Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Kitchen Projects

This morning the green beans were blanched, cooled, cut and frozen. The beets were cooked, skins slipped, bagged individually and then all into another bag and frozen. (I already have canned pickled beets on hand.) This afternoon I prepared a few peaches for dehydration. There are four trays full and they will dehydrate overnight. Thank goodness these are freestones and the skins just peeled away easily without blanching or paring. Hopefully the dehydration will go well. It will be an overnight process and perhaps will even continue during the day tomorrow.
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The 36" fluorescent tube over my stove had to be replaced this morning as it suddenly went out during use. The Mister ran to town for a replacement right away. This was an unforeseen cost of $10.05 and it was the only one the True Value store had. I was always told to expect the un-expected and accept it. Oh well...

Tune in tomorrow for results of the dehydration of Loring peaches.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


I'm so pretty! I love me! I'm beautiful any way you look at me! I am in GREAT SHAPE no matter your view, AND...

I am the seed producer for next year's crop!
I am pure OXHEART
 My other friends, the yellow squash, green beans and the red beets who were cheerfully delivered today, do not smell as sweet but they are loved as well. They will be sliced and diced - chopped, grated and frozen - dried and fried. Lucky me! The new batch of peaches are feeling cold but soon will wish they were back on the tree!
Please click on image to see the pretty

Monday, August 14, 2017


COBBLER! The first of the season with Loring freestone peaches. I hope to be making successful batches of fruit leather with some of the pureed slices and plan to bake at least one peach pie. Dehydration of slices is on my list and the last peach project will be freezing chunks. The wonderful summertime fruit and vegetable bounty is giving me full swing work! We bought another huge melon to dispatch as well as the tomatoes and squash our daughter brought over yesterday. I made cucumber and onion salad this morning to have with burgers on the grill this evening. 

I have written about the cobbler several times before and to find the recipe look at the bottom of this post. The Loring peach is an old time peach known for its excellent flavor and many uses and is our very favorite. It has a good reputation as one of the better eating peaches as well. The 4 cup pitcher holds only three of these globular beauties!
Please click on image to view larger...and drool!

Peach Cobbler

1/2 cup unsalted butter (I used salted butter)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder Pinch of salt 
1 cup milk
4 cups fresh peach slices
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional) (I sprinkled both on top)


Melt butter in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. 
Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt; add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Pour batter over butter (do not stir). 
Bring remaining 1 cup sugar, peach slices, and lemon juice to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly; pour over batter (do not stir). Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired. 
Bake at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve cobbler warm or cool. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017


Do you know what this is? Well, it is supposed to be blackberry fruit leather. NOT!

I think I know what error I made. First I washed the blackberries that I picked and then mashed them through a strainer to eliminate the seeds. It yielded 1/2 cup of juice. I warmed it and added 1/2 cup sugar, stirring until completely dissolved.  I then poured it onto the drying sheet in the dehydrator and ran it for nine hours! (Yes, I set it on the correct setting and it was running the entire time.) After it had cooled down, I peeled it off onto a parchment sheet, noticing that it was rubbery and not at all dried and firm. Then I scraped it off of the parchment and put it in a glass jar and re-heated it. I now have jelly. It is delicious but I wanted blackberry fruit leather!

Oh well, today we went to the Farm Market and picked up another cantaloupe, six ears of corn and Sunbright freestone peaches. Maybe I can dry some peach slices successfully with the dehydrator. I'll let you know. Sometimes the old ways of drying fruits work better. This method is new to me.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Something New Every Day

I just love to ride and try to find something different to photograph around the lake, close to home. Today it is a very different butterfly and a couple of new blossoming flowers growing deep in the woods near the road. I don't even have to step out to catch the shots and I love the point and shoot feature!

This one is the Meadow Spangled Fritillary butterfly
  please click on image to view larger  

Thursday, August 10, 2017


I found a small area with ripening blackberries this morning on my rideabout and was able to gather about 1 1/2 cups. I took photos after rinsing them and storing in bowl. I think I'll try making some fruit leather tomorrow. In the meantime I saw a curly head of hair in one of the pictures so I created the Blackberry Babe. I made several variations just to get the idea out of my head so here are the original photos and the results of a very busy mind.
Please click on image to view larger

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Mother Nature's Marvel

Yesterday my caterpillar attached itself to the underside of one of the Milkweed leaves in its jar and went into the "J" shape. This morning it already has formed into a chrysalis. I now wait for about 10 days to two weeks according to internet information and it should emerge into a Monarch butterfly! To me this is one of Mother Nature's millions of marvels.

I apologize for the photos not being very good but feel happy that I captured them at all! I was too afraid of harming and interfering with its metamorphosis.

There are much better photographs at the link above. Just click on it.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Cookies and Cleaning

Today it is raining and very cool. It's such a perfect day for cookie baking and bathroom cleaning. The Mister is keeping busy with a complete GI job and will soon get a tasty treat.

This recipe will use my supply of brown sugar and raisins. Restocking ingredients like these is an ongoing update of cupboard foodstuffs.
please click on image to view larger
These are what I call "cakey cookies" because they aren't chewy except for the raisins.

SIMPLE Raisin Cookies
Preheat oven to 375° and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or "Release" foil.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat together the flour, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon. Add the brown sugar, softened butter, egg, milk, and vanilla extract and beat for one minute. Add the raisins and beat until incorporated.

Drop the batter by heaping teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing the cookies a couple of inches apart. Bake the cookies for about 8 - 10 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies are just barely touched with color yet the edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.  Makes about 4 dozen cookies.


2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup light brown sugar (or dark)
1 1/2 sticks softened butter
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup dark raisins (or golden raisins)

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sundry Shoots

Yes, I was able to find a Monarch Butterfly but it wouldn't stay put for the best shot. Meanwhile, back at the cabin my larvae is gobbling at the leaves in the jar. 
Up in the old rock garden the Mister's geranium is thriving in its pipe pot.
At one end of the garden the Wild Snapdragon (aka Toadflax) haven't bloomed but at the top of the area they have. Pretty yellow fellows!

There is a large group of this plant but I can't seem to identify it. HELP! It gives off a medicinal type aroma when crushed. No flower buds are evident.

And up on the edge of the road the Thimble Berries are beginning to form. The problem is that just as soon as one is mature, the birds eat them and there is no chance of me even plucking a cupful of ripe ones. I was lucky to even see them today!
Chomp, Chatter and Ladybird protect the garden from the local bear.
please click on image to view larger

Friday, August 4, 2017

Looking for a Butterfly

BUT found flowers and bees instead. I did bring home a Monarch caterpillar eating milkweed and hope to watch it develop into a chrysalis and then fly away. I did this once many years ago with quite a few and they hatched within my large screened-in porch so I had to shoo them out the door.

A neighbor invited me into his yard to take pictures and it is on a steep hillside where I don't ambulate very well but was successful with some closeup shots.
please click on image to view larger

click on link below to learn about Monarch cycle