Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pie and Blogging

My first fruit pie! It's peach and blueberry and that combination because we were gifted with two loads of peaches last Friday and blueberries were on hand. After reading how all the bloggers are cooking with fruit, preserving, and making freezer jam, I felt very convicted to get on with it.

I wrote to Chris at Growing Together. I remembered she mentioned freezing a truckload of peaches, and I wanted to know how to do so. She wrote back with instructions, and I was off to Wal-Mart to get the Sure-Jell. While there, a woman asked me if I had heard of freezer jam and how great it is. Thanks to blogging, I have heard of it. So, now I added canning jars to my basket. I was ready!

So, I start peeling the first bag of peaches - very overripe because the neighbor had given them to me on Wednesday evening, unbeknownst to me, as she gave them to my son or husband who promptly put the plastic shopping bag on the counter and mentioned it to me on Friday. Needless to say, rot set it. I cut away the bad parts hoping no one would get sick with the rest. Messy job! Then, I reach for a ginormous, gorgeous peach from the basket my son brought home from his job and found that these were not ripe. Okay, then, one batch rot, one batch gorgeous and hard. What to do? Food Network and look up "Paula Deen peaches" and see what she has. Too much milk, too hard, etc. Food Network, look up peaches, and find Tyler Florence's Peach and Blueberry Pie and go with it. Very pretty. I'm not a pie maker, so I wasn't sure it was good, but my kids liked it, my husband liked it, and the neighbors liked it. So, click the link, and give it a try yourself! I had mine with vanilla ice cream.

Freezer Jam: I guess you all know about this, however, it went all wrong for me. I was made the strawberry version. I read the instructions, I crushed the strawberries, and I measured out EXACTLY the amounts as directed. I looked at the long instruction paper that came with the Sure-Jell and had it folded in half. I put the paper down, did something, picked the paper up, and carried on and began to cook the fruit and wait for the rolling boil and add the Sure-Jell and go for 1 MINUTE EXACTLY, and then noticed it was describing canning and vacuuming lids, and - Drats! I ended up following the wrong half of the page for CANNING instructions. Everything is almost the same for freezer jam, but you don't cook the fruit.

I still jarred it and left it out for 24 hours and then into the fridge. Do you think it is safe to eat? I'm afraid to try. It's the same ingredients, except you sugar the fruit in the bowl and cook the Sure-Jell and water to a boil and then pour over the uncooked fruit, mix, jar, and sit out. I boiled the fruit and sugar and then added the Sure-Jell and boiled again for a minute and then jarred. What do you think?

While eating my pie and ice cream, I went blogging. I read these sites you might be interested in:

Growing Together - Chris has a new etsy store full of vintage patterns and is having a giveaway. Please tell her hello and you came by from my place.

Freda's Hive - Freda has a link to a basket tutorial that looks darling. It reminds me of something Ravenhill or blij als mij would make with their pretty European fabrics, and I promptly sent them the link, too.

Label-Free - This one is organized by a pattern maker, and she has involved her sewing friends to contribute. I think it is a chance for them to share what they know without it being about any particular brand. Just info and tutorials.

Well, off to meet a friend and exercise off some of this pie. Oh, and I didn't tell you about the Blueberry - OMG - Breakfast Cake. You'll find that recipe at The Cottage Nest blog posted on the link above. Lots of exercise required …


Nanette Merrill said...

Hi Michelle, thanks for the shout out. The jam will be fine I think. I'd just freeze it now and it will be a good experience for you. I love peaches and ours aren't ripe yet but they go south soo fast. They are here one min. and gone the next.

Good luck with it all. You're doing a great job.

Chris Worthy said...

Thanks, Michele! And I am glad you are enjoying the peaches. It took me a few days to be interested in them again after the Great Peach Peel of 2008. :)

Jackie said...

Another daisy! I will add you to my list. We are collecting daisies.

Unknown said...

Mmmmm, Michele, how delicious a post you have concocted today!

Nan said...

It was neat to open this comment page and see another Nanette! LOL, when I saw the first comment from her my first thought was I have to go visit her, just because she shares my name! LOL

The pie looks great, and I'm sure it was if everyone in the family enjoyed it too. Hope the jam is OK for use. I know how you feel about the uncertainty of it, worried you might get sick, is there a co-operative extension in your area you can call or look up on line? I remember once making pickles and getting worried with the instructions of not boiling the jars, I called them [this was before I was computer literate!] and they walked me through what to do, they save the day and those were some of the best pickles I ever ate!

Jean said...

Michelle, yes as Nanette said just freeze the jam and it will be fine. Next time you will see that it tastes different than freezer jam. They are both good though. I used to make bottled jam all the time cause I always figured that if the electricity went off the jam would still be good. Your pie looks wonderful!
Oh, and don't know if you know the trick of the dipping the peaches in hot hot water for a bout 1/2 minute and then when you go to peel them, the peels about drop off! It's great.
Canning food/freezing/drying can be a trial sometimes, but well worth the effort in the end!
Keep up the good work.

Abby and Stephanie said...

LOVE pie. Thanks for the recipe link. My daughter is coming home this week and I'll be baking that very pie. Yum!!!

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