Olympic Peach Canning

Last year after experiencing the domestic bliss that is peach canning and spending several months hacking black crispy somethings off my stovetop, I told Dan I would never do it again. I believe I said something about Hell becoming very chilly or about how I’d rather pass away.

(On a side note about death wishes, Laylee and I had the following conversation in the car today:

Me — Poor Buddy is so sick today. I feel so sad for him.
Laylee — So, after we die we’ll never get sick again, right?
Me — Yep. That’s right.
Laylee — I can’t wait to die! That is gonna be SO! COOL!

I think it’s good not to fear death. I’m just not sure it’s healthy for a 5-year-old to look forward to it with such excitement.)

So after eating home-canned peaches all winter and scraping nearly all the charred fruit guts off my stovetop, I decided I’d better order a few more cases this summer and get down to bidness. Tonight I realized that it was time to can before every single peach rotted in its box and at 8:05pm PST I turned on the Olympics, put on my giant apron disguised as a bib and began to sort, scrub, chop and boil.

During the 5 hour process I periodically stopped and caught snippets of the Olympic action, mostly audio only. Here are my thoughts on what I witnessed:

1. If trampoline is an Olympic sport, why don’t they have juggling or competitive break dancing? I could handle me a sweet crew of Ukrainian b-boys every 4 years or so.

I was particularly delighted by the comments of one reporter during the event who said something like, “She’s got one minute before she must start flipping acrobatics.” And all I could think was, “For REAL! Could she just start the flipping acrobatics already?!”

2. Watching the totally wacky and unpredictable gymnastics scoring over the past few days, I couldn’t help but think that there has to be a more fair way of choosing a winner. I have 2 suggestions. A — Have an additional scoring category for aroma. The sweetest smelling girls should really have some sort of advantage. This is of course subjective as what might smell quite lovely to an American could be repulsive to a Romanian however I think it would fit in perfectly with the current scoring system. B — Shoot a couple hundred slugs out of a canon against a wall and use their splatter patterns to determine which country is most deserving. Then package up all the medals and send them home with the appropriate coach or coach’s wife.

Seriously. Am I the only one who sees a made-for-TV movie in the near future starring Tracey Gold as a Canadian gymnastics judge who uncovers a seedy bribery plot in the 2008 Beijing Olympics?

3. I wonder if Jenn Stuczynski would have decided to pursue pole vaulting 4 years ago if someone had told her then that a silver medal at the Olympics was a piece of hud for losers. Watching her coach tell her how poorly she’d done after she came in second to a woman who set the Olympic and world record during the event had me really steamed.

4. I’m inclined to believe anything Bela Karolyi says. I’m not sure if it’s the accent, the mustache or the number of Olympic medalists he’s glared at from the sidelines over the years.

5. Beach volley ball. The teeny tiny bikinis. The riding up. The why.

And now I think I deserve a medal for canning 26 quarts of peaches all by myself in record time with very little mess, minimal browning, zero breakage, perfect seals, and only half a cup of syrup left over when all was said and done. And it only cost me slightly more than if I’d bought the peaches factory-canned at the store.

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39 Responses to Olympic Peach Canning

  1. Wow, you so do deserve a medal for canning peaches!! Good for you :) AND…..OMG, the teeny tiny bikinis?? Why is right……..oye. Ha ha

  2. Yeah, last nights events were interesting to say the least. The gymnastics saga is just hooey. It’s so nuts…again…as it is every 4 years.

    And seriously? Trampoline?

    My favorite Bela moment was a few days ago when they superimposed his image and reaction over the actual event that was happening. It was awesome.

  3. Casey says:

    Congratulations on your kitchen acrobatics! If trampoline can be an event, why not canning? In fact, why not merge Iron Chef with the Olympics? That would be pretty cool.

  4. Jana says:

    And why do the Chinese divers wear 80s leotards to dive in? Why does Michael Phelp’s half suit look indecent? And why must the camera focus in and stay on a male gymnast while he is changing his pants? A man in a one-sie, no matter how buff he is, is just disturbing.

    • Oh, man. I laughted so hard when I read this. Too true about the onesies and other tight apparel. I once had a friend in high school ask me to attend his diving meets but I couldn’t bring myself to go. Once I’d seen him in a Speedo I was afraid I’d never be able to look at him again.

  5. Donna says:

    I just went to a beach volleyball game – USA vs China. I have to say, it was the best sporting event I’ve ever attended. The crowd was awesome. The bikinis were, well, alarming. Actually, the athletes were fine. In real life, they look so powerful out there, just slamming the ball around, that the bikinis somehow don’t seem to diminish them. But then they had these cheerleaders – a bunch of big-haired ladies in bikinis who would run out between sets and wiggle. I’d love to know what the athletes think of that – is it just part of the sport Or does it irritate them?

    Still, beach volleyball? Really fun sport. Canning peaches? Maybe not so much fun.

    • LUCKY! We had so much fun watching it on TV. I was actually more prone to put the canning on hold and come watch during the volleyball than during the other events. They really are amazing. I’m sure it was thrilling to watch up close, despite the dancing girls.

