buy peaches at all this summer. Our own peach trees will bear enough for us to eat fresh and now we're set with jam.
6 pints and 15 1/2-pints
I didn't expect to put my canner to work so early this year. I gave it a little pep talk just to get it ready for what's coming. It's got a lot of work ahead of it this summer.
Note I never said the panic passed. Pin It