Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Peach Pie

I had to go to town today to get my prescriptions filled and when I got home I just couldn't stand the thought of peeling a million peaches for jam. Something about 7 cups of sugar for jam which we really don't eat, just didn't motivate me today. Maybe I will do some tomorrow but I still have all those peaches and had to make a small dent in them anyway so I made a peach pie....well, a peach/cherry pie because I still have all those dried cherries my sister-in-law gave me (as a matter a fact, they gave me another quart bag after the first ones) and they need to be used too.
I didn't use a recipe. Nothing wrong with using a recipe but after years of cooking, I think I can put together a simple pie without one. It's a lost art, I know but really pies are pretty easy. I peeled, and peeled, and peeled my peaches until I had a pie tin full, then I put them in a bowl, added a cup of sugar, a handful or so of the dried cherries, some cinnamon, a little less nutmeg, and a little flour. Readied the bottom crust and put it in the pan, poking holes in it here and there, put in the peaches/cherries, dabbed some butter on top and then put the top crust on.

I cooked it for 40 minutes and the crust was not real brown but since I tend to get it too brown usually, I thought this was good enough and took it out. Will let you know how good it is tonight after dinner (in the comments) but I imagine this is going to be pretty tasty.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Canning Peaches!

So the peaches on my one tree finally got ripe and it was time to pick them. Phil and I picked the ones we could reach and then we used the can (although we use the bottom of a Poweraid bottle) on a stick trick to try to get the ones we couldn't reach. It worked but not well so there was still a lot of peaches left even after we had a big basket and grocery bag full.
That problem was solved yesterday when some storms came through.

Yeah, half the tree just bent right over. Too many peaches, then water weight on the leaves and it was way too heavy. It did not break the tree but I will have to cut it back pretty good this year because those branches aren't going back up even though I have picked the peaches now.

Yes, three more bags of peaches.

It sounds so simple to can peaches when you read it on a website. Just pop them in boiling water, then cold water and the skins will just peel right off.......LIES! Ha, yeah, that only worked for the larger, riper peaches, the smaller, harder peaches (which was 75% of them) have skin that just doesn't come off and you spend forever peeling them. Then the website said just look for the line already on the peach and cut on it and most of the peaches will just break in half....LIES! I had one that broke in half.....some had oddly shaped pits, some had pits that weren't entirely in the center...most would not come away from the pits at ALL! In the end, once the big peaches were done and I was stuck with the smaller ones, I just sat down and peeled them with a paring knife and cut off all the good peach parts I could.  I used Fruit Fresh to keep the peaches from turning brown while I peeled (forever! a whole large bowl for ONE quart!).
I made a sugar syrup of 1 cup sugar to one quart of water and put the peeled peach pieces in the jars, added the syrup, made sure to remove the air bubbles but running a knife through it, cleaned the rims and then water bath canned for 20 minutes.

Yup, a whole 8 quarts for 5 hours (5 HOURS!) worth of work. Tomorrow I will have to do some more (I am thinking about peach jam ) because there are still 2 1/2 bags of small peaches left.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Summer is Here!

Normally it doesn't take us very long in Georgia to get to summer but this year we actually have had a nice long spring. Even now temperatures are still in the 80's which has been really nice. I took a bunch of pictures to share with you today. Some of them you can compare with the last posts pictures and see how fast everything has grown.
Here is the extent of my gardening this year. My one lonely tomato plant and some herbs. It has grown really quickly but only has one tomato on it. Yesterday we moved it onto the porch to what we hope will be a sunnier location. In with it I have some basil, thyme and rosemary.

 The peaches are doing great! We did have one storm where a bunch of them fell off but there are still plenty left. I really am very impressed with how well they are doing and the bugs don't seem to like them either. I'm thinking a few more weeks and we'll be picking them.

Phil has been busy building us a new front porch. The old one was slowly rotting away. This one isn't finished yet. We still need to add the railings but it is much nicer to step on a porch that isn't in danger of falling through.

Out in the back shed the chickens have done really well this year. Unfortunately, a lot of the chicks I got last year turned out to be roosters. I put an add on our local facebook board and gave away most of the roosters the other day. But one of the little bantam hens decided to claim a nest for herself and I let her and two days ago she hatched this little one. She still has a lot of eggs left and I hope she ends up with a few more chicks. So far I haven't had to remove him from the pen but we'll see how it goes.

Here is a picture of one of the pots of coleus, doing what coleus do. I think they are lovely and am glad I planted these. When I was a kid in NH, coleus were a houseplant. 

Out back again you can see that our wonderful tree is still looming over the back yard. For those who aren't on my facebook, this hardwood tree just leaned over one day while we were having a little rain shower. I don't know what is wrong with it. Phil got up on the shed roof and cut off as much of the top as he could reach with the chain saw but it just didn't help any and now the tree refuses to break so we are stuck with it leaning over the back yard and old greenhouse until it does.

Also in the back yard I have two bushes blooming. I bought them years ago at the flea market and they have never bloomed before this year. When I bought them I was told they were an old time hydrangea. I think they are lovely and hope the tree doesn't fall on them now that they have finally bloomed. 

This last picture is just a few pots of petunias (there are pots of mint somewhere behind them on the table). These pots were on a hanging post in the back yard that got hit by the tree branches and fell over but Phil went and rescued them for me and they now have recovered and sit on the table in the back yard until their post can be put back up..safely.

Other than that, there is, of course, knitting and crocheting.

I have about 70 items in my Etsy shop now but nothing is really selling. I just keep adding to it and hope I have plenty for Christmas. You can find me on Facebook here;Becky's Crochet and Craft Shop