Today was peach canning day at the Nichols homestead with my buddies- Cora, Jen, Andrea, and myself. And Cora’s husband Steve and daughter Maria came over for awhile to play with Suzie, swing on the swingset, and visit. Maria is so stinking cute, even if she does just love me for my dog. Anytime she sees me or Cora says my name “Reenie,” Maria’s eyes light up and she says, “Suzie? Ball?” Last weekend I took Maria home to bed when she started melting down at a family wedding (that’s what fairy Godmothers are for, FYI). Anyway, on the way home we wrote a song about Suzie and her ball which was (is) a big hit. What does this have to do with anything? Hmmm. Maria and Steve made a guest appearing at our canning day which was fun. When Suzie licked Maria’s face, she grinned, put a hand on each cheek and said excitedly “Kisses kisses!!” She’s definitely a big fan of the Suze.
I really think I’m ADD… anyway, back to canning peaches with friends. This week my wonderful brothers helped me get a new old stove for the basement! This may sound crazy (but what else is new?) but when we do these big canning days, it’s tough to just have one stove going, not enough room on the stove, the kitchen gets horribly hot, and at the end there’s a lot of waiting for everything to finish canning. So I figured if I could get an old stove for the basement to use particularly for canning days, it would speed things up. So Emmet helped me pick it up. I wired an extension for the outlet on Saturday. Then Garrett and Emmet came over Sat night and helped move it to the basement and then I spent almost an hour cleaning it. And today it proved to be well worth the time and effort!! It’s down in the laundry room and we basically had two full sized canners on it going at all times, using the upstairs stove for blanching the peaches, making syrup, and refilling the small canner. Awesome!! At the end there was almost no waiting since we were able to keep up on the canning as we went. And between the canners being on the basement stove, the whole house fan, and lots of open windows, it didn’t get as hot in the kitchen as it usually does. Plus it went faster. A canning stove in the basement, who’d a thunk? Besides, just think about the endless possibilities this second stove opens up… I can bake while doing laundry… or cook stuff down there on really hot days to keep the kitchen cooler… or make multiple things at once… or… yeah, the possibilities are endless.
A big welcome to Andrea, one adorable and fun pregnant lady, just moved back to the area — we’re excited to have you in our canning club! And a shout out to Alexis- it’s not the same without you here 😦 I mean, I’m glad you can be the canning queen of Emmittsburg but we just miss you around here, especially on days like today!!!!!
To summarize this ridiculously confusing post, in 6.5 hours, four ladies canned 4 bushels of peaches into 88 quarts of peaches to split between our households. Not a bad day’s work… although at this moment I’m not sure I can pry myself off this couch even if I want to, and the kitchen floor really needs to be mopped… and I was thinking about making some peach jam… but I really might not be able to stand up again… and suddenly I want chocolate…