Bizz & BooBoo

A hippie mama doing her best!

Putting Up Oranges! September 15, 2011

Filed under: Food,Freezing,Preserving — bizzandbooboo @ 7:00 am
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I had a wonderful opportunity to glean some oranges in downtown Chico with some ladies whom I met through our local “Chico Garden Share” Facebook page! It is great to meet and spend time with people whom you feel like you “know” in the facebook world! And we got some wonderfully sweet and juicy oranges on our gleaning adventure!

It was a Saturday morning and after Bizz and I finished up at the farmer’s market we headed a few blocks over to get some oranges!

(Thank you Leslie from Performance Design & Landscape for the picture of me gleaning)

This is me - gleaning some oranges!

Bizz helped too!!

But mostly had to watch due to the height!

We ended up with a beautiful bounty of oranges (this is just a few of them).

Now what to do with them all… I decided to make orange juice, orange marmalade, and something with the peels…..

For the orange juice the whole family got involved in washing, peeling and juicing! It was sticky business.


I love how Bizz is watching Daddy out of the corner of his eye in this one!

I ended up with about 3 quarts of orange juice – one we drank right away and the others went in the freezer for another day.

Next up – orange marmalade… this is a first for me and it takes some time!

Here is a photo essay of the marmalade making… more info to come in a future post!

And now I have a bag full of orange peels and I know there are a lot of uses for them… I just have to figure out which one(s) to do! Hubby told me I was like a depression-era wife saving the peels to use also…. what can I say – I like to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (since the song!)

Have a peachy orang-y day!

~Jesse

*Shared on my Gather Page 9/15/2011! If you don’t know what Gather is check it out, it’s a cool social site which lets you earn points by viewing and posting, the points can then be redeemed for cash or gift cards!!

*Shared on The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter 9/15/2011!

*Shared on Real Food Whole Heath Fresh Bites Friday 9/16/2011!

 

Putting up Peaches August 24, 2011

This post was shared on Real Food Whole Health: Fresh Bites Friday on 8/26/2011!

I was lucky enough to hear about a great deal on a lug (about 22 lbs) of heirloom Fay Elberta Peaches from the local and wonderful Chaffin Family Orchards. I love the idea (along with the taste and beauty) of heirloom produce. A quick search about Fay Alberta heirloom peaches brought me to this info from LocalHarvest.org:

The Fay Elberta is a yellow-fleshed freestone peach. The skin is fuzzy and yellow with a red blush. The peach is firm with a fine texture, and has a spicy aroma and a rich, distinctive flavor. It ripens in early August. The Fay Elberta is a rare find in California’s stone fruit regions, and is currently a threatened variety. Fortunately, several farms throughout the state offer either nursery stock or fresh fruit itself, making the Fay Elberta an accessible and delicious crop.

So I preordered my lug and picked it up first thing at the Saturday Downtown Farmer’s Market!

 
Now I had about 22 lbs of peaches and needed to figure out what to do with them – QUICK – cause they were ripe! Well, a bunch were cut up and eaten gobbled up by Bizz & BooBoo. I debated making jam, but honestly I don’t love peach jam and was afraid it wouldn’t get used and enjoyed. So I decided to dehydrate and freeze them.
I used a very sharp knife since the peaches were quite ripe so as not to crush them when cutting. Started by just slicing them in rounds or in half and then slices and layering on the dehydrator racks.
 
I read a few places to treat the peaches with acid (lemon juice, etc) to maintain color. I didn’t worry about this. I don’t mind if my fruit discolors as it does not affect the taste! Wasn’t sure how long it would take and I knew I had peaches of varying thickness so I just checked and rotated my trays pretty often.
The majority of the peaches took between 5-8 hrs to dry. I did burn one tray worth that I apparently cut too thin… Oops!
Here are the peaches after a few hours of drying:
And here is a batch that was done drying:
I had as many peaches as I could drying in the dehydrator so time to get to the freezing for making smoothies! I love a smoothie with some peach flavor! I cut the peaches into chunks that I figured I would use in a smoothie and placed them on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper to freeze. They were in no way uniform, just whatever worked!
While the peaches were freezing, supposed to take a minimum of 2 hours (they ended up on the cookie sheet in the freezer overnight!) I decided to make a peach smoothie! And I used one of the awesome new glass straws that I won in a blog giveaway from A Delicious Obsession and Glass Dharma!! It was delicious.
This is how the peaches looked once they were frozen and ready to go into the freezer for long-term storage:
 
At this point I was pretty tired of slicing peaches – so I left the rest and we took off for an afternoon picnic and fishing along Deer Creek.
 
Important note – Fresh, ripe peaches start to go bad very quickly. The peaches I had left I didn’t have room to refrigerate so they sat out in room temp for a couple of days and started to go bad pretty quick. Next time I get a large quantity of produce I will make SURE I set aside the time to get them ALL put up!
Thanks to Kaylin for helping me get the last few cut up and frozen – and at least my worms in the compost bin had en extra tasty treat 🙂
~Jesse
PS – HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY AMAZING AND WONDERFUL SISTER TODAY! Love you Amy Jo!!