Sunday, August 20, 2017

Beautiful Rideabout to Neighbor's

On Friday morning I awoke with extreme pain in my left eye and I couldn't open it at all because it hurt so. My local ophthalmologist wasn't in so I traveled to another one about 28 miles away. The Mister drove. After intense examination it was determined that I had a sudden corneal erosion without specific reason or cause. He explained what might have happened. Thank goodness for the numbing drops that allowed for the exam. He sent me home with a contact lens "bandaid" inserted and a prescription for an antibiotic. I am to return in 3 days. At least it doesn't hurt now, just tears and my vision in that eye is comparable to looking through wax paper. I can look forward to complete healing soon. For more information on this you can check out the link at the bottom of this page.

It was such a beautiful day that I took a ride in the golf car down the road and up a rough road to the top of a hill to visit a neighbor. They weren't home but I took pictures and left. On the way up I had spotted ripening elderberries at the side of the road. I am sorry that no one seems to be reaping the wonderful elderberries to make jams and syrups as I did so many years ago. They are plentiful and ripening beautifully. I have the old recipe if anyone would like to do this. I just don't have the energy nor the equipment but would be happy to share the process. See what I found!
EASY to make!
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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Freezing

Last night I prepared three of the large peaches for freezing. Each one had the pit removed,  peeled, cut up, soaked in pineapple juice and then pieces positioned without touching each other on parchment paper over a cookie sheet and placed in the freezer. Of course I had to juggle things around in there to make space for the peaches. Overnight they froze and this morning I removed them from the freezer and put them in a plastic freezer bag and removed all air. Back into the freezer they went and there is just the right amount to make another cobbler or pie. The pictures were taken right after I put them in the bag. There was a new recipe shown this morning on a show I watch every Saturday and I intend to use it very soon. It calls for 8 eggs! I need eggs! Look for Peach Casserole and recipe soon.
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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Short 'N Sweet

The peaches came out GREAT!!!! Only took 17 1/2 hours. Taste remained fantastic. I shall do this again and can't wait for apples to come in. The photo shows them in a large deep vegetable serving bowl, and now they are bagged and stored.
I sliced the large OXHEART tomato today and saved the seeds in a jar to ferment. There are only a few of these precious seeds as this tomato is mostly meat and flavor. Hopefully, our daughter will bring some back with her after a visit with her NJ sister. They came on strong there and may be finished. I am the "seed saver" and MY seeds always germinate perfectly. 
 That is a TEASPOON!
I saw this young blue heron standing on my neighbor's dock this morning. Isn't he beautiful?
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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

Pretty!

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

Abundance

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
INGREDIENTS

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)


PREPARATION

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

Failure

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

Blackberries

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.

AUGUST 4
AUGUST 8
AUGUST 9
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.


Ingredients:

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.
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