Notes for January 2018: Frosts and freezes are upon us in many areas, and one field may be unhurt while one a mile a way can be damaged, so keep that in mind as you read the following: Apples are in season now, as are figs, and Fall raspberries are in season now. Tomatoes are going strong if frost hasn't happened in the field Late Apples, like Fuji's should be plentiful now. You can see a complete list of apple varieties, their ripening dates and best uses here. And if you have a left over pumpkin, you can easily turn it into a Thanksgiving pie, pumpkin cheesecake, cookies, muffins and more, see this page!
And of course you can find Christmas tree farms, on our related website.
Children's Consignment Sales occur in both the Spring and Fall See our companion website to find a local community or church kid's consignment sale!
Next year, don't miss an Easter Egg Hunt for your children: See our companion website to find a local Easter Egg hunt!
We also have home canning, preserving, drying and freezing directions. You can access recipes and other resources from the drop down menus at the top of the page or the site search. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to write me! It is easy to make your own ice cream, even gelato, or low fat or low sugar ice cream - see this page. Also note, there are many copycat website listing U-pick farms now. They have all copied their information form here and usually do not ever update. Since 2002, I've been updating the information every day but Christmas; so if you see anything wrong, please write me!-->
If you like peach salsa like you've had in restaurants and bought in the stores, then you'll LOVE your own home made peach salsa. you can impress friends and family with this easy and tasty recipe! You can refrigerate it or can it to have in the winter! Here's how to do it, complete instructions in easy steps and completely illustrated.
Prepared this way, the jars have a shelf life of about 12 to 18 months, and aside from storing in a cool, dark place, require no special attention.
For more information about stone fruits, see Peach Picking Tips
Yield: About 7 pint jars
Choose firm, not quite ripe, mature fruit of ideal quality. They should not be mushy, but they also should not be rock hard: just as very firm.
This is a good time to get the jars ready! The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sanitize" cycle. Otherwise put the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes. I just put the lids in a small pot of almost boiling water for 5 minutes, and use the magnetic "lid lifter wand" (available from target, other big box stores, and often grocery stores; and available online - see this page) to pull them out.
I'm sure you can figure out how to wash the fruit and vegetables in plain cold or lukewarm water.
Peaches and nectarines should be peeled, as their skins can be tough / chewy in jam. Peaches have such thin skins, you really don't need to peel them.
For those you want to peel, here's a great trick that works with many fruits and vegetables with skins (like tomatoes): just dip the fruit in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds.
Remove from the water using a slotted spoon and put into a large bowl or pot of cold water and ice.
The skins will easily slide off now IF the peaches are ripe! The more unripe they are, the longer you'll need to heat them.
Wash, peel and core the apples, then cut them into halves and chop the apples into 1/2-inch cubes. - Prepare the onions and peppers
Peel, wash and dice onions into ¼-inch pieces. Wash, core, and seed bell peppers; chop into ¼-inch pieces.
Place 4 tablespoons mixed pickling spice on a clean, double-layered, 6-inch-square piece of 100% cheesecloth Bring corners together and tie with a clean string. (Or use a purchased muslin spice bag or use a baby's mesh ice holder. ). I use a baby's ice lollipop bag (available at mall kitchen stores, Target and other local "big box" stores) as it is reusable and easy to use (see the photo).
Combine the chopped peaches, apples, tomatoes, onions and peppers in an 8- or 10- quart Dutch oven or saucepot.
Add the pickling spice bag to the saucepot; stir in the salt, red pepper flakes, brown sugar and vinegar. Bring to boiling, stirring gently to mix ingredients. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Take the pot off the stove, remove spice bag from pan and discard the spices.
With a slotted spoon, fill salsa solids into hot, clean pint jars, leaving 1¼-inch headspace (it takes about 3/4 pound solids in each jar). Cover with cooking liquid, which then should leave 1/2-inch headspace.
Wipe rim and screw threads with a clean damp cloth. Add lid, screw band and tighten firmly and evenly. Do not over tighten.
Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed.
Put the sealed jars in the canner and keep them cover with at least 1 inch of water and boiling. Boil them for at least 15 minutes - as specified in the table below, for your altitude..
|USDA Recommended process time for Peache Salsa in a boiling-water canner.|
|Hot pack||Process Time at Altitudes of|
|Jar Size||0 - 1,000 ft||1,001 - 6,000 ft||Above 6,000 ft|
Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight), here they won't be bumped. You can then remove the rings if you like, but if you leave them on, at least loosen them quite a bit, so they don't rust in place due to trapped moisture. Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it. Some people replace the lid and reprocess the jar, then that's a bit iffy. If you heat the contents back up, re-jar them (with a new lid) and the full time in the canner, it's usually ok.
Peaches, pears and apples may also show a blue, red or pink color change
after canning. This is the result of natural chemical changes that sometimes
occur as fruits are heated. It is harmless and won't affect flavor!
Also, avoid storing canned food near heat sources such as a furnace, water heater, hot water or sunny areas. Jars need to be kept cool and dark for longer storage life and to protect against spoilage. Be sure to store in a dry place. If the lid or band rusts, that can cause the seal to break.
Your salsa will probably be darker in color than this. It depends upon how much spice you use and how long you cook it.
Adapted from the NCHFP recipe, developed at The University of Georgia, Athens, for the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Released by Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph.D., Department of Foods and Nutrition, College of Family and Consumer Sciences. August 2003.
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