Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Recipes: Peaches

Peaches are in season and will be gone soon! Today I've put together several recipes using peaches, some fresh, some frozen and some canned. last week I included links to blog recipes and the response was positive. 

So this week I am combining the two, providing you with recipes from the Old Fashioned Living archive as well as some great recipe links from food bloggers. Enjoy!

Peach and Yogurt Smoothie

4 peeled and quartered peaches
8 ounces vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1 rounded tablespoon brown sugar
dash ground nutmeg

Blend in blender while added ice cubes one at a time until thick and smooth. Serves 4.

Layered Fruit and Yogurt

6 cups fresh peaches, strawberries and raspberries
2 cups plain yogurt
6 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar

Wash and dry fruit, then slice. Place a layer of fruit in a glass bowl. Spread one-third of yogurt evenly over fruit. Sprinkle with one-third of the sugar. Repeat layer twice more. Cover and chill for at least one hour or overnight. 6 servings.

Peach Custard

2 cups fresh sliced peaches
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/4 cup margarine, softened
1 cup milk
3 egg whites
3/4 cup baking mix
1 tablespoon vanilla

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 8x8x2 inch square pan. Place peaches in pan and sprinkle with lemon juice then sugar; set aside. Mix remaining ingredients until well blended in a medium sized bowl. Pour over peaches. Bake 40-45 minutes until edges are light golden brown and toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm. Serves 6-8.

Peach Shortcakes

7 large ripe peaches
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups sour cream
1 egg
Whipped Topping

Pit and dice 1 large peach and set aside. Pit and thinly slice remaining peaches. In a large bowl toss with 1/2 cup sugar; let stand. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat 2 baking sheets with oil or spray.

Sift together flour, soda, cream of tartar, salt and 1/4 cup sugar into large bowl. Beat together sour cream and egg in medium bowl; stir in diced peach. Stir this mixture into flour mixture until just blended. Knead about 6 times in bowl if necessary to blend. Drop batter by 1/2 cups in 12 mounds onto baking sheets, spacing 2-3 inches apart. Sprinkle tops with remaining sugar.

Bake in 400 degree oven 12-15 minutes until golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly.

To serve, split warm shortcakes in half. Place bottom of biscuit on plate; top with 1/3 cup peach mixture. Top with whipped cream. Place other biscuit on cream, top with more whipped cream. Garnish with a peach slice. Serves 12.

Baked Fresh Peaches

6 fresh ripe peaches
1/2 cup honey
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Heavy Cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash, peel and pit peaches. Cut in half and arrange in a 2 quart casserole. Combine honey and lemon juice with 1 cup water. Pour over peaches. Bake, covered, 30 minutes, or until tender. Serve with cream poured over. 6 servings.

Poached Fresh Peaches

1/4 cup apricot preserves
1 tsp. grated orange peel
3 tablespoons sugar
4 fresh ripe peaches, peeled, halved and pitted

In a medium saucepan, combine preserves, peel and sugar with 1/2 cup water. Cook, stirring, over low heat, until mixture is like a syrup and falls in heavy drop from the spoon-about 5 minutes. Add peaches to syrup. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until tender. Refrigerate several hours until well chilled and serve with syrup.

Fresh Peach Breakfast Cake

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. grated orange peel
1/4 tsp. almond extract
2 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 ripe peaches

1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg white
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

With mixer, beat or whirl butter, sugar, peel and almond extract until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well. Add flour and beat until mixed. Spread batter into buttered, floured 9-inch cake pan or round casserole dish with lower sides. Peel and slice the peaches. Arrange on batter. Bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes (until lightly browned and just beginning to pull away from pan sides). Remove from oven. Quickly spoon cream topping (see below) around fruit. Bake 10 minutes longer. Cool on rack at least 30 minutes. Serve warm or cool. To serve, sprinkle lightly with cinnamon sugar. TOPPING: Beat to blend sour cream, sugar, egg white and extract.

