Friday, August 26, 2011

Peach Bread

 I've been canning peaches (and nectarines and crushed tomatoes) lately and like to leave the bruised ones aside for baking with.  They ain't so pretty but I just cut the bad spots off and have beautiful chunks of peaches for baking.

I was digging through my pile of printed recipes recently and found one for Peach Bread.

I've been making a lot of muffins, skillet cobblers, and crisps, but not bread.

I decided to double the recipe.

Here's why....

This one whole entire loaf vanished while I was out (gluing homeschool co-op stuff) after dinner last night.

They must of each had 3 pieces.

It's boy approved.

Again, I'm a simple baker. No fancy ingredients here.

Less is best and faster to assemble.

Wet ingredients: Eggs, oil, raw honey, applesauce, vanilla extract.

Dry ingredients: Organic Spelt flour, baking powder & soda, salt, seasonings.

Mix the wet and dry and then add peaches.

Pour into greased loaf pans.

Since I doubled it, I had 2 huge loaf pans and 3 mini pans.

These went into the freezer.

Let's see how long they actually last!

The darker hue is from the honey.  I recently found a Mennonite family that sells raw honey about 3 miles down the road.  I'm trying to substitute raw honey for agave nectar (and sugar) here and there.

Peach Bread
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
2 dashes allspice
1 1/4 sugar (I cut sugar when I bake and used 1 cup honey)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup oil (I always use half applesauce, half oil)
2 cups peel diced peaches

1. Mix wet ingredients.
2. Mix dry ingredients.
3. Mix wet into dry till just moistened.
4. Fold in peaches
5. Pour into greased loaf pans (2- 8x4 inch)
6. Bake at 350 degrees (F) for approximately 45 min-1 hour, until tester comes out clean.

Slice. Eat. Enjoy.
The Lunch Lady

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Canned Nectarines with Organic Syrup

I stopped at my local fruit farm a few days ago to pick up some peaches.  I had a date with my husband's cousin.  I have to borrow his family since my cousins live in another country.  He doesn't mind sharing.


So I drove to the fruit farm, walked in, and  saw these beauties. Baskets and baskets full of nectarines.

I can't resist baskets and baskets full of nectarines.  They were calling my name. They were like sirens, luring me.  Now I've never canned nectarines before but did a quick Google check on my phone (Technology meets Fruit farm owned by Mennonites) and found that all you do is wash them and slice them right into the jar, skins and all!  That's my kind of canning!

I snapped this pic on the way home.  I love the gorgeous sunsets in Amish Country.

Back to canning...
When you can fruit, you have to use some kind of liquid. Typically, it's a syrup made with sugar.  But I don't eat much sugar.  I try not to eat much sugar. Happily one can also use fruit juice.  I grabbed three organic 100% apple juice bottles and decided to spice them up a bit.  I've made spiced canned peaches before so I thought I'd try it on the nectarines.

The syrup should be hot before its poured over the fruit in the jar.  Just dump a bottle of juice in a pot and heat till almost boiling.  Add a couple of dashes of organic cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.  To make it a bit easier to pour into the jar, pour the syrup into a pitcher.  The scents are amazing! Heavenly really.

It's like "Autumn in a jar."

The jars are processed for 30 minutes in the hot water bath.

The colors are amazing.

Canning is SO much better with a friend.  It's girl bonding time.  It's catching up.  It's learning. It's sharing.  It's a beautiful thing.

Especially when they do the dishes.
(Come back anytime Mick)
The Lunch Lady

*Note: We also canned peaches and crushed tomatoes.  Productive only describes us mildly.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Veggie Sandwich

To me this is summer on bread.

Ya can't get much better than the simple flavors of fresh tomatoes and pesto, a little mayo, and toast.

Things are shaking on the East coast of the U.S.A. today with unexpected eartquakes.

I was sitting on my cushy couch but my boys sure felt the tremors in the basement.

Stuff on the walls rattled and the ceiling tiles shifted.

Exciting stuff for us non-earthquake people.

Deliciousness in a few bites.

The Lunch Lady

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Baseball practice for Fall Ball started on Wednesday.

This is our first foray into Fall baseball. It's always been soccer. Always meaning the past 4 years.  

Hubby is taking a soccer coaching break. Work is busy and coaching is a bone marrow sucking you dry kind of job. I have great respect for volunteer coaches.

The boys just didn't want to play without Dad as the coach so they decided to play baseball.  I'm exceedingly happy since its a nice short season.  Did I just say that out loud?

No. I did not dress him.

Mom! No paparazzi, please!

I'm just trying to get him prepared for his future as a Pro.

 The Lunch Lady

Friday, August 19, 2011

Being Intentional

I just read this post by author Jody Hedlund.

It has really made me think about planning my life, being intentional and not just carried away by the moment.  It's especially a struggle for me as we start our homeschooling year in 2 1/2 weeks.  We have almost doubled our curriculum work from last year and we will have to be structured to get it done.  Social media can be such a distraction.

My goal today is to type out schedules for all 4 boys for at least half the year, kind of like a student guide for each kid.  It will keep us all accountable.  I found a template in Windows (7) for making Academic Schedules. So cool!

Read the article.

If I don't surface within 6 hours, send help!
The Lunch Lady

Teens & Dating

 Ha! You thought this post was going to be all about my view on teens and dating didn't you?


I took my teen on an ice cream date.  The brothers were all at various and a sundry practices so we escaped down the street to our local ice cream joint, "The Cone."

It's rare moments like these that I can sneak my IPhone out and take pictures of him unsuspectingly.  Camera shy doesn't describe it.

It's special moments like these that I will treasure forever.

The Mama.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Just Snappy

For Science this homeschooling year, we are doing something a bit different.

No curriculum plans here.

I gave each boy a permanent marker and the Home Science Tools catalog and let them go hog wild choosing anything that looked interesting to them.  They had to circle it and identify it as their interest.

What an interesting experiment.

What an expensive experiment.

They happily chose over $400 worth of stuff.

Of course, I didn't buy $400 worth of stuff. Yet.

But I bought at least one kit of interest for each kid.  My plan is to do Science once a week on Wednesdays. We'll choose a different kit and work on it for as long as needed.

Well, one rainy afternoon I caved.  I gave in.

My 11 year old needed something to do.

Out came one of his choices.

Batteries not included.

He built

He connected.

He wired.

He played.

He produced electricity.

He propelled.

He experimented.

He created.

He learned.

He did this for over 3 hours straight at the dining room table.

Highly recommend!
The Lunch Lady