Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Everything's Peachy!

Home Canned Peaches and Spiced Peach Cobbler Filling

Hi, everyone!  We have been enjoying the last couple weeks of summer and getting ready for school to start up this coming Monday.  I'm ready for a routine, but I'm sure going to miss the extra time I get to spend with my kids during the summer.

This weekend a sweet friend of mine texted us and said they had a bonanza crop from their peach tree this summer and we were welcome to come pick up a sack or two of fresh peaches.  What a treat--they were so sweet and juicy!  I like canned peaches from the grocery store, but nothing beats a fresh tree-ripened peach.  We ate some of them and I decided to can the rest rather than freezing them.

I ended up with 3 jars of spiced peach cobbler filling, along with 5 jars of canned peaches in a light syrup.  This pie/cobbler filling is a slightly different recipe than I usually use, but I did a taste test before I put them in jars and it is very good.  You can find the recipe on the Prairie Homestead blog.  She prepared the filling for pies and she froze it, which you can certainly do if you don't want to mess with canning them.  I didn't want to take up room in my very small freezer, so, I did a water bath canning for mine, which makes them shelf stable.  

First, you boil some water and plop some of the peaches in and let them sit in the water for about 2 minutes.  This loosens the skin and will make them easier to peel.  After two minutes, put them in the (sanitized) sink full of cold water for a couple minutes and repeat the process with the rest of your fruit.  Once they've cooled for a couple of minutes, you can slip the skin right off and start to cut them up and remove the pit.  Here are some photos of that process:

Boil the fruit for a couple of minutes to loosen the skins.

Cool hot fruit in cold water in sink.

Slip skin right off the fruit and cut up and remove pit.

Ready to go!

If you're going to make the cobbler filling, cut the fruit up into smaller pieces and mix with the sugar, spices, lemon juice and corn starch.  You can cook the mixture in a stew pan on the stove to make it warm before filling the jars.  I had already sanitized my jars and lids in the dishwasher and we were ready to fill them using a funnel.
Be sure to leave peanut butter and bread wrapper on counter for photo.  #notafoodblogger

I used a 25 minute water bath to can these jars of cobbler/pie filling and then let them cool on the counter.  That "pop" you hear when the lids seal is so satisfying!  

Paula Deen has a great easy cobbler recipe that I like to use.  If I'm out of my own cobbler filling, I just follow her recipe, using grocery store canned peaches.  Here's how I use my filling:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Put 1 stick of butter in a 3-quart baking dish and place in oven to melt.

Mix 1 cup sugar, 1 1/2 cups of self rising flour, and 1 1/2 cups of milk 
slowly to prevent clumping. Pour mixture over melted butter. 
Do not stir.

Spoon jar of cobbler filling on top, gently pouring in syrup. 
Batter will rise to top during baking. 
Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.

Doesn't get much easier than that!

If you just want to can the peaches, I adapted this recipe from The Happy Money Saver.  She has beautiful photos that explain the process.  After filling the jars with sliced peaches, I poured a teaspoon of lemon juice on top of the fruit.  Then I made a simple syrup of 1 c. sugar and 7 c. water.  I poured that on top of the fruit, leaving headroom and working out the bubbles.  These jars also went into a 25 minute water bath.  

If you've every canned before, the whole process is pretty simple.  If you haven't done any food preservation before, I highly recommend the Ball Canning site
for recipes, tips and proper procedures.  I'd love to hear about your favorite recipes for canning fruit, pickles or anything else you've preserved this summer!
A good afternoon's work!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Walk to Save Oak Flat--Be Brave Saturday

Sally Noedel and Emma Bigongiari
These two ladies are walking from Bainbridge Island, Washington to Oak Flat, Arizona, to raise awareness for Representative Raul Grijalva's bill to repeal section 3003 of the Defense Appropriation Act.  Named the "Save Oak Flat Act", it would stop the land swap of the Oak Flat area to the Resolution Copper mining company who intend to mine it for copper, using block cave techniques.  This would result in a massive crater, ruining the land for the animals who live in it, the people who come there for recreation and the Native American tribes who consider it sacred.

