Peachy Summertime

IMG_8387 a

Ah summer, you have the power to make us suffer and like it. -Russel Baker

Summertime is officially here in the Northwest with blue skies, warm days and yes, a bit of hot summer sunshine. Today I tried a new recipe, peach ice-tea. I used my Thrive Simply Peach drink, and brewed iced tea,( half and half) mixed.  I like to mix the peach drink in a little warm water to dissolve the sugar, then mix it in with the rest of the tea and water. One of the things I love about it, is it has no high fructose corn syrup and is vitamin enriched with no artificial colors.  In the afternoon when I am dragging, this picks me up. I put a little sliver of a nectarine on my glass like you would a lemon to give it a nice touch.

This afternoon I made a peach cobbler from some peaches I froze last year. Last summer when the peaches were ripe, I bought a large box of them, cut them up and put sugar on them with the lemon juice, and froze them in four cup increments in freezer bags. When I want peach cobbler, or just a bowl of fresh tasting peaches, I get them out of the freezer and thaw them in the microwave.  I found a simple recipe about 15 years ago in a Southern Living magazine and I have used that recipe ever since.

peach

  Here is the recipe:

Peach Cobbler

1/2 cup of unsalted butter

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar (divided)

4 cups fresh peaches (or frozen)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1  T lemon juice

Melt butter in a 13 x 9 inch pan in the oven at 375 degrees. Combine flour, one cup sugar, baking powder and salt.  Add one cup of milk and stir it till it is mixed.  Pour the batter over the butter (don’t stir). Bring the remaining one cup of sugar, four cups of sliced peaches and the lemon juice to a boil over high heat stirring constantly; pour over the batter, don’t stir. Sprinkle with a touch of cinnamon. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes until brown. Serve warm or cool.

My children look forward to peach cobbler every summer.  Taking advantage of the harvest and freezing them not only lets me take advantage of the price when they are in season, (or your own harvest if you are lucky enough to have a peach tree!) but makes this dessert very simple.

The afternoon sun is bearing down warm on the garden and heating up the house. I’m thinking the family better be happy with the peach cobbler and a sandwich for supper- I’m not heating the kitchen up again. There is a limit to how much suffering I am going to do on summer afternoon!

Linking up with my homesteading friends at: New Life on a Homestead

and the frugal friends at Handmade Monday

Advertisements

It’s Berry Season!

PicMonkey Collage“The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice.”

  It’s berry season here in the Pacific Northwest, with the harvest a little earlier this year with the warmer temperatures we have been having. I decided this year to try to make some blueberry freezer jam.  Freezer jam seems to keep that fresh berry taste better than canned, so it is favorite at our house. We use it for topping biscuits, ice-cream, pancakes and crepes. Or for just eating straight out of the jar-not that I would ever do that!

IMG_8333

I wanted the jam to be a little less set, which freezer jam does tend to do. When I look for blueberry syrup, I can’t find any without high fructose corn syrup, and even then it is over $8 for a small bottle. I tried this recipe  from the ball website, although I didn’t use their pectin, I just used sure-jell.

The jam turned out perfect to use as a syrup, topping, or even as jelly for biscuits. This winter when the cold wind blows, fresh blueberry topping will be wonderful with pancakes.  Pancake mix is one of those items I have in my long term food storage pantry.  Different types of toppings would be nice in an emergency. If you top it with peanut butter instead of butter, not only be delicious, but it will get you through the morning.

Join in on the discussion, do you prefer freezer jam or canned?  What summer produce are you putting up for your pantry?

IMG_5029I’m linking up with:

From The Farm Blog Hop

Should Christians Prepare?

IMG_7382 a

“In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but  a foolish man devours all he has.” 

Proverbs 21:20

“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.” Proverbs 21:31

A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.Proverbs 22:3

A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.” Proverbs 22:9

Sometimes when people talk about having a prepared pantry, or preparing for a rainy day, they will say something like, “As a Christian, I don’t worry about preparing; the Lord will provide, look at the birds, the Lord provides for them.”  I too count on the provision of God, and yet I go to work to earn an income.  I save for my retirement and the days when I am too old to work.  If I want organic pears in the winter, I  know the only way I will have that is to can the harvest from our old pear tree in September.  I give to others from the overflow, but I also put some back for the coming year ahead. It is simply the prudent thing to do!

IMG_7280I was catching up on my reading Proverbs this morning and I noticed two themes,the house of the wise store up, and the righteous man is generous and shares his food with the poor.  Many Christians are feeling an uneasiness in their spirit and are beginning to prepare through having a well stocked pantry and putting some food back. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark, and yet he worked diligently to prepare for his family and the animals on the earth.   As Christians we need to use our mind and our heart. We need to listen to the Spirits gentle and quiet whispers to us, we need to look at the whole Bible and not pick a scripture out of the context of the subject. Let us look at stories like Joseph and Noah, and may we prepare, but know in our heart that the victory will be from the Lord.

I want to welcome you to my new website called The Prepared Pantry. I hope to write balanced and practical tips and ideas for those who want to be wise in these times.

Blessings,

Linking up with Spiritual Sunday today!

Why Prepare?

winter

Life is fragile, peace is fragile, civilization itself is fragile. The economy is particularly vulnerable. We have been counseled again and again concerning self-relieance, concerning thrift…let us have some food set aside that would sustain us for a time in case of need.” -Gordon Hinkley

IMG_6226

To have a pantry that is full of food and supplies is a gift to yourself of peace of mind.   In this country, we have become so use to simply running to the store anytime we need a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread, we can’t even imagine or comprehend what we would happen if there was no food at the grocery.  Grocery stores only carry a three day supply of food. In an emergency, the shelves would be empty. What would happen if there was a pandemic and simply going to the store was putting you at risk? What would happen if you had a job loss and your income was severely restricted? It would be a blessing to simply go to your pantry and put a simple meal together from your food storage.

pantry

(Art by Tasha Tudor)

IMG_6225When you are thinking of putting to together a prepared pantry, the first question to ask yourself is why? Why are you preparing and then make your goals and your list from there.  My reasons may be drastically different from your reasons, and they will differ depending on where you live.  If you live in an area with hurricanes, that would be one of the things you would prepare for. If you live where you have frequent winter storms, that would your preparation.  You may be preparing for an E.M.P attack, or even something that you can’t quite put your finger on, but you just feel uneasy. That is OK! If you use food that is shelf stable, it will be there and waiting if and when you need it. I invite you to check out some of the sales going on right now at Thrive  Life.  Freeze dried ground beef is on sale this month. I love being able to open a can when I need it, and it be shelf stable for six months! You can add pasta sauce, make tacos or our favorite, Mexican rice.

Have you every considering putting together a prepared pantry?  What do you stock up on?

Welcome to the very first posting at the Prepared Pantry! I look forward to exploring the topic of preparation often in the days to come. If you are a facebook reader, please consider visiting my facebook page to get updated on posts.