Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Gobs of Peaches

This week, our small kitchen has turned into a peach processing plant!
Our little peach tree had so many peaches this year that we had branches breaking with all the weight. This is the same peach tree that survived the huge maple tree branch breaking and rolling under it rather than on top of it. You can read about it here. So we KNOW that these are all blessings from God!
This has been a wonderful family activity that we ALL have been involved in. The boys picked and washed. Naomi, David and I pitted and sliced while Joshua ran all of our 'leftovers' to the compost pile. We have canned 24 quarts in light syrup. Here is the recipe for the syrup and directions to can. I like this site because they have pictures. I didn't peal my peaches as it doesn't seem to matter to my family and it cuts the work down significantly. We also had to pick these a bit green, which would make them more difficult to peel.
As mentioned, we picked them a bit green because it is our experience that if we wait, the birds and bugs get them before us:)

First we washed, pitted and sliced peaches.

At this point, I sprinkled with Fruit Fresh, then had to decide what to do with it all. I had some jars, but not a ton and I didn't want to use them all because I will want to make applesauce later on in the year. So I decided that I would only can 2 dozen jars of peaches and save a dozen for applesauce later on. If finances are better in the fall, I may purchase another dozen quart jar, but that remains to be seen.

Here are the peaches we canned, all washed and labeled. I still had peaches to preserve even after all my jars were used up so I decided to make peach cobbler mixture to freeze. I found a recipe on Allrecipes for Freezer Peach Pie Filling making a few modifications. I increased amount of peaches used to 4 cups and added 1 teaspoon of Cinnamon. I will use this as a cobbler in a square 9x9 inch pan rather than a pie. I also doubled several recipes to be made in 9x13 pan for church potlucks and such.

Peach Cobbler Toppings

To top these beautiful peaches, I will choose from 2 that I took from other recipes in my collection. The first I made as a go along for breakfast the other morning. My mistake was making it the night before and allowing samples. There was very little left for breakfast:)

Crumble Topping

1 1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
(or you can substitute 1/3 cup applesauce for a lighter version)
Mix all dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Add melted butter and stir til combined. Spoon over top of defrosted cobbler filling that has been put in a 9x13 sprayed glass pan. Bake in preheated 450 degree oven on bottom rack for 20 minutes. Turn down temperature to 350 and bake another 30-35 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

Baked Cobbler Topping, it is more difficult to make 'lite'

2 stick butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour (use white)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Mix in mixing bowl. Pour over top of thawed cobbler filling that has been put in a 9x13 sprayed glass pan. Bake at 355 degrees for 40-50 minutes, until the top is brown and sides are bubbly. Cool and eat, YUM!

Even with all our recent losses, it is so easy to see that God is blessing us more and more abundantly that we could ever imagine.
My prayer today is that you are able to see God's Blessings in your life.

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