Sunday, August 19, 2018

 This was my big project last week.  My father gives me the deer skulls and sheds he finds on the ranch.  He knew sooner or later I would come up with a way to use them.  I've had this project in my mind for several years.  I stained the tree trunk quite some time ago.  Then I finally got around to wiring the antlers and skulls.  To me, Mother Nature is the greatest artist.  I was happy to finally find a way to put her work on display.  Every antler is different and it was fun intertwining them to create this sculpture.                                                                                              It has been a wonderful August.  The temperature has been hot one day, cool the next, and just right.  I love it.  All of the spring babies are growing up.  This flock of hens and chicks wandered through the yard yesterday.  They didn't even notice Ella and I watching them from the porch.  Below are the twins.  They graze in back almost every night.  I am lucky indeed to live where wildlife parades through the yard on a daily basis. 

Here is this week's harvest.  A friend let me pick some of her grapes.  I picked a five gallon bucket full and it was barely 1/4 of what her vines produced.  Grape jelly and several different varieties of wine will be created from this harvest.  Below is my peck of peaches.  I've already created Spicy Vanilla Peach Jam and Peach Cobbler.  Peach syrup, peach ice cream, peach barbecue sauce,  and canned peaches are next on the list.  My husband and I can't stop singing that song, "millions of peaches. Peaches for free.  Millions of peaches for you and for me."  We can't get it out of our heads.

 Fresh Peach Cobbler
8 peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. white sugar
1 t. lemon juice
2 t. corn starch
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
Mix the peaches, sugars, lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Pour into an ungreased 9x13 baking dish and bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.
1 1/2 c. flour
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. white sugar
1  1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 stick of butter
1/3 c. boiling water
Mix dry ingredients and then cut in the butter using a pastry blender.  Pour boiling water over the top and stir until combined.  Spoon over the peach mixture.  Try to cover all of the peaches.
4 t. sugar
1 1/2 t. cinnamon over the top
Bake another 35 minutes. Enjoy.  This recipe can be found at:

This jam recipe is one of my favorites.  I found the recipe when we were first married and it is tried and true.

Spicy Vanilla-Peach Jam
5 c. peeled, pitted, and chopped peaches
1/4 c. lemon juice
9 c. sugar
1 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
2 t. vanilla or 2 vanilla beans
1 pouch of liquid pectin

Process peaches in the blender.  Add lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla.  Cook for four minutes on low then turn up the heat and boil for one minute.  Add liquid pectin and boil again for 1 minute or until it passes the drip test.  Remove vanilla beans if you used them, then spoon jam into jars.  Give a boiling water bath according to your canning books directions.  Altitude makes a huge difference when boiling.  

There you have it.  Two stellar peach recipes.  If you are wondering why three of the jars in the photo above are dark, it is because that was the chocolate/raspberry jam my niece made for 4-H.  Not considered healthy but delicious none-the-less.

I hope you are enjoying your harvests.  I love this time of year.  To preserve your harvest through canning, wine making, and freezing are extremely satisfying.  I would love to know what you are producing from your gardens.  


  1. You are now making me want grape jelly!! I've made jam from various kinds of fruit, but never jelly. I would love to grow my own grapes some day. -Jenn

  2. It is lovely to be so close to nature.

  3. I imagine you might put lights on that "deer" tree in the winter? :) I haven't had a lot of success with peach doesn't want to set up for me, but maybe I'll have to try again! It's tomato week sauce, pasta sauce and salsa for me!

  4. Cobbler sounds real good!!!! I have been eating them fresh and only have grilled a few. My fav to eat in any dessert.

  5. My you have been busy, I too live where nature abounds, and like you so thankful. I also enjoy making jam our grapes will be ready soon. Thank you for sharing.

  6. I'm always picking up deer sheds too and have some hanging in the crooks of my tree. Not sure if it's "pretty" but it's kind of me. Your jams look amazing. Good for you! Cobbler sounds yummy too.

  7. Amazing deer sheds, and great way to display them! The recipes look delicious, I'll have to try them. We had a brutal summer here, very hot and humid with little to no rain, so I'm not having a lot of success with my vegetables. I do have some pole beans, tomatoes and carrots, but that's about it. Maybe next year---I think I say that every year, though!


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