  6. Awesome Mom says:

    I haven’t watched the Olympics at all this year but I remember last time all the wedgie picking that went on during beach volley ball. You would think that the athletes would demand a better uniform. I know that I would if I was trying to compete with a wedgie. It would be just too distracting.

  7. allysha says:

    amen on all the olympic observations.

  8. All Adither says:

    If you can believe it, I haven’t watched one single second of the Olympics. Or canned one single peach. Still, I find your account interesting.

  9. Kristy says:

    Wow, you do deserve a gold medal. Especially for the aroma scoring category. Nice.

  10. Amanda says:

    I haven’t watched any of the Olympic’s either this year. I’ve heard the M. Phelps is really awesome though. You should totally take pictures of the canning process! Or just sell some of them on here! That would be even better.

    • The problem is shipping. I think they might fall under the category of liquid, fragile or possibly perishable. If you live close though, I could toss you a jar… gently.

  11. Millie says:

    The bikinis! How can you play half-decent volleyball when you’re constantly digging them out of your nether regions? Can’t tell me that’s comfortable.

  12. Jen says:

    The Olympics have been on as much as possible at our home. My husband has declared he wants Dara Torres’ body. I would usually be concerned but you really can’t tell the men from the women in those suits. Maddy decided she wants to be a coxswain. I think her exact words were, “I can get a gold medal for doing nothing?!”

  13. Wendy says:

    Yes, but did you have a wedgie during your canning event??

    I WAS going to post on the Olympics but you’re stealing my jokes….

  14. elliespen says:

    Consider this your Olympic gold in peach canning. “Do, do, do do do do doooo…”

    As far as gymnastics scoring goes, I’m pretty sure they use the same system for law school grades. I like the cannon idea myself.

  15. Michelle says:

    Great article about the extremely noticeably differences between men’s and women’s uniforms:

    http://viv.id.au/blog/?p=2066

    Hat tip to kateharding.net for linking to it.

  16. I am getting ready to face the canning peaches event at my house too. It takes all my courage. But there is nothing so rewarding as that “pop” sound a sealed lid makes :) It;s the only thing that causes me to continue torturing myself with the mess of canning. Well, okay, I guess they are yummy.

    Very fun post.

    • You know I never think they taste yummy until at least the next day. The whole time I’m canning Dan will come in and want to steal bites and I am so not interested in joining him when my whole body is covered in peaches.

      The seal is nice. I woke up this morning to find that 1 had not actually sealed in the night. One failure’s not bad and they will taste good this morning.

  17. korinthe says:

    Holy shnikeys, woman, what exactly is record time? One evening? I think my husband would have found me dead or sleeping in the kitchen if I tried that (and I do can).

    It’s pickles this week for me. No inexpensive peaches thus far this year.

  18. mother of the wild boys says:

    Loved the commentary. Does anyone else have a crush on Michael Phelps? He’s just superman!

  19. Keyona says:

    Oh how I’ve been obsessed with the Olympics. I am seriously sleep derprived because I am up until 12-1am watching them then back in the Pentagon by 8am. I think I’ve rubbed off on Lael (my 4 year old) because she’s convinced with her 6 month gymnastics experience that she is going to win a gold medal and that is “easy stuff”.

  20. Emilee says:

    AMEN to all your Olympic commentary. That coach was awful, Belya is captivating & I really had no idea how many women wore bikini’s as Olympic attire until last week.

  21. Rebecca says:

    Thanks to Canada’s extraordinary lackluster showing in the Olympics, my amount of Olympic watching time has pretty much shrunk down to nothing.

  22. YES! I believe Bela too. Every word.

  23. Honey Mommy says:

    I just canned some apricot jam and apricots and it is much easier than doing peaches… no peeling! The jam turned out super yummy… want some? You can come do my peaches and I’ll give you a whole bunch of apricot jam.

    I would watch more Olympics… but then I would get NO sleep. Seriously, can’t they rebroadcast it so I can watch during the DAY?

  24. design mom says:

    Canning peaches? You were already my hero. Now you’re elevated to Greek Goddess status.

  25. Bailey's Leaf says:

    I didn’t know about the trampoline thing until just the other day. When I was on the phone. Oh, and the person on the other end got the play by play of, “Trampoline? Really?”

    But, I can things myself. Have never done peaches, but I’ve done tomatoes, spaghetti sauce and pears. Pears will be my tackle this week. Wish me well!

  26. Ashley says:

    That’s such a funny post! I love your thoughts on the Olympics! They totally made me laugh. I think that pole vaulting coach was SUCH a jerk too!

  27. Mara says:

    “And it only cost me slightly more than if I’d bought the peaches factory-canned at the store.”

    Doesn’t that just suck? At least you know *exactly* what went into yours, though– no dyes, no HFCS, or whatever. That alone would make it worthwhile for me. Next year…

  28. Janel says:

    Nice work on the canning…that is a herculean task. How nice of the Olympics to be on, and make the 5 hours go a little faster…And so nice of you to share your insights. I’d vote for you to be on the next Olympic committee, what with that slug idea and all!

  29. Donna says:

    I tried to make peach butter last week. The first batch burned overnight in the slow cooked as I slept! The recipe said to leave the lid half off for steam to escape. Not a good idea while your sleeping. Anyways, I made more today. It is yummy. this chating is fun.

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