Friday, October 03, 2008

This has been the year of the peach.

The vegetables have all done horrible this year. Ironically, I managed to grow okra and eggplant, and hardly anytomatoes. Go figure. I garden primarily by neglect, and tomatoes usually do pretty well under that treatment. but not this year.

The fruit, however, went bananas. (ha).

Last year we had a late frost that nipped all the blooms, so there was a near total crop failure, statewide, on almost all fruits - particularly peaches, apples, plums, cherries, and elderberries.

This year, the trees and bushes have made up for it by producing last year's fruits, PLUS this year's fruits. I swear.

Our little orchard is just a few years old now, and this is the first year I have had a peach harvest. I have 2 "white peach" trees. I don't know the proper name, just that they are small, white-fleshed peaches that grow very well in this climate; they don't seem to mind the cold.

anyway, these trees produced like mad. I estimate that we picked about 20 plant-flats full of peaches. They were divided among about 7 people, some taking just a bag full, some taking 5 or 6 flats. we all had plenty to make jam, pies, cobblers, baby food, and more!

I froze most of mine, for use in pies or cobblers, but plan to make this yummy recipe that my friend Linda found in her Better Homes cookbook:

Rum Peach Jam

3 pounds fully ripe peaches, scaled, peeled and finely chopped(4 cups
1 1 3/4 ounce package powdered fruit pectin
5 cups sugar
1/4 cup light rum

Combine peaches and pectin in a very large suacepan or dutch oven. Place
over high heat and bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.
Emmediately add all the sugar and stir. Again bring to a full rolling
boil and boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat: stir in rum: skim off foam. Stir and skin for 5 minutes
to cool slightlyt and prevent fruit from floating. Ladle into hot scaled
jars. Seal at once. Makes about 6 half pint jars.

Thanks to John for this great photo of the peaches - they were sitting on our porch and a shaft of sunlight hit them just right, and he grabbed his camera to catch the moment.

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Oh. YUM.

I got my latest enewsletter from Templeton Rye the other day, and they included this amazing recipe (I'm including it as they printed it in their newsletter, so as to give everyone full credit.)


Templeton Rye recipe: "The Temptress"

Juli Hale from Des Moines, Iowa, sent a great TR
cocktail recipe to us, and wrote the following:

"This is the first cocktail I have ever created. As a recovering Mormon, I'm awfully proud of myself."

The Temptress
Ginger Simple Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup chopped fresh ginger
In a small saucepan combine water, sugar, and ginger. Bring
to boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Let cool to room temperature. Strain and discard ginger.

The cocktail
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice

Add the juice of half a lime
3/4 oz. ginger simple syrup
2 oz. Templeton Rye
Cover and shake well; strain into a cocktail glass


Well, as it so happens, I have some Templeton Rye at home, and a fresh lime, AND some amazing "gingerbread syrup" my friend Jill made from scratch and gave to me. (I'd been hoarding the last little bit, because the though of being out of this divine concoction was just too much to bear).

I just whipped up one of these, and WOW. this is going to be a winter drink staple for sure! The ginger and the whiskey are both warming....and the fresh lime juice keeps it from being too heavy or cloying.


And in other booze news. Last time I went to the local booze emporium, I saw this cool organic midwest-produced spirit - Prairie Organic Vodka. And it even has a cool bottle! Next time I need to buy vodka, I'm getting this for sure!Want to check out some other organic liqueurs? Here is a great article about making "ecococktails" at home.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

"Remember, we are all affecting the world every moment, whether we
mean to or not. Our actions and states of mind matter, because we are so
deeply interconnected with one another. Working on our own
consciousness is the most important thing that we are doing at any
moment, and being love is a supreme creative act."
- Ram Dass


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Well, now Ive seen it all.

Knitted hotpants. :)

Free pattern here, for those of you who would like to make your own!


Cats are so freaking funny.

watch, and laugh.