Friday, December 9, 2016

How to Make Peach Jelly | How To Can Peaches


How To Can Peaches

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Fresh Peaches (Amounts may vary)
1 cup of sugar
2 cups water

  1. Before we learn how to make peach jelly we will first learn how to can peaches. I always can my peaches first and the next day I make the peach jelly.
  2. To begin, put a big pot of water on the stove, bring it to a boil.
  3. To peel peaches easily, drop some peaches into the boiling water for 20-30 seconds.
  4. The peels will fall right off.
  5. Remove Pits.
  6. Don't throw away the peels and pits, we are going save these and make jelly out of them......Nothing goes to waste around here!
  7. Slice peaches and put into sterilized jars leaving 1/2 " space at the top.
  8. Make a syrup of 1 cup of sugar to 2 cups of water.
  9. Place the syrup in a saucepan and bring to boil right before pouring into jar
  10. Fill to within 1-1/2 inch of top with boiling syrup.
  11. Put on cap, and screw band firmly tight.
  12. Water bath. (see the times below)
  13. Pints for 25 minutes and quarts for 30 minutes.
 

How to Make Peach Jelly

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3 cups of juice from peach peeling/pits
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
4-1/2 cup sugar Pectin
  • To make jelly place the peach peeling and pits (minimum of 4 quarts) in a pan.
  • Barely cover the peelings and pits with water.
  • Bring to a boil and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Let stand overnight. (I put mine in the refrigerator)
  • Strain juice though a cloth (I use an old sheer curtain....Thanks Crystal! for the idea!....easy to reuse and easy to clean
  • Measure 3 cups of juice into pan.
  • Add 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.
  • In a separate bowl; measure 4-1/2 cups of sugar. Set aside. (Do not try to lessen the amount of sugar, jelly will fail) If you want a lower sugar jelly there is pectin for no or low-sugar jams/jellies.
  • Stir 1 box pectin into juice. (I use Sure Jell)
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon butter (it reduces foaming)
  • Bring to a full rolling boil on high heat. Stir constantly. ( A rolling boil is defined as a boil that will not stop bubbling when stirred)
  • Quickly stir in the sugar you set aside earlier. Return it to a full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute. Continue to stir constantly.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Skim off foam.
  • Ladle into sterilized jars.
  • Process in a water bath for 5 minutes.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

image-courtesy-of-winnond-at-freedigitalphotos-net



Meal-Planning For the Farmstead/Homestead Family

  • Our great-grandma's planned their menu from what they had growing in their gardens.
  • One of the best ways to save money at the grocery store is to grow and preserve as much food as possible.
  • Why not serve a simple meal of freshly baked bread, and a bowl of homemade soup for a meal rather than spending your money on a meal made of processed food.
  • Meals are more special and healthier when all the ingredients come from your own organically, no chemicals used, garden then from the gourmet section of your local super market. Research the cuisines of other cultures this will help you make better choices of what to grow in your garden. We American are all familiar with the corn, peas, carrots, and green beans, why not branch out & try kale, rutabaga, Swiss chard, winter squash or anything that may be new to you.
  • Make a goal of eating only what you grow or produce on your homestead/farm. If you happen to grow too much salad greens,  don't complain, it's one less thing you had to buy at the supermarket and it's a blessing. Growing tired of eating salad? Then plan to share with a neighbor, or feed some to your chickens. You've just learned a lesson, and now you know not to plant so much of it next time. Maybe plant salad greens every 3 weeks instead. You'll learn as you go along. We learn by experience. If the only meat you have on hand is chicken then plan to eat chicken, and a lot of it until you can raise and butcher something else. Find a good cookbook related to the food you have an excess of.
  • Plan your menu around the season. Fresh salads in the summer, winter squash in the fall, and throughout the winter/spring you can eat the food you canned, froze, dehydrated or put up in the root-cellar.
Image courtesy of Winnond at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

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Gardening Terms

If you are new to gardening you may need some clarification of what these gardening terms mean, Here is information you may see on seed packets.

Annual: This refers to a plant that lives for only one year. 
Bush/Pole/Vine: Usually refers to vegetable (beans for example) A pole or vine variety grows from a central point and can be trained to grow up a trellis. The bush type takes up a certain amount of space is is more compact.
Days To Germination: The date when you will see your sprouts emerging.
Days to maturity: This is the date that your vegetables are ready to harvest (to eat!)
Germination Requirements: Each lot (batch) is tested to see how many of the seeds are good.
Hybrid: Two different parent plants were crossed to create another type of plant that has specific characteristic. You can not save seeds from a hybrid plant.....if you try, you don't know what you'll end up with. 
Light Requirements: Some plants require more light than others. This alerts you to if a plant requires full sun or partial sun.
Organic: Refers to being grown without the use of artificial chemicals. (We garden organically) 
Perennial: This is a plant that will come back year after year.
Planting Depth: New gardeners tend to overlook this, but it is rather important. This advice prevents  you from planting the seeds too deep or too shallow.
Planting Space: This will help your in providing enough room for plants to grow and not be overcrowded.
Seed count: Tells you how many seeds are in the pack. Important is you have a garden layout plan.
Variety: This tells you what kind of flower or vegetable you plan to buy It tells you the specific characteristic of the variety such as the color, taste, storage characteristics and the growth.
 
Images courtesy of Supertrooper at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Avalanche Cookies





I never heard of these No-Bake Avalanche Cookies until today, I saw it on a co-worker's FB page. I look forward to making them.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Crispy Rice cereal
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 lb white chocolate (Almond Bark)
  • *Optional - ¼ cup mini chocolate chips to sprinkle on top
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl mix together cereal and marshmallows. Set aside.
  2. Combine the peanut butter and melted white chocolate. Stir until until smooth. Pour over cereal. Gently toss until everything is well- coated.
  3. Place cookies on a wax=paper lined baking sheet.
  4. Allow to set for 2 hours or until chocolate has hardened.