Peach Bread

1 can (29-oz.) cling peach slices
3 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts
1/4 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F. Drain peaches; save 5 peaches for topping and puree remainder. Into deep bowl mix flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and allspice. Mix together pureed peaches, butter, egg and sour cream. Pour peach mixture into dry ingredients, mixing just until moistened. Pour into greased loaf pan. Mix nuts and brown sugar together; sprinkle over top of dough. Arrange peach slices on top of sugar mixture. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until tests done.

Peach Tea Bread

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh peaches
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 x 5 loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. In medium size bowl, combine peaches and lemon juice. In another bowl, combine oil, milk, eggs and vanilla. Add oil mixture to flour mixture and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not overbeat. Fold in peaches and nuts. Spoon into greased pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until top is golden brown and center springs back when lightly touched, or test for doneness with a toothpick. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Be sure to check out these sites for recipes using peaches:

Annie's peach recipes
Alicia's peach recipes

Some wonderful peach recipes from the food blogging community:

White Peach Sangria

1 bottle white wine (Spanish table wine)
3 ounces brandy
2 ounces triple sec
1 cup orange juice
1 cup pineapple juice
2 ounces simple syrup
3 ounces white peach puree (peel peaches, remove pit and puree in a blender with a small amount of water
fresh peaches, oranges and apples, sliced

Place all ingredients in a pitcher and stir to mix. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or up to 48 hours. Serve over ice.

Mascarpone Ice Cream with Caramelized Peaches, Cinnamon & Honey

2 cups (16 oz.) mascarpone cheese
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
2 ripe but still very firm peaches
2-3 Tbsp honey (blueberry, lavender or wildflower would be best; I used blueberry)
1-2 tsp cinnamon
2-3 Tbsp vodka (I actually used light rum because I thought it might work somehow. It does. You could also use peach or cinnamon schnapps for an extra kick of either flavor)

To get the instructions, click here

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Grilled Peaches

Just in case you were wondering…..grilled peaches may be the best dessert around ( I’m a die hard chocoholic, and even I say that!!). Here in Georgia, we are starting to see an abundance of beautiful Georgia peaches. After a while, even I get tired of drippy sticky peach juice running down my chin. And besides, eating a whole peach isn’t exactly an elegant dessert.

To get the instructions click here

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Sweet Grilled Peaches with Vanilla Bean Mascarpone and Walnut Sugar

1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 vanilla beans, divided
10 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup honey
1/2 vanilla bean
4 ripe white peaches, rinsed and blotted dry
1/2 cup finely ground walnuts
6 tablespoons coarse white sanding sugar

To get the instructions click here

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Donut Peach Galette

Pie Crust:
1 1/4 c flour
dash of salt
1 stick butter
2 1/2 T ice water
Saturn or Donut Peach
Ginger Spice Cookie crumbs (recipe for cookies available on blog as well)

To get the instructions click here

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Buttermilk Peach Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 - 2 cups buttermilk
2 pounds (about 6) whole peaches, peeled and sliced,
or 2 cups peaches, frozen or canned
3/4 - 1 cup of sugar
1 - can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons of lemon juice

To get the instructions click here

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Peach Galette

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup coarse cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup fat-free buttermilk

Peach Filling:
4 cups thinly sliced peaches (about 4 large)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 egg white
1 tablespoon fat-free milk
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

To get the instructions click here

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Georgia Cheesecake Pie

1 9-inch single crust pie crust-unbaked
5 large very-ripe peaches, pitted and sliced thinly - peeling is optional
1 pound cream cheese - softened
1 c granulated sugar
3 egg whites
1 t. vanilla
2 T. flour

To get the instructions click here

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Peach Yogurt Soup

2 lbs ripe peaches, peeled
2 cups peach nectar (Looza is a good brand)
2 tablespoons Meyer lemon simple syrup
1 1/2 cups 0% Greek yogurt
1/2 cup Rose or Riesling wine
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

