Monday, June 6, 2011

More peaches and no spending

Oldest daughter and I put up over 50 jars of sliced peaches, 8 jars of peach jam, 6 jars of peach juice, and 7 jars of brandied peaches.  She also took home a five gallon pail of fresh peaches.  We have two bowls of fresh peaches on the dining room table and there’s a few left on the tree.  The peaches in the bowl are in all stages of ripeness so I expect them to last a week or two, if they don’t get eaten up in the next day or so.

When Army Daughter and son-in-law walked in their eyes popped out.  Son-in-law asked, “Why would you do this? How long will it last?”  I told him that I like knowing what is in my food and in this case, other than the brandy it’s just peaches, water, a little lemon juice, and sugar.  I told him he should read the ingredients on any jar of peach jam that he can find in the store and see what those ingredients are.  I told him that if this was just for us then it would last two years, as long as the rest of the trees produced well, otherwise it would last one year.  On the other hand, since oldest daughter is going to take some it will probably only last us a year.  Trying to put a monetary angle on it I said these 75 jars of food would cost $150-200 at the store so for $7.50 in lids and $2.50 for the sugar for a grand total of ten dollars, we just saved between $140-190 for an afternoon’s worth of work.  Army daughter took exception to my time spent since I also spent time trimming the trees, watering and weeding, and picking the fruit - no the grandkids picked the fruit! 

Army daughter said that there is no need to waste time canning.  She’d rather go to the store and buy what we need.  She’s glad that we live in a society that we don’t have to do those old fashioned things anymore.  She said that if society ever collapsed then she’d can.  I told her that would be a little too late to learn and she wouldn’t have any supplies.  I still have hundreds of jars, lids, and this year I even bought some new rings.  The rings I had prior were from 1980, so I figured I could retire most of the 31 year old rings and get some new ones.  They were half price, $2.99 for a dozen lids and rings.  You didn’t think I’d buy new rings at full price, did you?

Girl said that it was really neat that I did this old stuff.  Kind of like Almonzo’s family (she’s still reading Farmer Boy).  Did they have stores to buy jam when I was young or did I always have to make jam?  I’m NOT that old. 

Not spending any money today, day four.  Didn’t eat the tacos they brought home yesterday for dinner.  I asked if they used the coupon and they said no, but it was only ninety nine cents for the two, plus they added extra cheese and extra lettuce at ten cents for each extra item on each taco, so two cost $1.39.  Thanks but I ate the night before’s leftovers and was pretty full from stuffing peaches in my mouth all day. 

I am planning on spending money either Tuesday or Wednesday.  My friend’s son is in town for a few more weeks and he’s bored just visiting his family.  He’s a house painter by trade.  He offered to paint my fascia boards on the house just for something to do.  I have to provide the tools and paint.  I have all the tools.  I just have to provide (buy) the paint.  It’s something that I was planning on doing this summer, so the timing is bad for my don’t spend money event.  If the rain continues, we got ½ inch in less than an hour last night, then it will be too wet to paint.  I won’t buy the paint if he isn’t going to be able to paint.  Perhaps I won’t mess up my spending game.


  1. I've enjoyed reading your No-Spend time. Gives me a thought to try it each time I read.

    I don't know if we got a 1/2 inch o rain, but it rained hard for a while. Have you had any blight or other problems with the vegetables? Some of our tomatoes aren't doing well.

  2. I dread the idea of canning (I am kind of lazy), but I also know that I better learn how to do it if I want to be prepared for the future. So this year I'm going to can a few easy things (jam, spaghetti sauce, etc.). It'll be a learning experience, I'm sure.

  3. Steve, After I checked the rain gauge we got 1 1/2 inches Sunday night, plus the 1/4 on Saturday. We haven't had any problem so far with the rain, it all soaked in well with no standing water. I put a compost/sand mix into the raised beds. I went out today and planted more since the soil was perfect.

  4. Bitsy, We can peaches and plums the easy, lazy way. To prepare the lids, place them in a pot of water that simmered and then you turned the water off. This will soften the seal to ensure a good seal. Cut the fruit into pieces. I cut into nice slices, oldest daughter cuts into bite sized chunks. Don't peel them. Take out the seed. Place the pieces into your canning jars and fill to about 1/2 inch from the top. Put 1/8 to 1/4 cup of sugar (for a quart jar) into the jar over the fruit. Put in a squirt of lemon juice (a teaspoon)if you have some. Pour boiling water to 1/2 inch from rim. Put the lid on and the ring. When you put the ring on make it tight then back it off a little. Put into a boiling water bath covering the top of the jar with at least 1/2 inch of water for 15 minutes. Take it out and set on a towel on the counter for an hour or so to cool. Easy!