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We are soon into peach season, and oh how much I miss canning, freezing and dehydrating and putting foods up! It is so hard for me to grasp just going to store for everything you eat, and how much more expensive it is to do that. I have found out in the past year an a half just how much money people spend shopping in the stores for “EVERYTHING” they eat, it is really sad.

Now, I know and realize that not everyone can, or wants to can, freeze and dehydrate foods for future and winter use. People have all sorts of differing lifestyles, however this is labor intensive and that is the trade off, if you hate cooking these things are not for you at all. If you do not have the time due to work and family, then that is yet another consideration. However for me it has always been something I do constantly throughout the year, as a means of saving money, and more over because you know what is in the foods you make and preserve at home.

Since my lifestyle has changed and I have not been able to can and to the other forms of food preservation, it has meant that my food bill has tripled in price from what it was, I used to spend 150.00 –200.00 a month in food, bearing in mind that meats, vegetables, fruits  were bought on sale, from local Mennonite Orchards in the area and local farm stands or the Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction in Dayton, VA. Over the past year on average shopping in grocery stores, eating out etc. my food bill per month averages 450.00-500.00 a month!! Wow, what a waste, that would translate roughly to a full 3 years worth of food using home preservation methods. It just makes me sick to my stomach at how much money is wasted (at least for me) and the quality of store bought foods pale in comparison to home preserved foods.

 

 

Many people exclaim but that is a lot of work! I guess it is, but for me it is all part of life and living, you just do it like frying an egg, it is not work if you enjoy it. Over the past year and a half many people have talked to me about ways of saving money, and yet the one most costly thing food is always over looked. Sad.

Well I have strayed somewhat from the topic of peaches, even though I cannot put up and preserve and take pictures of the process to show your right now. However, that does not have to stop me from sharing some links and recipes with you, at least this way helps me keep up faith that one day I hopefully can get back to this, as it is a sorely missed part of my daily life.

You can find a lot of useful information from these online sites-

Georgia Peach Association

Face Book- Sweet Georgia Peaches

 

Just as a reminder to everyone, shopping through local orchards, you will find you do not need to buy in bushels like I and many others do, you can buy a couple of pounds or a half and full peck. Orchard prices for fruits are considerably cheaper than in the grocery stores, plus you know they are fresh off the tree and have not been picked green, gassed, or held in storage for long periods of time. Peaches, Nectarines, Plums and Pears are generally the higher priced of the orchard fruits as they do have a short shelf life, unlike Apples. However that being said generally in the orchard you can expect the prices to run 25.00 to 35.00 per bushel at least here in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. on average of .50 to .70 cents per lb. apples summer and winter varieties often run 35 to 45 cents a pound. vs grocery store prices of 1.50 to 2.00 per pound.

This is hard for me to do, as all of my Mennonite and Amish cookbooks are packed away, and I am used to preparing the dishes and taking my own pictures of what I make to post to the blog, unfortunately I cannot do this at this time so must rely on the internet.

PEACH CRISP

*click on the picture below to be taken to “Just a Pinch Recipes” where this recipe came from.

Directions

Crunchy Oatmeal Topping Peach Cobbler Recipe
6 cups fresh or frozen peach slices, peeled and pitted
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup unbleached flour
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup unbleached flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup rolled oatmeal
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, cold, cut in 8 pieces

How To Make Peach Cobbler
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter a 9″ X 9″ glass baking pan or 2 quart stoneware baking dish. Set aside.
In a large bowl, toss peeled and pitted ripe peach slices with 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 flour and lemon juice and arrange in prepared baking dish. Set aside.
Combine 1 cup flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar, oatmeal and cinnamon in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until blended.

With the food processor running, add cold butter a few pieces at a time. Pulse until the butter is incorporated and looks like coarse meal.
Spread topping ingredients evenly over the peaches and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until peaches are bubbling through and the topping is starting to brown. Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes or more before serving.
Serve warm with Sweetened Whipped Cream ( or your choice of ice cream!
Refrigerate any leftovers if there are any left!
Serves 6.

This Peach Cobbler Recipe can be jazzed up by adding blackberries, raspberries or cherries for color, sliced almonds and almond extract for taste or pure maple syrup for sweetness. Experiment with different fruits and spices. Substitute apples for the peaches and voilà! Apple cobbler

 

FRESH PEACH SMOOTHIE

* Click on the picture below to be taken to Paula Deen’s website where this recipe was found.

I will add here that peaches are so versatile, you can add other soft fruits to smoothies, such as raspberries, black berries, strawberries, milk or cream, vanilla ice cream etc. also spices such as ginger goes great with peaches.

Fresh, delicious, healthy and bursting with peach flavor!

Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 min
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

6   Peaches
4 cups of ice
honey

Directions

Peel your peaches, chop them in half, place them in a blender with ice, and blend. To serve, pour the glass half way with the smoothie, add a dash of honey, pour the glass to the top, and top it with one more dash of honey.

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