canning peaches

Sitting in my rocking chair, away from the heat of the kitchen, as i wait for the canner to boil. There are 5 quart jars & 1 pint jar packed with peaches from fredricksburg, texas that i got at georgia’s farm to market a few days ago. I picked up a case & most will be canned & used to help make the (two) kids school lunches come fall & winter. Seamus enjoyed the few peaches and pears i canned last year. Layla not as much but she will come around. Starting in the fall between two kids in school fulltime (and a husband who packs his lunch daily for work) a mom is going to need a stocked pantry!

Don’t these peaches look delicious?


a case, which is about 25lbs cost me $35 and i got about 77 peaches! I am currently waiting for a text reply from geoffrey about his pie crust vs crumb topping preference before i make a delicious peach pie! Pretty sure he likes crumb best on a peach pie but a wife needs to be sure 🙂

So, for canned peaches i make an extra light syrup. This year i decided to add a little flavor to the syrup. Why not, right? So, i sprinkled in some nutmeg and cinnamon! It tasted yummy. Here is a picture before i added the nutmeg cinnamon infused syrup…


and here is a picture after i added the spiced up bland and blah extra light syrup…


Can you see those fragrant, tasty spices floating around? If not, trust me. They are there!

I was happy to see that all the time it took me to boil, chill, peel & quarter the peaches paid off! My canner was full.


After i make a pie i will have some peaches left over. I am thinking of canning some more to get me a couple pints then i am thinking about making some peach puree. I can see meyself using it to make up some…. peach crepes, perhaps? I would also like to make some peach jam or peach preserves… I am still undecided. I suppose i should put some freezer. (just thought about that.) i mean i could make a blueberry peach smoothie!! Oh boy…there are just too many possibilities. Maybe i need another case?

….So, i got distracted with other things & had some time to think about what do with the rest of the peaches. I decided to freeze them all using the foodsaver. (boy did get lucky with it!) i decided if i freeze i can use for smoothies & if i wanted to i can thaw and cook them down into a peach sauce or syrup and make crepes with them. So, they are all in the freezer. I diced them up and put some lemon juice on them. I left the skins on because no matter what they get used for we won’t mind the skin.


Then i used the foodsaver…by the way, my bestie found this at a garage sale for $15. She wasn’t sure it had all the parts & there was no manual with it so she told them she’d pay $5 and i have used it so much in the past few months! Nothing fancy but it works great and i can seal up large and rather small quantities of food now that i know how the thing works.


Now i have delicous fresh texas peaches, perserved as soon as they were ripe, in my freezer!



rye crackers

the kids and i spent the day with some friends. (thanks rosie, esther, rachel and baby joel!) i brought a double batch of rye crackers to make while there. rosie and i enjoyed them with our quinoa bean salad, which is another post all its own! and we enjoyed them by themselves as we chatted. we learned that her girls do not like rye crackers! 🙂 they are so sweet and precious though.

i have made these crackers 3 or 4 times and this is the recipe i have come up with. yes, mom, i did change this from its original! when i was shopping at georgia’s farm to market a month or so ago i found bob’s red mill dark rye flour. i picked it up and looked it over, that’s when i saw the recipe for the rye crackers and i knew that it was going home with me!!


1/2 cup dark rye flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
couple handfuls of flaxseeds
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons milk

Mix all dry ingredients together. work in butter with your fingers until crumbly. add milk and mix until it forms a ball. on a floured surface roll out dough until thin (1/8th to 1/16th inch).  cut into shapes and prick with fork. bake on un-greased cookie sheets at 400 degrees for 5-6 mins. mine always seem to take longer. i bake them until i see they are starting to turn brown on the edges.

cool on a rack…or not, and enjoy! i always make a double batch. geoffrey, the kids and i love them! they go great with hummus.



what a day its gonna be!

oh boy…

such a glorious day! pretty sure its one for the books…and its not even noon yet!

