The holidays look very different this year. Because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many people won’t be able to be with their families, forcing lots of people to get creative with their 2020 holiday planning.
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 when you can’t spend the holidays indoors together this year.
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. (Dolly takes COVID seriously—she helped fund the Moderna vaccine!)
In an interview with Good Housekeeping, the Grammy winner said, “Christmas means everything to me … 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. All I want for Christmas this year is joy and peace of mind,” she said.
Dolly Parton’s pickled peaches recipe
One thing Parton could be cooking on Christmas Day is her canned pickled peaches. The music icon shared her recipe on Facebook in 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 lbs peaches
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 4 cups sugar
- 8 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tablespoon ginger (peeled and chopped)
- 2 teaspoon 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 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 (aka partly cook by boiling) each batch for 30 seconds, then use a slotted spoon to place them into the ice water. Once cooled, remove the skins, halve and pit the peaches, 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 heat.
To package the peaches for family and friends, use a slotted spoon and 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 on a towel to cool for 12 to 24 hours, wrap the jars in a pretty bow, and bam. Your Christmas gifts are sealed.
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