Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Stocking the pantry....


I love books and have a great habit of collecting them. Many different kinds of books. My Ball Blue Book canning books are some of my favorites. I have three of them and they are used many times throughout the year. The edition on the left was published in 1937, the middle in 1963 and the one on the right in 1999. I have used recipes from all three books many times. Most of the recipes are still basically the same as well as recommended procedures. The two oldest books were passed down to me from my Mother.
Fresh peaches ready for canning

We were fortunate to find a local source for fresh canning peaches. They are delicious! Firm, sweet and priced right. I bought half a bushel and hope to buy another half bushel at the end of the week. They peeled and pitted easily after blanching. It was an enjoyable and productive afternoon and we are looking forward to doing it again :) I love to see my pantry shelves filling up with produce that we will enjoy this coming winter.

(fresh, canned peaches)

In between canning and freezing vegetables, I'm still skirting wool, getting it ready to send to the processor. My friend Shane was here yesterday and we made progress. I should have it all done by the end of the week and delivered.

Freida's fleece -spring 08

This beautiful variegated fiber belongs to a lovely ewe named Freida. She's a Maine mutt. She's five different breeds and a lovely old gal. I do not breed her but keep her for her fiber each year. The photo really doesn't do the fiber justice as far as the gorgeous colors. This will be spun as a two ply worsted weight yarn. It's incredibly soft and several friends have made wonderful sweaters with this yarn. I'm going to make one someday :)

5 comments:

threecollie said...

Oh, my those peaches look luscious!

Deb said...

threecollie,
thanks :) I think they will taste good this winter with vanilla ice cream.
I do hope the sun is shining on you today - it's shining here and it feels glorious! Now if it would just stay for a week or two.

Nita said...

I use the old canning books, too. Guess what? We are still alive, I read something the other day in our local paper about how unsafe it was to use any canning book printed before 1994!

I think sometimes they(gov)want people to be scared. The new Ball Blue Book would be confusing to a new canner, there are no time tables, you have to read each recipe to find out the processing time. I like the old books, I use a Kerr one, with pressure canning time tables for everything - makes the fruit can fast and I use less water too.

My peach order is coming this weekend - seeing your's is making me hungry.

How much yarn can you get out of your average fleece? That fleece is beautiful BTW.

Joanne said...

What a yummy fleece! :) The peaches aren't bad either...They look great. I usually freeze peaches but haven't gotten to it yet this year...just been eating them instead. My canned peaches get sort of soft and don't hold their shape well. Any suggestions? I'm ready to do okra pickles tomorrow, I think. Want to come right over (to KY) and help? :) Oh--I have some old canning books too. As long as you boil the heck out of things, all is well. No oven canning around here...my professor likes boiling in the safety department.

Deb said...

nita,
I'm happy to stick with my old books. I think your right about the gov't. They say raw milk is going to kill us as well but family is as healthy as can be as well as my customers.
This is the first year since I've lived here I have been able to buy peaches by the box. I feel so fortunate. They are one of my favorite fruits. Am excited about doing another batch.

This particular fleece weighs about 15 lbs dirty. It should weigh approximately 7 lbs when it's cleaned depending on how bad the lanolin and dirt content was.

It will yield approximately 8000 yards of a soft, 2 ply worsted yarn give or take. This is a yarn that takes dye nicely and I've done quite a bit of overdying with it. It's lovely to work with.

joanne,
I've never frozen peaches - have to check into that. As far as really soft fruit, all I can think of is over processing, or the fruit was to soft to start with. My old books recommend using firm, ripe peaches but not any that are soft. Just a thought....sometimes they just come out that way.

I'd love to come to KY and make Okra pickles :) Don't know if I could stand your heat though :( Would you like to share your recipe? I love okra and have grown it once here. The flowers on the plants are beautiful. I lived in NC for a spell, enjoyed my gardenening season and the different veggies I could grow :)