While June Kent's copy of the "Ball Blue Book" has been "loved to death" - missing cover, missing pages - after rereading its 1950s-vintage recipe for peach pickles, she decided to buy a more up-to-date version for me to copy. However, she added notes from personal experience.
"First of all," she pointed out, "you don't want three big old quarts of peach pickles. You want pints; one or two to open at Thanksgiving dinner and the rest to give as gifts for Christmas. Then there's the spices called for in this new version - 4 sticks of cinnamon! Why, there were no cinnamon sticks at our local grocer in the 1930s, '40s, or '50s! Then they've called for 2 tablespoons whole cloves, crushed - no, no, no, that's too much.
8 pounds peaches, peeled, but do not pit (small to medium; see note)
4 sticks cinnamon2 tablespoons whole cloves, crushed1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger6 cups granulated sugar1 quart vinegar
As the peaches are peeled treat to prevent darkening (see note).
Meanwhile, drain peaches.
The next day wash 6 pint jars and fill with hot water until needed. Prepare lids as manufacturer directs.
Bring peaches and syrup to a boil. Remove spice bag.
Pack peaches into one hot jar at a time, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Ladle hot pickling syrup over peaches leaving 1/4 inch head space. Remove air bubbles by running a plastic knife or spatula around the inside of the jar. Wipe jar rim with a damp, clean cloth. Attach lid. Fill and close remaining jars. Process 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.