Canning Peaches

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, September 14, 1914: Did the washing this morning, while mother canned peaches. I helped eat some, too.

Source: Wikimedia Commons
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Here are the directions in a hundred-old-cookbook for canning peaches:

Canned Peaches

4 pounds peaches

2 pounds sugar

1 pint water

Pare peaches and cook in sugar and water, either whole or in halves, until tender. Arrange in jars, fill with syrup, and seal.

Pears, pineapples, and plums are canned in the same way as peaches.

Lowney’s Cook Book (1907)

I hope that Grandma’s mother was already very knowledgeable about canning because this recipe does not give me anywhere near enough information to even begin trying to can peaches.


31 thoughts on “Canning Peaches

    1. I agree! There was an assumption that the recipe user was a very skilled cook and she (it usually would have been a she back then) just needed a few clues about the ingredients, etc.

  1. Not only did I can peaches, but I seriously considered the crab apple recipe you posted a long time ago. I had pinned it and was very pleased when it went back to your blog. I still have a ton of crab apples and may try it today.

    1. If you haven’t already made the recipe, I’d encourage you to give it a try. I think that you’d like it. I enjoy cooking with crab apples, and think you’d like them.

  2. I loved canning, but even more I loved the results. The fruit cellar was filled with those quart jars of peaches, cherries, plums, rhubarb and strawberries, spiced crabapples. They shone like jewels — sometimes I’d go down there just to stare at them.

    1. I never thought about it until you mentioned it, but you’re right, we used to do the “wash” . .it’s interesting how terminology changes across the years.

    1. I guess that one generation just passed their knowledge of cooking on to the next back then–but the lack of written directions makes it seem like there must have been lots of cooking disasters.

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