DIY Pumpkin Topiary

Since we moved into our new home, I have been DYING to decorate it! I want to buy ALL THE THINGS to make each room look like it belongs in a magazine. Not only am I pining to buy “permanent” decor items, but the new space makes me excited to invest in seasonal decorations as well. Unfortunately buying lots of things costs lots of money and since we started with no bed, no couch, and no television, seasonal decorations are pretty low on the priority list. Read more

Freezing Peaches

Peach Pancakes Ingredients

A few days ago, I shared my love of fresh, in season peaches. I love them so much that I bought a whole bushel! As much as I love them, it proved difficult for two people to finish a few dozen peaches before they spoiled. So, I talked to the peach farmer and found out these tips for keeping your peaches fresh and preserving them for later.

Fresh Peaches

First, if you are going to buy a large quantity of peaches at once, it is a good idea to try to buy them in various stages of ripeness. Ideally you want a few that can be eaten immediately and many more that aren’t quite fully ripened. It may be your instinct to pop these right into the fridge. However, I learned that is not the best way to keep your peaches. Instead, do this:

  1. Sort your peaches. Pick out the fully ripe ones and devour them immediately. If you have too many to eat right away, go ahead and put the ripened peaches into the fridge. Then, when you are ready to eat, set your peaches on the counter and let them come to room temperature before enjoying.
  2. Now you should be left with the under-ripe peaches. Leave these on the counter in the kitchen and cover with a dish towel or cloth. The towel should ward off fruit flies. Don’t put these near other fruits or veggies as the proximity to decaying fruit can hasten spoilage and attract bugs.
  3. Check on your peaches every day. As they ripen, move them to the fridge. Storing them in the fridge will keep them fresher longer.

Freezing Peaches

Freezing peaches is actually quite simple. The key is a little something well-known by seasoned preservers known as Fruit Fresh. It is made by Ball (of the canning empire) and can be a little tricky to find in your grocery store. After wandering around aimlessly for a bit, I actually found a canning isle where Mason jars, lids, and other canning supplies are stored. So if you are shopping at Meijer, look for the canning isle which can be found near the kitchen supplies area. Also, your average grocery store employee is not likely to be familiar with Fruit Fresh, so try asking where the canning and preserving supplies are kept. Or, if you want to avoid the trip all together, you can find it on Amazon (of course).

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After tracking down Fruit Fresh, peel, halve, and pit your peaches. Sprinkle both sides with Fruit Fresh. Pack into a freezer bag and make sure the freezer bag lays flat. Place the freezer bag on a cookie sheet to ensure it stays flat until the peaches freeze completely. Keeping it flat will prevent the peaches from freezing into one big mass. Once frozen, you can move the bags or sit them upright.

Peach Oatmeal Pancakes

Wow! It has been awhile. There has been a lot going on around here but most importantly, the taste tester and I have moved into a new residence! I haven’t been blogging because I haven’t been cooking. Slowly but surely we are settling in and we finally went to the grocery store yesterday, so all is right in the blog world again and I can hopefully get back to a more regular schedule.

Peach Oatmeal Pancakes

While I was gone, the taste tester and I (and Daisy) made a big trip to Southern Illinois to visit my parents. Now most people don’t think of Southern Illinois as “the South,” but to Northerners like the taste tester, visiting my parents is like visiting another world. A world where people say soda instead of pop, eat biscuits and gravy for breakfast, gorge on fried fish and fried chicken in the same weekend, and eat pulled pork sandwiches for dinner every night. Yes, our visits “down south” are absolutely heavenly. Read more