One lovely thing to do for others during the holiday season is gift tasty homemade treats. And Dolly Parton agrees. She has a wonderfully Southern canned peaches recipe that can serve as a great gift to deliver to a loved one’s doorstep even if you can’t spend the holidays indoors together this year due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Dolly Parton loves Christmas
The queen of country music just released a new Christmas album, A Holly Dolly Christmas, and a Netflix movie musical, Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square. Suffice it to say she’s feeling the holiday spirit this year. She celebrates Christmas with her husband, Carl Dean, and their extended family every year, although their plans have undoubtedly changed this year because of the pandemic.
“Christmas means everything to me; it has always been my favourite holiday,” the Grammy winner said in an interview with Good Housekeeping. “I often dress up as Santa Clause and wear red, white, and green throughout the Christmas holidays.”
She shared she gets up early on Christmas to get a start on cooking, and she plays Christmas songs while she’s at it. (Maybe she’ll be playing Holly Dolly Christmas this year. Do we think Parton listens to her own music after it’s released? She should.)
As for her 2020 plans, the “9 to 5” singer shared, “I’ll still try to make Christmas special this year. I have a couple of sisters and several nieces and nephews who live nearby in Nashville, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to spend Christmas with a limited amount of family.” She’ll also be Zooming and FaceTiming other loved ones.
“I’m just hoping we’ll find a way to be together safely,” she said. “All I want for Christmas this year is joy and peace of mind.”
Dolly Parton shared her pickled peaches recipe for the holidays
One treat Parton could be cooking for Christmas is her canned pickled peaches. The music icon shared her recipe on Facebook in December 2017.
“Dolly Parton’s Pickled Peaches make perfect presents! Now say that 10 times fast y’all!” she wrote in the post. “I really do love this recipe, and if you add a bow it sure does make a pretty gift.”
Here’s how to make the peaches.
- 4 pounds peaches
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 4 cups sugar
- 8 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tablespoon ginger (peeled and chopped)
- 2 teaspoons whole cloves
To start, bring a large pot of water to a boil, and prepare a separate bowl of ice water. In another pot, combine 2 cups of water, the sugar, vinegar, ginger, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. Cover it, and then bring it to a boil, stirring often to make sure all the sugar is dissolved. Remove this pot from the heat, and put it to the side.
In the other pot of boiling water, submerge the peaches in batches with the skins on. Parboil (i.e. partly cook by boiling) each batch for 30 seconds, and then use a slotted spoon to place them into the ice water. Once cooled, remove the skins, halve and pit the peaches, and then add them to the previously made sugar-spice mixture over low heat.
Cover and simmer until the peaches are tender enough to pierce with a fork. This should take about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
To package the peaches for family and friends, use a slotted spoon to put the fruit into “hot, sterilized pint-size jars,” leaving ¾ inch of space at the rim. To remove air bubbles from the jars, use a nonmetallic spatula to slide between the jar and the peaches. Three times per jar should do the trick. Clean the jar, and then come the last vital steps.
Heat each jar’s lid and place it onto the jar, screwing it down firmly. Then give the jars a hot-water bath for 30 minutes. Place them on a towel to cool for 12 to 24 hours, wrap the jars in a pretty bow, and bam—your Christmas gifts are sealed.