Thursday, August 30, 2012

Putting up Peaches

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We are just getting the very last of the peaches here in Southwestern PA,
and I have to say, they've been really good this year.
Mind you, not as good as the peaches of my native Georgia...
but what are you gonna do.


Can you tell what's different about this second picture? :)
I struck up a bargain with one of my farmer friends at the market and ordered a HUGE box of them to can and make cobblers and such.

I would take the ones with minor bump, bruises, and blemishes off of his hands,
and in return he would give me a CRAZY deal.
So I got mine on the cheap. Huzzah!
A little spot here and a small bruise there was really not a big problem,
I was going to be cutting them up anyway.
For the cobbler, I use this recipe from Southern Living.
It. Is. Delicious.
It's also really simple.
I should mention, too, that this recipe states that the nutmeg is "optional."
It actually isn't. Not for me anyway.

I canned everything that was left over which mostly we'll just eat plain.
I might make a cobbler or two with them.
I also throw them into smoothies for the little guy.

I use a really light syrup because I hate when fruit tastes like white sugar and not... you know... fruit.

Anyone out there have a favorite peach recipe you want to share?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Catholic Saint Dolls!

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I'm back!
and I'm introducing my new project and newest listing in my Etsy shop:
Catholic Saint Felt Dolls
Long story short: I wanted a saint doll for a friend's daughter,
so I started with one and then someone asked me to make another.
Then someone else asked me to make another.
So here's what I have so far!
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha
complete with shawl, headband, and mocassins (obviously)
Her hair is made of braided yarn,
I cut some fringe in her shawl and hand sewed the design around the neck.
Then we have...
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
aka "Mama T"
Looking stylish as always in her Missionaries of Charity sari and veil
Each doll comes with a laminated prayer card with some fun facts like feast days and such and a prayer or quote on the back.
Next we have
Saint Therese of Lisieux
aka "the Little Flower"
obvisouly I had to make her a little cross the roses.
and there you have it!
Please let me know what you think.
There's not a lot out there when it comes to saint toys
and to be perfectly honest a lot of it is... well.... creepy.
Anywho, let me know if I can make one for you!
For more pictures and details, click here to visit my Etsy shop.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Win Win

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Just a quick post to let all of you know that I'm participating in an online auction this week.

My "Play Mass Kit," along with many other great items are up for grabs with all proceeds going to bring financial and prayer support to bring two orphans home to their family.

If you want more information about this beautiful family, click here

To visit the auction and place a bid, click here.

And for more information about Reese's Rainbow, the ministry that is helping bring orphans with special needs home to their families, click here.

Thanks! Give lots and lots of money! :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

I Like Bread and Butter

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Here's the thing about cucumbers:
you plant them,
you watch them grow,
and then overnight you have 10 million.

Luckily, we love cucumbers (even especially Ben).
We eat about 5 varieties of cucumber salads,
put them in regular green salads,
eat them plain with hummus,
etc etc etc.

And if and when we still have a ton extra, I make pickles.
Lots of different kinds, and one of our faves is this recipe for bread and butter pickles.
Great for snacking, putting out for company, and throwing on a "sammich".

Bread and Butter Pickles:
For a batch of about 4 pint-sized Mason jars:

about 9 cups cucumbers, sliced
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
1 large onion (like a Vidalia if you can get one)
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
a healthy pinch or a couple shakes of tumeric
Clean, trim, and slice thinnly your cucumbers and add to a large bowl.

Sprinkle the salt over them and give them a toss. cover them lightly with a cloth and put them in the refrigerator for a couple hours.

They'll lose a lot of their excess water.
Rinse them off in a colander, place them back in your bowl, and add your onion. Toss so everything is evenly disributed.

In a medium pan, add the rest of your ingredients and bring to a bowl.
Meanwhile, put your cucumber-onion mixture into your sterilized mason jars using a funnel so you're sure not to touch the rim.

In a small saucepan bring a couple inches of water to a simmer (not boil) and place your lids in the water to activate the seal.

Pour your brine over the cucumbers (again using a funnel), leaving a 1/4 inch of headspace.
wipe down your rims if there is any spillage.

Note: Be careful with the brine! Tumeric can stain, so you may want to wear an apron.
Place lids on the jars being careful not to touch the under side, and place ring over the top.
Screw on lightly.
Process in a waterbath for 30 minutes.
Done! The longer they sit, the better they taste, but I'd say (as with the pickled peppers) wait at least a week for some good flavor to develop.