Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Peppers, Peach Jelly and Squash Dog Cookies

Yeah, I know, not exactly an exciting title but I'm pretty excited about the subjects right now.

My "hot" peppers, which aren't really hot at all but very low on that scale, are on a bit of a hiatus right now because I've harvested this round. Believe me, I'm watching each blossom like a hawk! This is my final bowl of Spanish Spice, Godfather and Poblano peppers, already cut and ready for the pan. They were absolutely fantastic. There aren't enough stars to give my true recommendation of both the Godfather and the Spanish Spice. Yes, they are hybrid seeds, but my goodness are they fantastic.

When I finally...finally...finished the peach jelly I was amazed at how beautiful it turned out. It is a lovely rose color and the smell is a true fresh peach smell. And the taste..well, let's just say there is no way this one is going to last long! I made 17 jars, note there is already one gone!

Of course, there are bound to be questions on it because it is Peach skin jelly that also includes all the sections and segments that were just a tad too ripe for canning or had a bruise or what not. In other words, the stuff we usually throw into the compost bin when canning up peaches.

The question that naturally comes up for those like me who like our food organic is the effect of using skins because peaches are one of the most affected by pesticides seeping into the fruit from the skin. Well, I can highly recommend the recipe but only on the condition that the peaches used are organic. Even if you aren't normally an organophile, (that looks a bit naughty), peaches are one of the few fruits that you really should consider it for. Soft skin fruits in general really soak up the pesticides sprayed on them.

Okay, sermon over! Well cleaned peach skins with anything sketchy cut out and all those segments that are just slurpy ripe (once you've eaten your fill, of course), work fantastically. Here is the link to the recipe. This recipe has been successfully used by many folks on various homesteading and canning boards I'm on for multiple years, so I feel very confident with it with one glaring exception. Peach pits are, in fact, toxic and while it is probably okay in this recipe, I've left them out and so has everyone else I've personally contacted who makes it.

Now for the wonderful and accidental dog cookie find. We call them cookies because they look and feel like cookies but all they are is dehydrated slices of yellow squash. Yep..that's it. While my dogs turn their Beagley noses at squash in any other form not already soaked in chicken broth, these they go bonkers over. I found out because I heard the tell-tale sound of dog paws sliding on the edge of the counter, a classic sign of a dog that is attempting to counter surf for anything remotely edible near the edge of the counter. This was immediately followed by the alarming sound of crunching. After running into the kitchen with visions of dealing with doggie diarrhea from chocolate ingestion playing in my mind, I find Boscoe eagerly snarfing down these. Now I use them as the ultimate bait and they work.

You don't need to do anything to them really. Just slice about 1/4 inch thick, steam blanch for a few minutes, layer in dehydrater and let it do it's thing. Remove and bag up as serious treatage. If you do this, let me know your results.

For all those of you out there who have pet beds in your house that outnumber your dogs 10 to 1, this snap and the gratification of it should be recognizable. The greatest beds we buy and lug home proudly often result in turned up noses and put upon looks as they settle on the floor rather than touch that bed. Finally, finally, I brought home a bed that meets the standard. This one I took with my cell phone so the quality isn't great. I took it the day before Boscoe's surgery. Isn't he cute and happy looking? And he still really loves this bed!

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