These ladies have set up a great website:  It has tons of great information about the issue itself and how to help and get involved.  It's a great resource for sharing with your friends about the #saveoakflat movement.

Sally and Emma are planning to arrive in Oak Flat on August, 20.  I wish them safe travels and blessings on their journey.
Mural in Logan, Utah

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Pinterest Projects I Actually Completed: Junk Gypsy-Inspired Chicken-Wire Chandelier

Chicken-Wire Chandelier for "The Getaway"

My inspiration:

Junk Gypsy Dream Catcher Chandelier--on sale now for $139,99!

I have written before about my love for all things Junk Gypsy and their Pottery Barn Teen Collection.  Their chandelier was very similar to one I've had on my Pinterest board for a while, so, I thought I'd give it a whirl.
Chicken Wire Pendant

I started with a garden basket from the Dollar Tree, some chicken wire I had at the house and floral wire.

I took the chains off of the basket and turned it upside down and 
began wiring chicken wire to the outside.

The pinterest inspiration piece had a double layer of chicken wire, but I opted for a single layer because I planned on adding some jewelry pieces to it and wanted to keep it simple at this point.  Next, I took the chains that had come with the basket and cut them down in order to create a little crossbar in the top middle hole for the light fixture to clip to.  I ended up using zip ties to tie it to the chains.

You can find the light kit a lot of places--mine came from Amazon:
Hanging Light Bulb Cord with 15' foot extension and on/off switch

I took the light bulb kit back out at this point so I could spray paint the fixture.  A few minutes, a low hanging branch and my favorite oil-rubbed bronze spray paint and we were good to go.
available at most hardware stores or at amazon

The hardest part is waiting for the paint to dry!

When the paint's dry, you can start adding your pretties.  I got mine at Michael's the same day I bought the materials for my cuff.  There are so many charms and jewels to choose from at Michael's, Etsy, Amazon and other bead stores that the only thing limiting you is your imagination.  I took a turquoise bracelet piece with 4 stones and took it apart.  Then I wired them evenly around the fixture.  I purchased 3 packages of double wings and took the 6 pieces and spaced them evenly around the bottom of the chandelier so they would hang down like the copper feathers in the Junk Gypsy PB piece.  I thought about adding some crystals to the top and I might at some future point, but, for now, I am happy with my little chandy.

An Edison Bulb and we're done!

In the background you can see the storage shed that is slated to become "The Getaway".  I'm hoping to wrangle some free child labor this weekend to clean it out and take things to store in our warehouse so that I can begin painting the orange-y paneling and making it into a fun gathering area.  More on that to come!

$8 in jewelry, $1 flower pot, $12 light fixture plus chicken wire and paint--$22

So, what do you think?  Should I add some crystals to my little turquoise beauty? 

I'm linking this up to Silver Pennies Sunday Linky Party.  Go check out all the lovelies over there!

Thank you for reading this post.  I would love it if you would subscribe to my blog via e-mail so you can have these posts delivered directly to your inbox.  

*Some affiliate links in this post--not because they're making me rich, but because I just want to make it easy on you if you want to find these items.  :-)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Sharing a Smile--Cactus

Happy Monday, everyone!  Can you believe it's August already!?!  My oldest has started summer band practice already and I'm in denial that school starts in three weeks.  I'm already filling up our calendar with game schedules and practices--so not ready for that.  Craftberry Bush's latest calendar makes it a little less painful. I have this downloaded on my desktop, but she also has some cute backgrounds formatted for iPhones.   I LOVE the cactus background and she is offering some other gifts for sale in her shop with her beautiful art.
Purchase here.
This 12x12 framed print is perfectly minimal and beautiful at the same time.

Purchase here.
This 16x16 throw pillow cover would be a great way to change up your decor 
for a cowboy/Southwest kind of vibe.

Purchase here.
I thought this iPhone case was super cute--love the pink background!

And, speaking of cactus, I follow Southern Trends on Instagram.  A couple of weeks ago, they featured the cutest little Saguaro cactus necklace.  It's a piece Little Sis and I can share and it is really sweet and dainty, just like the description says.
Dainty Cactus Necklace-purchase here.

Hope you all have a wonderful Monday--have a great day!