Warm Connections {Day 4}: Canning Suncrest Peaches with a Friend

Today I’m participating in a blogging event with retailer Harry and David in my hometown of Medford, Oregon, and I’m also going to talk about peaches.

I grew up with Harry and David. Well, not really Harry or David, but with their produce, orchards, the very essence of all their goodness, it’s all been a part of my life for almost 50 years.

A few weeks ago my friend Kristin and I canned peaches together.

The peaches were Harry and David’s Suncrest brand, grown in our local orchards.

This post has more sentimental value to me than peaches, the canning process, Harry and David.

When Kristin told me we were going to go down the street from her home and use her mom’s kitchen, I had no idea the nostalgic feelings that would rise up in my heart and mind. It brought back memories of my Mom, wishing she could be here canning peaches alongside Kristin and me.

My Mom loved my friends. She would have been there in a heartbeat.

Her hands were always busy and her heart was so full of love for other people.

The day went long. We put the peaches into hot boiling water (we used a slow cooker, do you?), and then right into the cold, pulling off the skins, slicing and layering in the jars.

Stunningly beautiful.

There is nothing like a beautiful jar full of peach freshness.

I brought along all of my canning supplies and was thrilled to be using a Thermador range, a complete surprise (it was like driving a Mercedes!)

We were on our feet for hours (we canned 4 lugs of pears) but one thing I noticed was that, more than talking about other people, we talked about our families … our kids, parents, spouses, and our mothers.

We even went outside to look at her mother’s beautiful assortment of dahlias.

Kristin doesn’t know this, but this day was very special to me.

Canning peaches with a friend is a story of how fresh produce, straight from the orchards, and using our hands for the benefit of our families, can come together into an ordinary canning jar to create beauty and nourishment for our bodies.

Warmer connections come when we nurture the friendships that we have in our lives.

New friendships are essential, but sometimes taking the ones we’ve had for years and trying something new (like canning together)–you’ll create a memory that you’ll cherish for years to come.

When’s the last time you tried something new with an old friend?

(This post was not sponsored by H&D. We bought our own peaches for the canning process. Canning is just what we do here in the Rogue Valley.) :)

18 comments on “Warm Connections {Day 4}: Canning Suncrest Peaches with a Friend”

  1. Pingback: Dreaming of Autumn Guests | Reluctant Entertainer

  2. Cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful this post is. I am new to your delightful blog and if this post is an indication of how and what your write about, then consider me a new follower.
    I have never canned a day in my life but for some reason I found myself feeling sentimental about the peach trees that my Grandmother grew in Texas. So I started jotting down notes about what I remembered standing at her side while she canned, and before I knew it ~ I had the beginnings of a post.
    I was searching for photos and this is how I found you. I clicked on the photo and it brought me here. So nice find your post and read your words. What a great day you had ~ and a great new memory for you as well.
    Have a good Sunday,

  3. Pingback: 31 Days of Warm Connections - Reluctant Entertainer I Sandy Coughlin - Lifestyle, Entertaining, Food, Recipes, Hospitality and Gardening

  4. Pingback: Enjoying Everyday Sounds - Reluctant Entertainer I Sandy Coughlin - Lifestyle, Entertaining, Food, Recipes, Hospitality and Gardening

  5. I’m so glad to be back in Southern Oregon and back in the land of Harry & David! Your peaches look delightful, but even more so, the kind words and inspiration for a simple time with a good friend. Delicious, on both accounts.

  6. That looks like so much fun!! I love the pictures. Thanks for inspiring me to do something new with an old friend!!!

  7. I too have great memories canning peaches with my mom while growing up. So happy that you had a great time with your dear friend and reliving memories as well.

    Your blog is lovely….the remake is perfect! Love the simplicity, too.

  8. It sounds as though you had a wonderful day with your friend and were able to have your mum there with you in spirit. I have to admit I have never canned a thing. Someday.

  9. Sweet- love this post.
    Every time I would visit my daughter in St. Helens we would stop at Henry and Davids to pick up treats for the kids…. and for us too. =)
    This weekend I’m taking a couple of old friends….to do something new….we are going to Remnants of the past.

  10. So much fun spending time with others in the kitchen. For the last 2 years, Himself and I have had his Summer Associates over for a pasta dinner and they had to crank their own pasta! So much fun seeing them take pictures and posting to facebook- like look at me, I am making pasta! Love it!

  11. Aw, that was such a great day! And I’ve got the jars of peaches lined up on the dry sink to bring back the memories. Sometimes I crave cooking with friends – “communal cooking”! I think it’s something that’s lacking in today’s culture. I’m so glad we kicked it old school together. Thanks, friend! :)

  12. Wow, Sandy, those look amazingly delicious!! I have a great recipe for peach and pecan pie if you’re intereseted! Ok, your question- this is so hard because I so rarely get to see my “old” friends as we traipse across the world! The only thing I can think of is that a friend and I met at my aunt and uncle’s beach house with our kids for a mini-vacay. Actually, I was living there temporarily while hubs was requalifying on the aircraft and we were without housing (in between Ukraine the first time and NC). Anyway, it didn’t work out so well- too stressful on her, I think and she left early because the kids were a bit out of sorts. I am doing something new this month with new friends- we’re flying to Venice for a mom’s getaway! :)

  13. I especially loved your photos today! Enjoy Autumn.

  14. Aww, what a great day! I love your photos-beautiful as always. I also love the tip about using a crockpot of water for peeling the peaches. Brilliant!

  15. Sandy, oh, how I love your heart, the way you see life. It has me wishin’ you lived just a wee bit closer so WE could can peaches together. I’ve never canned anything!

    I don’t know if she counts as an old friend, but she’s not a new friend, either; what’s in the middle?? :) Either way, this weekend, Jessi and I took a hot air balloon ride! Now if that ain’t “new” I don’t know what is!!

    Love this “warm connections” series of yours; perfect choice coming from you!


  16. My best friend lives far away from me and we only see each other once a year or so. The last time we were together we talked each other into trying sushi for the first time! She spit hers into her napkin, I developed a new obsession…

  17. Memories made in the kitchen – with friends or family – always seem to be my favorite ones. And now I think I need to learn how to can fruit. Yum!

  18. These look so good, and fabulous pictures!!

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