Posts Tagged ‘Unconventional Gifts’

So yesterday I picked up the netted bag I’d purchased the day before of peaches from the “Fresh and Easy” market down the road from where I live. I totally love shopping at that store. But I think, because of the heat the peaches were angry because overnight they got so soft, and some of them had spots on them.

Now granted, they were relatively small and werent hard to begin with, but they went south fast. So I parboiled them, and peeled them, mashed them up and made jam with them.

the recipe I used, is as follows:

Sweet Peach Jam

Juice of 1 medium lemon

3 cups mashed peaches (about 2-2 1/2 pounds)

3/4 cup peach Schnapps

1 pouch liquid pectin (3 ounces)

7 cups sugar

I was afraid it wouldn’t gel with so much liquid but it did. It doesnt taste anything like alcohol and I boiled it for 7 minutes or so, so I am sure there isnt any actual alcohol left in it. But it really really does give a lot of peach flavor.

I processed it, in 15, 4oz Kerr Jars. I decided to make it in smaller jars because I wasnt sure what I would use it for (other than making thumbprint cookies and maybe adding to a chicken marinade for some dish.)

A while ago, someone suggested smaller jars for smaller batches so that I could kind of test of flavors and recipes, and be able to give them out and let more people try them while not spending more incase they didnt like them. Also I think that being able to make several flavors in the small jars will be awesome because then I can give 3 or 4 jars away at a time in sampler sets. which may be awesome for Christmas.

D has a huge family and they always do a Christmas thing, no need to remind me, I am still away that I am a Jew, but I do give gifts to my children for Christmas, its about family and fun for us, not religion.

So, its super yummy, amazing really. But even D asked me what the heck I was doing making Jam on SUCH a hot day. I told him, its either today or not at all tomorrow the peaches will be dust. (Ok maybe not that bad, but gross enough to not want to make them into something else.)

About two weeks before Valentines D asked me, what I wanted for Valentines.

I am difficult (romantically) to shop for. I don’t like flowers, jewelry (unless I make it myself), candy, and stuffed animals albeit cute on occasion are given thanks for and handed off to my children.

Men cant just go out any buy things like, a vacuum cleaner, a standing mixer (which I want) or a treadmill (also a want) without chancing making a huge ass out of themselves. It really can make a bad statement. You don’t clean/cook enough or the far worse… honey I think your fat…. I rarely think that men actually mean to do it and I don’t think that women really mean to take the meaning of these things in that way…. But we all know it happens. I don’t have to be a feminist (which thank the heavens I am not) to truly grasp this concept.

***Side story…

D once told me, that although I wasnt as young or as hard bodied as the girls he had previously dated, he loved me anyway.

He didnt see the harm. But he called me fat and old in one swift kick and since he was drunk he couldnt understand why I was upset.

In his head he stated…. You may not be perfect, but your perfect to ME.”

He spent the rest of the night apologizing for the foot in mouth syndrome.

To be clear, every person (including his friends) that have heard this story, visibly wince when I or he repeats what he said to me.

His friends are merciless. they pick on me constantly, like I am one of the boys. It almost never bothers me.

I digress.

end side story***

So to avoid any awkwardness he just asks when he is unsure. My goals and interests have recently shifted anyway and buying me a $100 bottle of perfume just makes me sad I didnt get something else I could really use…. Like an electric wheat grinder.

I asked him for either an excalibur dehydrator ($200-250) Or a bread machine (about $100)

I came home Sunday February 13th from work and he had purchased me an Oyster dehydrator from walmart (Its the only one they had, he said) “D, thanks for remembering, sort of, what I asked for, do you remember me stating 5 or 6 times that if you got me a dehydrator that the only one I wanted was an Excalibur dehydrator? Because I already have an $80 dehydrator, and now I want a cadillac of dehydrators.” His response was “Oh, yeah I remember you saying that brand name, isnt that the one you showed me on Amazon?

So I odered the bread maker I wanted with his credit card and also got a bread machine book, bread slicer, and bread saver box by Progressive (Which I am finding has a lot of neat kitchen stuff) it all amounted to about 130 bucks.

I’m really excited. The whole point of this post is to say…. I got the bread machine in the mail today! YAY! I had gotten all the other stuff but the actual untit showed today AND it showed 2 hours before my planned trip to Costco, which means I could semi-plan more specifically for some ingredients. I think I am actually going to buy a 25 lb bag of flour… and use it….

This is my 3rd step of experimentation.

 I began with dehydrating, borrowed a dehydrator, did some research, bought a few books, started putting it all “up” and  I have found that I really enjoy it and its not as hard as one would think. So I took the next step and bought a dehydrator of my own.

Then I  started water bath canning and gotten all of the books research and “stuff” I need to do it. I have done 6 rounds I’m improving, but it is surely an exact science I want to get better at before jumping on to pressure canning.

So now on to baking my own bread. I am quite a baker anyhow, I know how to bake bread home made from scratch. Challah is to DIE for. See… Jew remember, I grew up with mom making it.

Experimenting and learning to use the food you store (ie. flour, yeast, dry milk, and the like) on a regular basis is important I know it is better to know how to make it, but the convenience of a bread maker will allow me to get it started and then go to work and not have to kneed and hang out while its baking… But still allowing me to use what I am storing. Besides, Freshly baked bread smells amazing and the bread maker won’t kill us in the height of summer the same way the actual stove will. I live in Arizona.