Some of you may remember that August mandates that I bake Charlie’s favorite pie–peach and blueberry. This season the two fruits didn’t ripen at the same time, so the blueberries were already in the freezer by the time the peaches were ready. I need “squishy” peaches for the pie, known by their other name “seconds.” These fruit are extra ripe, full of juice, but often fairly unsightly and passed over at the market. Fortunately when we went to pick up our week’s produce, they had a peck of seconds for sale at a very reasonable price.
How I instantly knew it was a peck I have no clue. I hadn’t really thought much about pecks since grade school when we had to memorize how many pecks there were in a bushel(four.) But sure enough, this eight quart box (how many quarts in a peck?) held one peck. Way more peaches than needed for the pie meant I had to quickly(before fruit flies arrived) process the rest. Above you can see the procedure laid out from right to left. First the boiling water, then the ice bath, then the peeling, then the slicing, then the sprinkling with lemon juice to keep them from darkening. I froze the slices.
It had been many years since I had processed fruit like this, but the routine seemed to be in my muscle memory. I might have been 25 again, canning all sorts of vegetables and fruits shared by our rural neighbors, guaranteeing my little family would eat well in the winter.
Reminiscing done, I defrosted some blueberries and made Charlie his summer pie.