Friday, September 18, 2015

What You Might Call a Mixed Blessing

Last night at around seven, our Very Elderly Neighbor drove up and gifted unto us a bushel basket of peaches from their tree.

Okay, three-quarters of a literal bushel basket. But I think we can all agree that is still a shitload of peaches.

I have a reputation, I suspect, as a person who will take free produce and turn it into something prepared in jars. No doubt our neighbors figured that gifting me with this shitload of peaches would result in a couple of jars of canned peaches on their doorstep in a few days.

They are right. 

They're very nice neighbors. They let A. hunt and trap and cut firewood on their considerable land. They give us fruit from the trees and bushes they can no longer manage themselves. Plus, they are both literally almost 100 years old. A person that age deserves some consideration.

I was still not entirely happy to see this basket appear, however. And that is because if I were to can all those peaches, I would end up with about 18 quarts of canned peaches, yes. Canned peaches are the best of all canned fruit, but that represents approximately 10 hours of kitchen work--including all the dishes resulting from canning peaches--that I really did not want to do.

I feel like a real jerk even saying that. Like, "Take your free, delicious peaches away! How dare you!" Stupid, right?

But still. Ten hours of peeling, jarring, boiling, and on and on and on is just not something I'm into right now.

But I did it, for a couple of hours this morning during nap/Curious George time for the children. I ended up with a pint of pureed peaches for yogurt and five quarts of peaches in syrup. Mostly I did it so I can give two of those quarts back to our neighbors.

I still have over half that basket to deal with. To be honest, I might not get through them all. But if some of them end up the compost, I suppose I'll just have to live with myself.


FinnyKnits said...

Oh yes. I'm familiar with this conundrum. And the making of just enough to return a thank you jar of...whatever. Usually plum something. Because people around here are always terrified by their plums.

Good on you for managing. No one has to know when they go in the compost.

sheila said...

Frozen peaches are great. Smoothies, cobbler, etc.

Becky said...

I will add that when I freeze peaches I just pop them whole & unwashed into gallon freezer bags--skins and all. The skins slip off when they start to defrost. This takes up a lot of freezer space, so may not work for you. Despite this bit of advice, I am certainly not opposed to composting if that's what the situation calls for. Being gracious (which you've already achieved) is more important that being strictly truthful.

tu mere said...

Ah, to be back to the days when you had the time to fill your basement with jars of garden delights.

I felt the same way about the bounty from the fig tree the first year we had a real harvest. Hated to waste any and, by the end of the season, really hated the tree. There just gets to be a point where there isn't any point stressing about the inevitable waste. You're a wise provider.

Daisy said...

I call that part of me a "scavenger".