Tag Archives: peaches

Peachy dilemma

So our last peach tree is ready for harvesting, and we’re trying to figure out what to do with them. They aren’t as tasty as they’ve been in the past, and they don’t live up to their huge, juicy, intensely flavored predecessors  this year. Why not?

I guess we should have thinned these out...

I guess we should have thinned these out…

I think that the main factor is that the tree is way too overloaded. We tend to let nature do the thinning –  windstorms, hailstorms, microbursts, squirrels, etc. But this summer none of those weather events happened, and there are very few squirrels in the neighborhood (maybe because Mississippi Kites have taken up residence?). Somehow this tree held on to every fruit up until the bitter end.

Also, we’ve had a somewhat cooler than normal spring and summer. All the fruit and veggies are about two to three weeks behind schedule. I’m not complaining about this at all, by-the-way!

Anyway, here we have scads of mediocre peaches on our hands. (Mediocre is a relative term. Compared to grocery store peaches these are just fine.) This morning I cut one up and sprinkled it generously with sugar – which we usually avoid – then waited a few minutes. Ahhh… that did the trick. They will do just fine in peach leather, peach gelee, spiced peach butter, and canned in a rum syrup. And of course I can always make more peach chutney and peach salsa.

Oh, and the same as last year, we’ve had virtually no insect damage on our peaches this year. Yeah for sparrows at the bird feeders!

You knew there was a reason you'd been hoarding those bottle caps!

You knew there was a reason you’d been hoarding those bottle caps!

Last weekend was our 35th wedding anniversary (Good grief, we must be getting old!), and we stayed at Pecan Valley Inn B&B near Davis, Oklahoma. What an awesome job Janet Charalampous has done with restoring this historic mansion!

Hmmm, this cart looks familiar...

Hmmm, this cart looks familiar…

On the drive down and  back we stopped at antique stores in Purcell, Paul’s Valley,  Davis, and Duncan. We bought a few “treasures” but mostly marveled at how much of this stuff we already have. We visited the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center which was fun, and something I’d love to do with our granddaughter some day.

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August 2013


pizzaLunch today looked so good I had to snap a pic. Isn’t this the way you should feel every day? : )

Pictured is a personal pizza with homemade ricotta cheese*, and basil, garlic, and cherry tomatoes from the garden. Plus one of the many cucumbers from the garden marinated in a nam prik-style vinaigrette.  After I gobbled this up I enjoyed a couple of fresh figs (not pictured).

*The milk I was going to put in my coffee had gone sour, so I made ricotta out of it. It’s gotten me all excited about making cheese, and I think I’ll be doing a lot of ordering from this website. Cheese making results in a lot of whey, so I’ve bookmarked this site too.

Right now we are coping with a glut of cucumbers, figs, and peaches. Not a bad problem to have, I guess! I’m trying all sorts of new cucumber recipes, like cucumber kimchi and stir-fried cucumbers (really delicious, using Armenian cucumbers). We’ve put up frozen peaches, canned peaches, peach butter, peach chutney, and peach salsa. I’m going to try my hand at some fig butter, and last week Mike bought a new dehydrator which has been running non-stop with peaches and figs (oh-so-good in breakfast oatmeal!).

One reason for the bumper crop of peaches and figs is the relatively mild summer we’ve had. After last year’s record-breaking heat this feels like paradise. Cooler temperatures and rain have made Oklahoma lush and green in August, when it’s usually parched and yellow. I drove I-40 to Nashville last week, and you would have thought it was May. Last night I actually had to pull a blanket on me! (Our house is not air-conditioned, we just have fans.)

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Early peaches

ripe early peaches ready for pickingWe are harvesting and putting up peaches this weekend from our early variety (Mike can’t remember the name, but it might be Candor). A somewhat strange occurrence is that we haven’t had any leaf curl or insects on our fruit. Every peach is perfect looking. I wonder if last summer’s heat and drought killed off the insects? Mike has peach slices drying in the dehydrator and the oven, and I made peach fritters today (see recipe and pic below). I exchanges some peaches for my friend’s cucumbers, so tomorrow I’m going to make some peach-cucumber salsa.

Mike has been  spending a lot of time with the chipper-shredder and we have another huge batch of compost cooking. I’ve already distributed one batch this spring, and this new one should be ready in a couple of weeks. It is amazing how much organic matter one medium-sized city lot can generate!

peach frittersFresh Peach Fritters – This recipe makes about two dozen small fritters. Combine the following in a bowl and let sit while you make the batter:

  • 2 cups sliced and chopped peaches, with skin
  • 1 Tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Sift together:

  • 1 to 1.25 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp almond meal (optional, you can add flour instead)

To the flour mixture add:

  • 1/2 C milk
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 egg, beaten

Last of all add:

  • the peaches and any juices that have accumulated in the bowl

Drop by the spoonful (about 1 Tbsp) into hot oil. I never use a thermometer, but you want the oil hot enough that the fritters don’t absorb a lot of oil, but not so hot that the batter “explodes.” The fritters should be irregular and flat, not neat little balls. Turn the fritters over and cook until golden brown. Drain them on a paper towel or newspaper. Dust with powdered sugar and eat right away with some good strong coffee or mint ice tea.

And now, just because I can’t resist, my beautiful granddaughter…

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Filed under Cook, Garden