Friday, July 29, 2011

Doin' Up Peaches - A Slice of Heaven on Earth!

I would say a good fresh peach would have to be my favorite fruit in the world. Yeah, it even beats out a nice ripe watermelon which I can devour. I just love peaches and I was so sad when last summer I didn't come across anyone selling boxes of them.

Two years ago I put up a box full of them and I only had about 3 quart Ziploc bags of them left and that isn't even close to enough to last me through the year, but I managed and every once in a blue moon Caleb and I would eat them with our meal.

So this summer when we saw a guy selling them by the side of the road I made Caleb pull over cause I wasn't gonna pass up the chance to get some delicious little things.

Often people will just buy a dozen or so of them, not me, I want the whole box. I payed a lot more for this box than I usually do, but I didn't want to take the chance that I would see them again.

And I'm glad I bought them, cause I haven't seen any more ever since.

Umm, seriously don't they just look so delicious...

Oh, they were!!!

I was talking with a good friend of mine the other day who was gonna be getting a box of peaches. She asked about canning peaches and what all I did well I had to let her in on a little secret about how I put them away and I thought I would do the same for you guys since its that time of the year when they are out there.

So, when I was younger my mom use to can peaches in the pressure canner...

Umm, I think my mom would agree with me that they weren't all that great. The problem was the canner would end up cooking the peaches and they weren't really that good.

Then when I was in high school we started slicing them up and placing them in freezer bags. I think it was because there for a while at my school we would have frozen peaches with our school lunch. Well needless to say once we started doing them this way we never went back to the old way.

The short story is I peal and pit them, then I slice them up add a little sugar and stick them in a bag and throw them in the freezer and there  ya go we are done!

Ok Let me show ya with a little more detail how I do it that makes things easier.

First we will talk about pealing the peaches. It's a lot easier than you might think.

First stick a large pot of water on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Fill it about 2/3 - 3/4 the way full.

I used one of my dutch ovens cause I didn't want to get out my big ginormous pots. 

While that's heating up fill one of your sinks basins with cold water. You want it ice cold if you can. We usually have some cups in the freezer that have big frozen chunks of ice in them and these work great for this.

Now what we are going to do is shock the peaches...

or scare the skin off of them.

So once the water is boiling remove it from the stove and set it on a hot pad next to your sink full of ice water. Then start placing your peaches in it. 

Don't over crowd your peaches, you want to make sure that everyone is completely cover with water.

Let them sit in there for about 30 seconds then...

With a big ol' spoon dip them out and place them in the cold water. This will make them stop cooking anymore than they might have already.

I will send two batches through the water before returning it to the stove to bring it back to a boil.

The second batch that I run through the hot water I will usually leave in there a tad bit longer.

While the pot of water is coming back to a boil you can start pealing. IF everything works out like it is suppose to then the skin will just slip right off.

I usually try to start pulling the skin off where the stem was. This is what works best for me, but you will have to see what works best for you.

While you are doing this you will want to keep a bucket or bowl to throw the scraps into.

Ok first if you don't have any Tupperware "Thatsa Bowls" then you must go get you one cause well they are a necessity when it comes to putting produce away!! I have three and sometimes I feel that's not!

Ok back to the peaches...

Ok, now it's time to pit the peaches. For this you need a good pairing knife. All you do is slice them in half, pull the halves apart, pull the pit out and...

 throw them into a bowl.

Once you got them all pitted, then just start slicing them into small chunks.

I'm pretty sure I could eat all these without any help.

Ok so this part is optional, but what my mom and I always do is add some sugar to the sliced peaches.

How much, if any sugar is up to your discretion. I only added about a cup, but would have add a little more but I was out of sugar...

Oh how sad I was!

Once you add the sugar just give it a stir.

The sugar will help the peaches produce some of that yummy juice that you want to drink up.

Now you can let them sit for awhile to get more juice or you can start bagging them up right away, it really doesn't matter.

Now I've said it before when it comes to getting freezer bags don't skimp out and get the cheap ones. They aren't as thick and don't do as good of a job keeping your produce fresh. So spend the extra $1 and get the name brand bags. Trust me you will be glad you did!

So to fill the bags I usually get a "1 cup" measuring cup to do the scooping and I will put about 2 cups in each bag.

When closing make sure to squeeze as much air out as you can to keep them from getting freezer burn.

Then I like to lay them flat to freeze cause this makes them easier to stack and handle in the freezer. I also place them on a cookie sheet to carry cause it's a lot easier.

Oh and make sure to write on them what they are and what year you put them away.

I also wrote which bags had sugar and which ones didn't so I would know. I bagged some without partly because I ran out and and partly because if I wanted to give any of these to stinker then I didn't want it to have all the sugar added to it.

Now when it comes to serving them I will usually only get out about 1/3 - 1/2 a bag for Caleb and I to eat.

I will usually stick them in the microwave for about 30 seconds to get them to thaw so I can break them apart. Then I will place them in a bowl and sprinkle on a little sugar if needed and then if they are still really frozen I will do another 15 - 30 seconds.

Now you don't want them completely thawed out cause they aren't as good that way, trust me...

You want them still partly frozen and slushy cause they are soo much better this way!

So that's what I do with my peaches. If you try it this way I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

As always if you have any questions shoot them my way.

Lots of Love,


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wheat Harvest 2011

Ok, so it has been way to long since I last posted and I am so sorry about that. July is usually a little slower than this, but we have been going like crazy here on and off the farm. It's really hot and really dry here right now so the normal summer stuff isn't so normal, but I will talk more about that in another post.

I have been crazy busy tryin' to get stinkers room ready and other things ready for stinker. I don't have it completely don just yet, but it's getting close and when it is I will show y'all what it looks like. I have also been a little busy in the garden...with what's left in the garden that is. Trying to get things canned and put away, so we will have food to eat! ;)

On top of that I have total "mommy brain" going on right now and it's driving me crazy!!! If I don't write something down then it's pretty much gone and it takes me a million times longer to do things because of this!!

Anyways, I was going to to a big post about wheat harvest and bean planting but well that ain't happening, so I am just gonna show you some of the pictures from it.

I was the official "gofer" and would go running after everything for the guys, so I didn't get as many good pics as I would have like, but I still got some! We can pretend it's a "Wordless Wednesday," only it's Tuesday and there are a lot of words here. ;)

OK So I will shut-up and let you enjoy the pics  and if you have any questions be sure and let me know and I will do my best to answer them...

On the final day when we finished harvesting our last field Caleb wanted to a group photo with the equipment, but first we had to get everything lined up just right...this took a little bit...

But We finally got it and here is the good looking group of combine drivers, truck drivers, planter operator, cooks, and even the the 'gopher'. (My belly isn't near that small any more, just thought you should know!)

Well I hope you enjoyed all the pics and I promise it won't be three weeks till I post again.