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Freezing & Growing Peaches


"If you don't want my peaches honey, please don't shake my tree…”

Elaine Sandberg of Vernon, New Jersey, shook her peach tree late this summer and was rewarded with four bowls of sweet, juicy fruit. Not bad for a home-grown tree that’s not much taller than she is. Plus, she knows what to do with her haul, having grown up on a farm where cooking and putting food by was part of living.

For anyone who does not know how to freeze peaches, this recipe is easier than pie.

Elaine Sandberg’s Frozen Goldens
- Pick peaches when they start to fall off the tree. (Pick some unripe ones if a storm is coming.)
- Very diligently clean them.
- Remove skin from the raw peaches. (Elaine uses a knife but you can use a potato-peeler.)
- Cut or slice the peaches.
- Add about 1 teaspoon lemon juice to a quart or so to prevent oxidation.
- Put in freezer bag and freeze.

A Quickie Dessert
- Cook the sliced peaches a bit with a little sugar.
- Add cinnamon and a little butter for richness.

Sandberg grows her own peaches. “My father, he bought peaches and thought they tasted good. I put a pit in the yard and that’s what I got,” she says pointing to the small tree in her back yard.

Elaine’s How to Grow Your Own Peach Tree
- Clean off the pit.
- Let air dry for a day or two.
- Pot in a mix of seed-starting soil and potting soil.
- And “see if you get something.”

Her ultimate goal is using the frozen peaches for home-made pie or cobbler. Making pies is a family tradition, now one that her 18-year old niece is excited about learning from Grandma. “She loves hearing about family stuff. We’re pals now,” Elaine says.

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published September 29, 2013

Photos to enlarge

Elaine with her fertile little peach tree planted with a pit.

Three of four bowls of peaches from the backyard tree. Elaine Sandberg photo

Skinning a peach

Peaches: frozen treasure

Peach pits: future peach trees on a sunny windowsill

Home made peach pie. It tastes as good as it looks.

The whole peach pie with lattice crust. Elaine Sandberg photo

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