Sunday, August 30, 2015

Book Review- Two Minutes in the Bible Through Proverbs

It seems that every time I open my bible to Proverbs there is a new lesson, a new teaching.  This 90 day devotional book from Harvest House publishers and author Boyd Bailey is a perfect companion to your quiet time.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Peach Peel Jelly

WAIT!  Don't throw away all of those peach peels and pits!  They have a great future as flavorful, delicious Peach Jelly!  

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

90 Minutes In Heaven Review + A Giveaway

In 1989, Don Piper's life changed forever. What he thought was just a normal day turned into a day he would always look back on, realizing that it was the ultimate "fork in the road" moment. After a semi truck crashes into him head on in an absolutely horrific accident, Don was pronounced dead at the scene. For 90 minutes, everyone believed Don to be dead, all while Don experienced life in heaven.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

No-Pectin Peach Preserves

Wouldn't it be delicious to pop open a jar of preserves in the cold of winter and have them taste exactly like a fresh picked peach?  That has been my goal this year.  In the past I have always trusted the box of clear-jell or pectin that I buy in the local market.  I have followed the recipes, dumping nearly a bag of sugar into each batch.  Not so this peach season!
After doing some research, I gathered together a few different recipes (concepts, as I call them), and came up with a recipe that I think tastes fresh and just-picked.  This recipe uses less sugar, and none of that boxed jelling agent. Thanks to a slower process, the natural pectin of the peaches helps to jell the fruit into a somewhat soft, but firm enough, preserve. I hope you enjoy!

No-Pectin Peach Preserves

7 lbs. fresh peaches
4-5 cups sugar
3 tbs. lemon juice, bottled or fresh

Prepare the peaches by dropping them in boiling
water for 1-2 minutes. Remove, and when cool enough 
to handle, slip off the peels and split in 1/2 removing the pits
(save the peels and pits for Peach Peel Jelly!).  
Place the peaches in a 6-8 quart pan and simmer over medium
heat for 10 minutes.  (do not add water!)
Using a potato masher, chop the cooked peaches into 
small, preserve size pieces.
Add the lemon juice and sugar and return the 
mixture to medium high heat, bringing it to a boil.
Cook, stirring almost constantly to avoid scorching,
to the jelly stage, or about 220°.  
This will take about 20 minutes. 
Immediately fill hot, sterilized jars with the preserves,
leaving about 1/4" head space.  
(here's a trick- I keep my clean jars in the oven at about 200° 
until I'm ready to fill them- that way they are hot and won't 
crack when I add the hot preserves!)
Making sure the rims and threads of the jar are free of
preserves, place the hot lids and rings on firmly.  
For safety, process your jars of preserves in a boiling water
bath for 5 minutes.  (to do it how my grandmother did- 
turn the jars upside down for 20 minutes 
then flip them back upright).
Listen for the "ping" as the button on the lid inverts
and it seals completely!

This recipe will make about 4 pints of preserves.  You can easily
multiply the ingredients for a larger yield. 

For more information and available resources about canning and preserving food,

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Peach Season at One Ash

In early spring we love to drive through the country and look at the pink-purple blossoms on all of the peach trees. Then as the summer heats up we get to watch as the blossoms turn into the first early (cling) peaches, and then the later (freestone) peaches.  The workers stay busy all summer trimming, culling and picking, to make sure the crops are healthy and productive. Everywhere you go things are bustling during peach season!  Then as the peak of the freestone peaches start coming in, we know it's time to head to the local farm. What a blessing it is to live in one of the largest peach producing areas of the country!  And this week we are getting to enjoy the results of that peach production.  After a trip to one of the biggest peach packers around (we are able to buy them direct from the plant since we are local), I have been having a great time with a bushel of peaches!

There are so many ways to preserve the peach goodness to enjoy in the cold winter months.  I am working on no-pectin preserves, peach butter, canned and frozen peaches, peach pie filling, peach peel jelly, and of course we have had to enjoy some homemade peach ice cream!  I will be sharing many of those recipes here on the blog. But we started off our peach season with a delicious recipe for Peach Cake.  I had never heard of this, but my dad saw it in the newspaper where he lives and sent it my way. After a few changes to make it my own, I made it for church last weekend and everyone sure enjoyed it.  Hope you will too!

Fresh Peach Cake

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 stick butter, softened
2 extra large eggs
1 8 oz. container sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 large well ripened peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350.
Grease a pan- I used an 8 x 10 3/4 pyrex

Beat the butter, and 1 cup of the sugar until fluffy
Add the eggs, sour cream and vanilla and beat until smooth

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, 
baking powder, and salt. 
Add this mixture to the batter and mix 
until combined.

In a different bowl, mix the remaining 1/2 cup sugar
and the cinnamon.

Spread 1/2 of the batter in the bottom of the pan.
Layer 1/2 of the peaches and 1/4 of the cinnamon 
sugar mixture on top.
Spread the remaining batter on top of this and
then layer the remaining peaches.
Sprinkle the pecans on top and cover with the 
remaining cinnamon sugar.

Bake about 50 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown.
Serve warm or cool- really good with ice cream!

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