this morning i’ve been running errands gathering plants and supplies for spring planting. home depot for some leaf/lawn bags and pair of good gloves for me. and a trip to buchanan’s for tomato, pepper and eggplant transplants. i also picked up some parsley, oregano and mint transplants. a quick stop at georgia’s for a local fresh chicken, some tea and some super seaweed.

geoffrey is off getting a generator from a friend then heading to the land to hopefully build chicken coops for the barry farms chickens we want to pick up next week! 🙂 this is been a long time coming and the fact that we are actually going to be farming is pretty cool! i never in a million years thought we would move to HOUSTON TEXAS and FARM! do you know how many times i have said or typed this word (farm) in the past few weeks? i am so proud of geoffrey and his fighting for this dream. often times dreams don’t come easy. they take work, effort, time, resources, research…its been a long road but a great one! looking forward to see all that becomes of the barry farm!

tonight we are going to the rodeo! we scored some sweet seats…well, at least i am pretty sure row A seats 8-9 are pertty sweet! we shall soon find out. we are going to with geoff’s dad and a good friend. our good friend rolly who just said goodbye to his parents and sister as they head back to philippines. geoffrey and i love the rodeo and its been a few years since we’ve gone. you will NEVER guess who we are going to see…never…

when you score good seats you score good seats not only for the concert that follows but also for the rodeo itself. boy i hope we are near the bull chutes! no matter, thanks LJS!!

so…its janet jackson! yup, a janet jackson concert follows the rodeo. should be interesting! we are going with good company and it’ll be something else we can add to the list of things we did in houston. went to the houston livestock show and rodeo and saw janet jackson! 🙂

enough about that…the best part of the day is we got our tax refund and i just put a check in the mail to payoff our car loan! hallelujah! we are so happy to be done it. so happy! we had the car for less maybe 15 months. love writing big fat checks and sending them to put toward auto loans! now that means the $205 car payment we used to make gets added onto the truck payment…so exciting! can’t wait for the day we pay that off! thank you dave ramsey and mark pickle at storehouse financial solutions.

now, i must get some things done around…its been pretty busy and i’m behind.



cheese. boy do i love good cheese. i used to stay away from fancy, strong flavored, weird flavored cheeses. like brie, i don’t know why but i had never a desire to try it. when i became a smith i tried it. i love it especially warmed with blueberries over the top paired with a simple cracker. yum! geoffrey and i enjoy this now and then for a late night snack.

i always liked bleu cheese dressing. now i can eat blue cheese all by itself!

and gorgonzola cheese. i’ve had it before on salad. i just now was eating it all by itself! basically its a bleu cheese. i guess i didn’t realize that. i thought it was a white crumbly cheese. its so strong and so delicious!

growing up in vermont, we ate some good sharp cheddar cheese. hmmm, hmmm! i remember shopping one day and i wanted some good sharp cabot cheese. i just couldn’t find it. while perusing the speciality cheese section i found it! duh, this is texas. cabot cheese is a speciality cheese down here! nothing like a good homemade mac and cheese with cabot extra sharp cheese! my mouth is watering…

the other day while shopping at georgia’s farm to market i picked up a rosemary & olive ricotta cheese from dairy goat haven. i can’t wait to try it on top of my homemade olive oil crackers! maybe tonight geoffrey and i will need a little snack when we return from church.

gouda…smoked gouda. i haven’t had that in awhile.

there is this delicious cheese we discovered some time ago. my mother in law found it. its a white cheese that has cranberries in it and is divine! comes in a wedge. i can’t remember the name of it but it starts with a ‘w’.

and feta. oh boy do i love feta! last time i made this i sprinkled some feta on top. heavenly.

that’s my thoughts about cheese at this moment. it all started with a few bites of that gorgonzola cheese! now i’m off to bake my bread.


i am so happy that seamus loves the canned peaches and pears i did. back a month ago or so i was happy to find locally grown pears at georgia’s farm to market. the first time i bought a few and we ate them right up. i decided to go back and get a bunch so i could can them. i want to have good fruits for the kids lunches through the winter. so i took these delicious locally grown (katy, tx) pears…

made an extra light syrup and turned them into these…