Fresh blueberries and fresh mint leaves for garnish

To get the instructions click here

Peach Cobbler

6 perfect peaches, peeled and sliced into thin wedges
1/4 cup brown sugar
sprinkle cinammon
sprinkle nutmeg
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp cornstarch

Combine in a 8X8" baking dish and bake at 425 for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the topping:

1 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 stick butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 buttermilk

To get the instructions click here

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Craft: Country Dammit Doll

This is a craft that I made many years ago for a friend who needed comforting. She was very grateful and I hear from people all the time about how they remember making one themselves, seeing their grandmother's doll, or hearing about one from a family member. It's a fun project and can be made in the simplest of forms, or you can add your own special flare. That's basically what I did when I made this doll those years ago. I added what I believed to be some lovely country charm. I hope you like it.

Country Dammit Doll
by Amanda Formaro

This little country doll is a great comfort gift for someone you care about, or an adorable addition to any room in your home.

You will need

country floral fabric (half of a yard should do it!)
doll pattern
white yarn
darning needle
curled jute
sewing needle
thread to match fabric
6 buttons to coordinate with the fabric
2 flat backed black eyes
fabric glue
large unpainted wood button
scrap of blue gingham fabric for neck bow

12" cylindrical papier mache container
acrylic paint in antique white, light brown, and country blue
crackle medium
household sponge or sponge scrap
curled jute
rusty tin button
blue gingham fabric scrap
white tacky glue
black fine tip craft pen
scrap piece of paper
pen or pencil

What you do


To begin, print out the doll pattern and cut two pieces from country floral fabric, RIGHT side of fabric facing out. This doll is sewn on the outside, rather than sewn and turned inside out. This gives it a more primitive country look. Using a darning needle and white yarn, begin at the top/center of the head and sew downward, all the way around the doll until you get to the other side of the neck. Pause here to stuff the doll with Fiberfil, using the eraser end of a pencil to gently push the stuffing into the arms and legs. Complete the stuffing of the doll's head and sew shut, knot off.

Using a length of curled jute (can be purchased in the craft store where doll hair is sold), cut into 1 1/2" pieces. For each piece, fray the ends halfway, leaving the other half curled. Use a sewing needle and thread to sew the curled end of the jute pieces to the top of the head, frayed end should be pointing upward for the hair. You will need around 6 or 7 pieces of jute to complete the hair. Sew 3 buttons to the front of the hair, in the center, and 3 to the back, running thread through two buttons at once (one in back, one in front). Cut a strip of blue gingham fabric and fray the ends. Tie around doll's neck and secure with a couple of threads. Use fabric glue to adhere eyes to the doll's face. Sew wood button to the front of the doll's body.


Paint the papier mache cylinder and lid with a coat of antique white acrylic paint and allow to dry completely. Following the directions on the crackle medium, apply a coat of crackle medium over the antique white, and allow to dry according to the manufacturer's directions (usually 15-45 minutes, or until tacky but not completely dry). Finish with a coat of light brown, again, follow the directions on the crackle medium! Use single brush strokes, DO NOT brush over and over, you will lose the crackle effect. Allow to dry completely.

For the lid, cut a piece of blue gingham fabric long enough to fit around the lid, fray and tie. Trim and fray the ends. Use tacky glue to secure the fabric to the lid. Tie a piece of curled jute around the lid over the fabric, tie in place, secure with tacky glue. Gently thread a rusty tin button with the jute, and tie, ends should hang downward.

When the light brown coat is dry, use the household sponge to apply an oval shape to the front of your cylinder using antique white. The oval should cover most of the length of the container, leaving about an inch at the bottom and the top (below the lid). Sponge a light border of country blue around the outer edge of your oval.

Using a piece of scrap paper and a pen or pencil, sketch out the poem listed below to ensure that you can fit it all on your oval. You can use a ruler to approximate how much area you have to work with. Use a craft pen to write on the poem when you are comfortable with it.


