We had a fun, bustling, and crowded workshop last week on canning. We borrowed the Gettysburg Firehouse’s kitchen so that we’d have space to can about 20 jars of peaches, and about 15 jars of tomatoes. There were over 30 people in attendance! Jasmine, Kim, Elizabeth & I arrived early to clean and prep everything. We sterilized the jars and lids and washed the peaches and tomatoes.
We got pots of water boiling and as people arrived, we explained how the next step was to blanch the peaches (we did peaches first, then tomatoes). We had a crew dunking the hot fruits in ice water then peeling the skins off:
Then a crew of people cutting up the fruit:
With the peaches, we had to make a simmering sugar-water syrup to soak them in for 2 minutes. This is to keep the fruit from browning and to preserve shape.
Finally, we filled the jars with the peaches (and later tomatoes). The syrup gets poured over the peaches to fill the jars the rest of the way (just use boiling water for the tomatoes). Then, we used a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to push the bubbles out of the jars and wiped the tops with a moist cloth.
I think everyone had a nice time and they all got to take home a few jars! It was a longer workshop than usual, but it went well.