Thank goodness Fall is here. The air is cool and crisp with leaves falling and beautiful sunsets. This makes good working weather.
All In A Jar hopes you had a wonderful summer. We had an amazing summer with our daughter’s wedding and family and friends visiting. Playing on a near by lake and yes, canning. Someone gifted me a box and half of Peaches and a box of Pears. It was a lot of fun being creative with this delicious produce. It was very hot out here this summer. We had many days in a row that were triple digits. That made it hard to get things done around here. But that didn’t stop us.
You haven’t heard much from me lately because I have been putting in a huge garden. When I say huge I mean 80 feet by 50 feet with a eight and a half foot fence around it. That alone was a feat in itself. We have moon dust and river rocks that is hard to work with a shovel. The plan is to start classes in the garden and go in the kitchen to have some fun canning.
So far, I have seven fruit trees planted; two Cherry, two Pear, two Apple and one Apricot. I have three more trees I want to plant in the late fall. They will be Peach, Plum and Nectarine. Meanwhile, I have Fava beans planted as a cover crop to get the soil ready for the trees.
The garden beds are 16 feet long by 4 feet wide. I have three finished with irragation and planted.
It is starting to look like a Farm.
P.S. We have a grand baby on the way.
See you in class
This past weekend is the perfect example of why I can. Last year my daughter got engaged to get married and asked if I would make mama pies for their wedding. She doesn’t care for cake and of course I said sure, no problem. So last summer when the produce was at its peak I started canning pie filling; Apple, Apricot, Peach, Caramelized Pear Ginger, Nectarine, Apricot Blueberry and Nectarine Plum. I have to admit, I was a little overwhelmed thinking of renting a house and making pie crust and cooking it in an oven I’m not familiar with.
One day I bought pie crust as a test and took one bite and said I can not do this to my daughter or her guests. I needed a plan on how I was going to do this. As the wedding got closer I started creating the perfect pie crust that could hold up to me decorating it. It needed to taste good and look good. When I finally felt I had it down I needed to test it to see if I could make it ahead of time and freeze it, thaw them, roll it out, decorate it, and then bake. The test was successful and I was making pie crust and individually wrapping them for the freezer. I also made oatmeal pie crisp tops by putting all the dry ingredients in pint jars then at the rental just adding soft butter and mixing.
The next thing I worried about was the oven at the rental house. Was it in good working order and how can we get 20 pies to the wedding site without having them get damaged in route? Friday morning my mother and I got up and started rolling out the pie crust to decorate, then poured in the pie filling and bake them. The oven was gas and it was very inconsistent which made it a challenge for each pie. We didn’t get all 20 pies done that day. We needed to go to the wedding rehearsal so I got up Saturday at 6:00am and finished the last 5 pies.
Now it was time to get the pies to the wedding site. We carefully placed pies in the trunk of our car and in the back of my parents car and drove slowly to the venue and place the pies in the walk- in cooler. Later that afternoon some friends of the groom helped get pies out to the table where my mother saw one man with ten pies stacked on top of each other. She ran up to him and asked please do not do that as we spent two days making them beautiful. I told her I was happy I didn’t see that, I probably would have had a melt down, possibly kick him in the shin.
The most important thing was my daughter was happy how the pies turned out. The guests would get a piece of pie walk along the table looking to see what pie they wanted next. So I guess it was successful. At the end of the evening we wrapped up what was left and gave it to guests to bring home. This is why I can.
See you in class
New date for Alamo Class. Sorry about that.
All In A Jar is traveling to “The Kitchen ” Please contact them for Aug 15 class
Dianne McArthur “The Kitchen” at Alamo Hardware 3211 Danville Blvd
Alamo CA 94507 phone 925.837.2420 ext.313
Aug 15 Tuesday at 11:00am
Peach Raspberry Jam is sweet and tart. Great on toast, in thumbprint cookies, in yogurt and over ice cream. Garlicky Broccoli Stem Relish; you can use this on sandwiches, and on toasted baguette with your favorite cheese. Homemade Barbecue Sauce; not too sweet and a smoky spicy flavor. Nectarine Conserve with Raisins and Walnuts; I love conserve they have a lot going on. They are sweet, sticky and can be used as an appetizer with bread and cheese, as a dessert on top of pound cake or ice cream, even for breakfast in oatmeal.