When you want to climb the wall,
And stand right up and shout.
There's a little Dammit doll
You cannot do without.

Just grasp it firmly by the legs,
And find a place to slam it.
And as you whack the stuffing out
Yell Dammit, Dammit, Dammit!

If Dammit's not a word you say
Then twist its little neck
And grumble out repeatedly
Oh Heck, Oh Heck, Oh Heck!

And once your done abusing it
Just sit it on the shelf.
But hug it first, as I'd hug you
If I were there myself.

Note: Carefully stuff container with some light tissue paper before placing doll inside. You may need to tuck your doll's arms in a bit to fit her in. Cover her with a bit more tissue paper and cover with the lid.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Reader's Questions: Corn & Crabapples

Must we always teach our children with books? Let them look at the stars and the mountains above. Let them look at the waters and the trees and flowers on Earth. Then they will begin to think, and to think is the beginning of a real education. ~David Polis

Today I have two great garden questions, and I also shared recipes in each one that I thought everyone might enjoy this time of year:)

When is the best time to pickle corn. My Grandmother used to "go by the signs". I am not sure what the signs are. Help! ~Janiece

Your grandmother probably just knew what she wanted to corn to look like on the cob to make it just right. It's suppose to be fully formed but still on the young and small side. That's when it's especially nice, and works well for pickling. I'm sure each cook and gardener has their special harvest time, but like your grandma you'll learn how you like it! Here is a recipe for pickled corn. There are many things you can do to vary it. Instead of pickling spice you can add fresh dill and a hot pepper, or toss in a clove of garlic. Some people don't use a pickling spice at all, preferring it with just the vinegar and sugar. But don't dilute the vinegar in canning recipes. It's okay to add more sugar or less sugar or spices, but the vinegar helps preserve it.

Pickled Corn

6 ears corn, cleaned and quartered
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups white vinegar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon pickling spice
2 bay leaves

Place in a large bowl with the salt and water to cover. Chill until needed. In a large stock pot, stir together the vinegar, sugar, bay leaves and pickling spice. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Add the corn to the pot with the pickling mixture. Return to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Then remove the corn with a slotted spoon, and fill 2 quart jars. Remove the bay leaves and discard. Cover the corn with the vinegar mixture to within 1/2 inch of the top. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth. Seal with lids and rings. Process the jars in a hot water bath. Usually 15-20 minutes> is required at 180 degrees F, but check with your local extension office to be sure.

There is a crabapple tree in my neighbor yard, how do we know when to pick them? Do you have any good recipes for them too. ~June

There are SO many varieties of crabapples that all ripen at different times from now til October. It's said they should have a reddish/pink blush on at least one side. The recipes were easier to find. Here are a couple of good ones:

Crabapple Butter

2 pounds crabapples
3 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger

Wash and core crabapples. Place them in a pan large enough to hold, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer until they are soft. Rub them through a sieve to remove skins and seeds. Place them back in the pan and add the sugar. Boil slowly, stirring frequently, until thick. You can do this last step in a crockpot cooking on low all day, but stir occasionally.

Spiced Crabapples

1 pound crabapples
1 cup granulated sugar
20 whole cloves
3-inch stick of cinnamon
salt to taste
2 cups water
Optional: 4-5 allspice berries

Wash the crabapples and place in large pot whole. Place in the other ingredients and simmer until the apples are tender when tested with a fork. Remove to bowls and top with some of the juice from the pot.

