Sweet Summer Time on the Hill

 

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Whomever coined the phrase, “Summer time and the living is easy” never lived on a hobby farm.  While we enjoy every single ounce of Summer on the hill, we are working very hard and most days Verick and I put in a good 18 hours of work.  Don’t get me wrong, we enjoy our work and we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t, and the kids are learning skills important to pass on to the next generation, but it ain’t easy street.  There are some yummy rewards for those who labor long.  We brought together some favorites to share with you and even a DIY project you can throw in if you are finding yourself with some extra time on your hands.  

 

 

Last year I got a sweet deal on a couple of bushels of peaches and put up enough to enjoy the whole year.  I put in a day of hard work for a years worth of peaches.  If you could only have tasted how juicy and sweet these peaches were. They were some of the best I ever had from a local farmer not far from our home.  I sure hope they have them this year.  Here is what we did to ease the process:

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First, I got some of the ripest sweetest local peaches we could find and I bought a lot to save money. Next, I researched on google how to put up peaches best.  Of course we saved several to eat and Hannah made an out of this world peach pie.  Then, with my newfound knowledge on a process I knew nothing about, I set out to wash and flash freeze me some juicy goodness.

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Are these not absolutely gorgeous?  These were put in the freezer for a little while and then held under water and the peel came RIGHT off!!! Did you know that secret? I didn’t either until last year!!! Just pop the peaches on a tray into the freezer for an hour or two and then hold under the water and the peel glides right off!! Easy peasy. WOW.

THEN….I cut up slices…and stuck those on freezer sheets for individual pieces perfect for smoothies and oatmeal and such throughout the year.  After they were in the freezer for several hours like this…

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I popped them into freezer bags already labeled and into the deep freeze they went.

Meanwhile, my daughter, ever so savy in the kitchen, was busily making her own peach perfection..

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A yummy peach pie from scratch…

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Is your mouth watering yet?????

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This pie was ama-zing!!!! My complements to the chef!! (Whom at the time was 10.)

We just finished off the last of the frozen peaches that we used all year long for smoothies and oatmeal.  TOTALLY worth it and they lasted all year!!! I WILL be doing this again soon!!!

Another thing I can not wait to do this Summer is start harvesting our watermelons!! They are looking good out there and with the latest rain and rain to come this week, I would anticipate some ready in the next two to three weeks. Definitely later this year than usual, but then we had to plant late due to that CRAZY snow storm in MAY!!! With watermelons comes lots and lots of yummy slices and a surplus so we start to get creative.  One of the best tasting treats in mid-Summer is……..

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and it is so easy to make!! We used the Pioneer Woman’s recipe last year and while it was awesome, I am wanting to clean it up just a bit this year. Whole Foods has a recipe that is basically the same, but with honey for sugar.

Ingredients

8 c seedless watermelon chunks, divided

2 T honey

2 T lime juice

¼ c chopped mint or basil (optional)

Place half of watermelon in food processor and process until smooth.

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Pour into 9×13 in glass baking dish. Add remaining watermelon to processor with honey, and lime juice and process until smooth. Pour into baking dish, stir until combined, place uncovered in freezer. Freeze until ice begins to form around edges, about 30 minutes. Rake with a fork to break up clumps and return to freezer, continue stirring every 30 min for about 3 hours. Using a large fork, flake granite into bowls or airtight container to freeze up to 1 week. Garnish with mint or basil. (optional).

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Yummy!!!!!  

Next up on the docket is our yummy eight ball pizza!! Have you ever had eight ball zuchinni? It tastes just the same but grows like a melon and is dubbed an eight ball.  It is perfect to make personal pizzas.  

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It is sooooo easy…just slice, put on your stone or pan, add your toppings of choice (we used Daiya cheese as we were dairy free all Spring and part of Summer for allergy season) and cook at 375 until cheese is melted.  There is so much you could do here, though. Panko bread crumbs, extra virgin olive oil, sliced tomatoes, and parmesan cheese would be tasty.  YUM!! If you are paleo, use the daiya cheese and Applegate farms turkey pepperoni with oregano and basil.

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Finally, a little DIY Summer time fun.  Have you heard of a story board? Well, this is a story board with a twist.  It is a story tray.  I didn’t intend on doing this, but in an effort to decorate an antique tray I bought, I came upon this idea.  We will call it a blessed accident because after I was done, the Lord showed me what each thing stood for and WOW, I have to say, I was a little taken aback. It has become a visual reminder to me daily of our calling AND our past.  I just LOVE that it means all that to me in one glance, but to the friend passing through, it just looks pretty.  Yours may look totally different and may represent something completely unique to your story and calling.  Here is what mine looks like:

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You may be able to guess what some of it means..and I have changed it ever so slightly, well added a couple of pictures and verses underneath the tray that are “life verses.” So, find you a tray and some trinkets and tell your story.  It will be fun looking for things around the house or at vintage/antique stores.

Are you still with me? I have sooooo much to share!!! Ahahaha.  A little later in the week I will be bringing you another post much like this with Princess Leia hair, crock pot chicken fajitas, salads in a jar, and playdough fun!! 

Here is a teaser……

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These curls were fun!! My friend Sasha Hahner taught me how to do it!!

And who can resist this?

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Please share on pinterest and facebook with friends to help us get the word out.  We have a facebook page we would love for you to “like” if you haven’t yet. Click here or our facebook link.  Hope you all are savoring Summer and enjoying every little bit while you can!!

Blessings from our homestead to yours!!!!

Crystal and Verick

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  • July 22, 2013 - 2:49 pm

    Sandy Weedman - Can't wait to try your peachy trick!  Now if we can just find some good peaches!
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