Sunday, August 27, 2017

Summer slowly disapates into fall...

I am keeping busy as summer slowly disapates into fall.  I am getting a gaggle of produce from the garden.  Finally, the tomatoes are turning.  I have banana peppers galore.
Of course, this means canning.  I made pickled peppers and cucumber jelly.  I have to admit the cucumber jelly is one of my favorites.  It is best on Tricuts with cream cheese.
Do you see my new picnic basket?  It is huge.  I found it at a garage sale for $8.  I am adding another niece to my picnics next year, so I need a bigger basket.  You can't pass it up for that price.
I got a quick shot of my turkey parade.  I am so lucky to live somewhere where the wildlife just wanders by.
 This is my solar eclipse sunflower.  I don't know what kind it is but it is sure pretty.
I got enough sweetgrass for eight braids.  I will show you the finished product in the next post.  Harvesting has been keeping me busy.  I still find time to relax on the porch. What are you harvesting?  I think my crabapples are next.  Know any good recipes?

Sunday, August 20, 2017

A plethora of projects for a peck of peaches...

What can one do with a peck of peaches?
I canned 9 pints of  Ball's Honey Spiced Peaches, 2 pints of homemade Peach BBQ Sauce, and 7 jelly jars of peach syrup.

Honey Spiced Peaches
8 lbs. peeled peaches      3 cinnamon sticks
1 c. sugar                         1/2 t. allspice
4 c. water                         1 T. cloves
2 c. honey

Peel, pit, and slice peaches into quarters.  Boil peaches in honey, sugar, water mixture for three minutes.  Pack peaches in prepared jars and pour syrup over the top.  Put the lid on and Process 25 minutes (35 at our altitude) in a boiling water canner.  

Peach BBQ Sauce
6 c. peaches pulverized 
1 c. green pepper
1 c. onion
3 T. garlic
3/4 c. honey
3/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. red pepper flakes
2 t. dry mustard
2 t. salt

Peel, pit, and pulverize peaches.  Combine all ingredients in a pot and boil on medium then turn to low and boil for 25 minutes.  Put in jars and process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes (25 at our altitude). 

Peach Syrup
3 c. sugar
1/3 c. water 
4 c. peaches
3/4 c. peach syrup leftover from the Honey Spiced Peaches
1/2 pkg. Sure Jell
Peel, pit, and pulverize peaches.  Boil until thick.  Ladle into jelly jars and process in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes (25 at our altitude).

I also peeled, pitted, and chopped up 4 cups of peaches for salsa.  If my tomatoes ever ripen.  I put them in the freezer for now.

                                                                        Easy Peasy Peach Fruit Roll Ups
Take the peach skins left over from the whole process and puree along with some of the honey syrup leftover from the Honey Spiced Peaches.  Pour onto a cookie sheet covered in saran wrap. Put in oven or dehydrator at 170 for 3 hours.  Flip over for another hour. 
Summertime Peach Ice Cream
4 c. peeled, pitted, and pureed peaches
1. c. sugar
1 12 oz can of evaporated milk
1 pkg. of instant vanilla pudding
1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
4 c. half and half
Mix and pour into the ice cream maker and let her rip.
In the middle of all that, don't forget to take a break and have peaches and cream on the porch.

While on the porch partake in the phox and peaches and cream hollyhocks.
I hope you find some of the recipes useful.  They are tried and true for me.  Is there anything you like to make with peaches?  Hope you had a great weekend.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Hawks, hummingbirds, hazelnuts and a herb harvest...

This beautiful hawk has been around here for a very long time.  She was looking for chipmunks this week and spent a lot of time by the house.  I was lucky enough to get some good photos of her.  I don't mind that she is here.  I am sure she will get a bird or two from my feeder, but that is nature.
    I am very pleased with this photo of my hummingbird.  Both the hummingbird and the hawk have been super noisy.  The hawk spent all day in the tree screeching and the hummingbird spends its days in that tree chastising everything in the neighborhood.  
 The squirrels are going nuts over the wild hazelnuts.  It has been fun watching them go back and forth from the nuts to their nest.  It is obvious they think winter is coming, based on their activity.
 On the garden front I dug up the garlic and onions.  I also clipped my basil, oregano, parsley, and rosemary.  My garlic harvest was abysmal.   They never became big bulbs.  Instead I had a bunch of little individual cloves.  It took forever to clean them up.  My hands smell of garlic.  

 I have been dying to try this idea I've seen on pinterest for preserving herbs.  First, I chopped up my basil and oregano.  Then in an ice cube tray I put two cloves of garlic and added a teaspoon of basil, and oregano.  Finally, I poured olive oil over the top and put the tray in the freezer.  When I brown my burger or chicken, I will pop one of these little powerballs into the pan and hope for a burst of flavor.  I'll keep you updated on this project.

  I hope everyone is enjoying the wildlife around them.  Has anyone tried the olive oil and herb cubes?  I was not happy with the garlic I planted.  Does anyone have a recommendation?

Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Pumpkin Problem Solved...

 Every year I try to grow a giant pumpkin.  This year I started them in a greenhouse.  Inevitably, one ended up on the roof.  It started to bow in the plastic, so we had to come up with a plan. 
Haley was my able bodied assistant and we devised the perfect pumpkin holder.  She is the taller of the two helpers.  The pumpkin problem is prevented.  Now we will see if I can get it to 100 pounds. I cut all of the extra vines and have been feeding it regularly.
 I have been busy in the kitchen.  I canned mixed vegetables, raspberry jelly, and dandelion wine.  I think I made the wine correctly, as it tastes as good as my first endeavor.  I took better notes.  I was not happy today as we drove out to the prairie property and I found the hail destroyed any hopes of buffalo berries or chokecherries.   
 I have been happily been hosting two hummingbirds this year.  There was also a surprise visit from the evening grossbeak.  I don't have very good photos, as my camera's photo card is full.  I will get another tomorrow.  

What have you been canning?  Any jam or vegetables.  I'm looking at canning banana peppers.  Does anyone have a good recipe?  What do you feed your pumpkins?  Hope everyone is enjoying their harvest.