Learn how to harvest and use homegrown or purchased eggplant:


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

High Tea vs. Low Tea

By Brenda Hyde

High tea sounds elegant and brings to mind for many lavish tea desserts, scones and dainty sandwiches. Often, online and offline, high tea is described as a more lavish version of afternoon tea. I once ran across a chef connected with the Lipton company describing it this way. This has never been true, and is a misuse of the term. High tea was actually a working man's hearty tea and supper after a long, hard day of manual labor. It is actually the combination of afternoon tea and the evening meal. The working person, whether male or female, would work until late afternoon, often missing lunch and certainly afternoon tea. They would return home in the early evening and high tea would be served at the main table or "high table" rather than in the parlor or sitting room. High tea has different traditional dishes depending on where the working man resided. England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland all had versions of high tea, especially in the rural areas. All would include tea, bread and cheese and these are some of the regional favorites:

Wales: Welsh rarebit, onion cake (potatoes and onions), Glamorgan sausage (a meatless sausage), poacher's pie (beef, rabbit, chicken, and game)

Scotland: Steak pie, sausages and eggs, haddock, kippers, mashed potatoes, shortbreads, Dundee cake, gingerbread or drop scones.

Ireland: Barm Brack (Irish Fruit Cake), Irish Rarebit, Bacon and Egg Pie, oatcakes

England: Shepherds Pie, Baked Beans on Toast, steak and kidney pie In England high tea is also known as "meat tea", referring to the addition of hot or cold meats.

Afternoon tea on the other hand, would often be served at smaller, lower tables with dainty desserts and fine china. This was often referred to as low tea. While this does not sound elegant, it was the tea preferred by the upper class. In the 1800's the practice of inviting friends to tea became popular, especially among the rich. This will vary too depending on if it is formal or informal, but almost always includes:sandwiches and/or savories, scones, toast, crumpets or muffins, cookies, plain cakes, quick breads and sometimes an elegant cake to finish the tea. Afternoon tea is generally served between lunch and a later dinner; anywhere from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

High tea was practical, it was filling, and it was a reward for a hard days work. The hot tea comforted and warmed, while the food fed hard working men and women. It may not have been fancy, but it became a solid tradition.Personally, I think a traditional high tea would be a fantastic way to entertain friends and family, including men, who enjoy a hardy meal.

Monday, July 27, 2009

This Week's Garden Tips

Learn to pause ... or nothing worthwhile will catch up to you. ~Doug King

A lesson I learn a couple of summers ago involved tomatoes. Many types of tomatoes won't set their fruit under hot conditions. It was discouraging to say the least and I did some research in case it happened again. This is from Louisiana State University where they have hot, hot summers!

"As we get into the summer and daytime temperatures exceed 90 degrees F, many tomato varieties will not set fruit. Blooming will continue, but fertilization of the bloom will not occur... In theory, if you can keep the tomato plant alive and healthy through the summer, it will bloom and set fruit again in the fall. This is not easy to do. Foliar diseases and insects continue to plague the plant whether it produces fruit or not."

You can try lightly shaking your tomato plants early in the morning and it may help pollination. You can also provide shade during the hottest part of the day. Regular watering may help as well. This can be really frustrating for northern gardeners who usually worry about the cold, not the heat! One year a reader emailed me and told me she took a broom to her tomatoes each morning:) She'd give them a light "brooming" to help them germinate.

Hot weather can also stress out your trees and shrubs even if they have been established for a long time. Azaleas and rhododendrons have shallow roots and need to be watered if they are dry, as well as Japanese maples, hydrangeas and any shrub or tree that's been planted this season. Consider using a soaker hose by spiraling it around the plant and watering it slowly. Try watering for 40 minutes. We bought two willow trees this spring and we were told to water if we didn't get a good soaking rain once a week. The rain seems to avoid our house whenever we need it, so we watered today for about 45 minutes each.

I've been trying to take notes on which plants have been doing the best during this dry heat. It's good to know so they can be grouped together in the hottest parts of my landscape. So far the morning glories, calendulas, moss rose, ice plant, black eyed susan, daylilies, hibiscus and of course most of the herbs have been doing great, and of course the weeds, which never fail to adapt.

We have harvesting tips and recipes for zucchini on OFL: