Thursday, September 4, 2014

Just Peachy

The week is coming to an end. The weather has been mild, even hot yesterday with a promise of a change in the weather today. A cold front is supposed to come in with cold and rain. I expected to awake to that change this morning, but the early morning is still, cool, and quiet. I am on chore duty, for the Head Gardener has exchanged his gardener's hat for his hunting cap.

The week began with canning peaches in Jen's kitchen on Sunday.

 Since she now has a gas range and I have the glass cook top, we decided to do the canning on the gas stove. It was an easy chore since we have it down to a system. I blanched, peeled, and sliced while she boiled the jars, filled the jars, capped them, and put them in the water bath. I had wanted to water pack rather than using a sugar syrup, but I chickened out when I read that sugar does help to preserve the color. Instead we made a a very light syrup: 1 1/4 cups of sugar to 9 cups of water. Don't they look pretty in the jars?

Bubble bubble, toil but no trouble.

I picked a few tomatoes and peppers yesterday after I fed the horses and hens. I need to pick a few more, hoping to have enough to can salsa. I don't know about others in our area, but our tomatoes are very slow to ripen. They seem perfectly happy to stay green. I usually have an abundance of peppers, and while the Anaheims are prolific, the bell peppers are slackers this year. I do have one lovely red, small, pepper. I pick the ones that are destined to be orange or yellow to ripen in the house because otherwise they will just rot on the vine.

 How do you like my turkey tureen, a thrift store treasure. Do you have ARC in your area. I choose ARC over Goodwill because of the prices.

Here is a Black Crim tomato. It is a very sweet and very juicy tomato and not the traditional bright red. While not really black, it does sport a dark green stem top and a much darker red outer skin and inner flesh. My favorite way to eat tomatoes these days is a simple salad with avocado, onion, a sprinkle of lemon or lime juice, a dash of pepper, a bit of salt, some garlic powder. Sounds a bit like guacamole, but I only slice the avocado rather than moosh it. Were I brave, I'd slice up a bit jalapeno pepper, for I have plenty in the garden, but I am not that brave.

Okay, I have to admit that I started this post on the iPad early before I went to do chores. I took the camera with me to take some photos. Let me tell you, the boys did fuss with me because they are used to the Head Gardener's no nonsense approach to chores. I know he talks to them, but I want linger and take pictures. Smile Sundance. Smile!

Pop needs a bath, don't you think. Breakfast first.

The hens aren't too thrilled about a photo session either. These are the youngsters that we bought as chicks this spring. They are really pretty hens. Let me see if I can get their breed correct: Silver Laced Red Wyandotte. They should start laying brown eggs soon. We are down to six hens with one not doing so well and only one laying. I have told the Head Gardener that perhaps we should see if any local pet shelters have hens to increase the flock. My colleague at the university will be wanting eggs.

Monday the girls ended summer vacation with a riding lesson at my friend's barn where her daughter gave the lesson. Ellie rides without a lead rope. She looks so small on big Bear. He is such a gentle soul. And what a beautiful day it was. Cooler, sunny, a beautiful Colorado Labor Day.

Lucy learns to trot. Mara has to be worn out at the end of the lessons. She is very good and the girls love her and they love riding that big horse. But what about Pop?

I have to thank you all for your wonderful support on my first Monday Mosaic. I have felt that my blog has become a bit stagnet, so I need to spruce things up, energize it, spend more time working on it. Monday Mosaic provides a great opportunity to challenge me to spend more time with The Garden Spot and encourages me reach out to read new bloggers, a nice opportunity to grow. And it did, so a big Welcome to the two new followers Pat @  She is new to Colorado and wrote a wonderful post about one my favorite childhood memories, a buffalo herd just west of Denver off I-70 that as a little girl we would pass on the way to our grandparents cabin. I loved her post. And a thank you to Judy who also signed on. Of course a thank you to Judith, new host of Mosaic Monday who patiently helped me figure out how to create the link. I'll see if I can do it correctly next time.

Time to get on with my day. Headed to town do some errands. 

Have a fabulous week end. Thanks for stopping by.


  1. Great photos! Don't you just love canning. It always gives me a feeling of accomplishment. And I would have canned peaches too if 20 peaches out of the lug hadn't gone rotten in 2 days!

  2. Wonderful canned peaches. I still want to do some next week after we get home from our trip. And more salsa. The garden will be bursting with tomatoes.
    So glad you joined in with Mosaic Monday. I didn't this week because of being away, but it's a fun linky!

  3. You're working hard, Ann!
    Let's see. We should go to the dollhouse furniture shop by my house.

  4. So nice to have these delicious canned peaches in stock for happy winterdays. The turkey tureen is a wonderful asset and you must know already that I love to see horses on your blog, especially with the little Lucy on it.
    Wish you a lovely weekend!

  5. I should think teamwork would make canning go quicker and you gals have perfected a system that works for you.
    I'm happy that you joined Mosaic Monday and look forward to your posts at the party often.

  6. I do enjoy canning, but it would be really fun with a partner to do it with. Your peaches look beautiful.