Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Endless Bushel Box

I was hoodwinked into buying a bushel box of peaches this morning. The big box filled with ripe, ready to eat today Red Havens with it's special price tag of only $20 was too much to resist. To make matters even worse, I had brought the wagon to the Market, so there was no excuse not to tote the entire box right on home.
The heavy box sat staring at me on the kitchen table. I took about 4 quarts of peaches right out and stashed them in the fridge for eating. When I looked back at the box, it looked like it hadn't been touched.

I started the big soup pot full of water for blanching and prepared my freezing ingredients and tools. One gallon in the freezer. Two gallons in the freezer. The box still looked rather full-ish.

I decided to make a pie to take to a neighbor's party tonight. 7 cups of peaches later, the box is still greater than half full.

Sigh. I'm getting tired of peaches.

I crank up the blanching pot again. Three gallons in the freezer and still I can't see the bottom of the box!! It's hot, I'm sweating. I've been on my feet for hours blanching, peeling, tossing, filling cookie sheets and stuffing freezer bags. I'm throwing in the towel.

I grab a leftover 1/2 peck bag from the closet and stuff it full with peaches and dash out the door headed for the neighbors house, hoping to foist some peaches on her. She's thrilled, she will make a pie for her out-of-state company! Thank god, I say, I can't look at another peach.

As I come back through the kitchen door, I see the box, still sitting on the table. 23 peaches remain. What am I going to do with MORE freakin' peaches? The water from the blanching pot is still hot, I turn the stove back on and keep on truckin' through the peaches.

Two quarts of peach sauce safely stowed in the fridge, perfect for topping pancakes.

I throw a glance back and the box, just to double check. Yep, no more peaches. I wash down the kitchen, finding peach juice on the floors, on cabinet doors and on every handle and counter top within a 5-mile radius. Finally, I'm done.

Tonight, as I serve the pie with a cold scoop of ice cream, relaxing in the company of friends, I will remember that peaches are my favorite fruit. Until next year when I find that bushel box in my kitchen again!

9 comments:

Heather @ SGF said...

What about jam? I love peach jam! Although peaches and ice cream sounds good too!

fearlesschef said...

I feel ya, the tomatoes got the better of me today!

JAM said...

I'm sorry - you get no sympathy from me. I just paid $8 for 10 peaches at the farmers' market - that's the cheapest I can get them. That won't even last us half the week for occasional munching. I'd love to have a huge amount for freezing or dehydrating...

ib mommy said...

I feel your pain! We made two trips to Williamsburg to pick our own peaches so I ended up with about 2 bushels. I froze, jammed, canned, cobblered and smoothied for about a week. Finally, I got to the bottom of the last bag. The next morning I got up to make myself a nice peach banana smoothie for breakfast and ...... poo, no more fresh peaches:(

Green Bean said...

Ha! I know exactly how you feel. :) I've done that often with virtually every in season fruit. Actually, I was quite relieved several weeks ago when we went berry picking and there were no berries left.

Jena said...

Wow - what a good price! I'm jealous. I'm paying around $35 for a basket. We are on "the list" to get them and wouldn't you know the orchard called on Friday, the day before our wedding, to say they were ready. My mother-in-law explained that we couldn't really take them that day! :) I'll be getting some this week. It will be the craziest canning week ever: my tomatoes are finally ripe, we'll have the peaches, I want to make more applesauce, and I have tons more zucchini to shred up and freeze. I plan to can all the peaches because my husband (!!!) takes fruit in his lunch every day. I'm hoping to have enough canned so that we won't have to buy any fruit at the store this year. I can feel your pain with all the work but I still wish I was getting the deal you did!

Wendy said...

I'm kinda agreeing with jam here, and I'm not really feeling very generous with my sympathy for you ;). We're paying a couple of dollars per pound at the farm stand. I took ten peaches and turned them into one quart of spiced peaches. I wish I could have made ten quarts of them, because they were delicious and would make an incredible pie filling ... in January, when we'll want peaches! Since summer started, the only fruit my kids have been begging for was peaches.

Now, cucumbers ... after canning a bushels worth of pickles, the ones on my vines outside are rotting, because I can't look at another cucumber. If only they were peaches ... :).

Lori said...

I had to laugh when I read this, since I somehow picked up 8 lbs of tomatoes, 48 ears of sweet corn, 1/2 bushel of peaches, and a big bag full of green beans over the weeekend. We bought 24 ears of corn plus the peaches for $30. The rest came courtesy of my in-laws, who also forked over 6 quart bags full of blanched and frozen yellow squash and 6 quart bags of green beans.

I made it through the tomatoes (blanched, peeled & diced half of them, made a simple sauce out the rest) and corn (shucked, silked & froze half, cut the rest off the cob and froze), plus the first 24 peaches (peeled, sliced, frozen) before I completely ran out of steam.

Guess I'll be peach prepping in spurts for the next few days. I'm planning on making freezer jam with some of them, and the rest will go into the freezer in 4-cup doses (that's what most of my recipes call for).

Then when the peaches are done, my own tomatoes and cucumbers will probably be ripe and I can start on those...

Chile said...

Beware the awesome produce deals! Been there, done that. When you eat the goodies a month later, you'll have completely forgotten the long sweaty day processing them.