Monday, August 30, 2010

Peaches from Dove Farm (and a recipe for spiced peach butter)

Our sweet little white peach tree in the backyard produced a bumper crop of fruit this year! Dan and I picked the peaches in two shifts. We left the fruit on the tree as long as we could until we began to fear for the fruit's lives. We have a family of squirrels that live in the tall maple right next to the little peach that tend to generously help themselves. The peaches spent their last couple ripening days in a large paper bag in the safety of the kitchen. My mom and Liz came over to help me begin canning one evening. I unfortunately didn't get any pictures of our canning night. We were busy little bees in the kitchen and covered in sticky peach juice up to our elbows. We canned two batches of peach jam that night. Mom and Liz also canned a batch of blackberry jam while I was feeding Silas. The next couple of days were spent blanching, peeling, pitting, chopping AND blanching AND peeling, pitting, chopping, etc... After it was all said and done I think I ended up with about 32 jars of peach jam and spiced butter. The kitchen smelled wonderful!
And spiced peach butter!
All of the pretty jars in a row on my mustard counter tops with my ketchup colored towels. Still a lovely sight to behold in spite of the condiment color scheme.

Here is my recipe for spiced peach butter. Recipe adapted from and

Yields approximately 8 cups

8 pounds fresh, ripe peaches
2 1/2 cups of sugar
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of nutmeg
2 teaspoons of allspice

Peel and pit the peaches (it's super easy if you blanch them). Chop peaches. Place chopped peaches, sugar and spices in a crockpot and mix to combine. Turn the crockpot on low and cook overnight or 8-12 hours depending on your crockpot. Alternatively, you can cook the peaches on high for approximately 6 hours but you will want to stir the mixture every 15 minutes or so to ensure that it doesn't burn. Leave the lid slightly askew to allow steam to escape and the peaches to reduce. Puree the peaches with an immersion blender, regular blender or food processor until the desired consistency is reached. Can the butter while it is still piping hot!

Instructions for canning
Wash and sterilize your jars, lids and rings. Keep the jars in a pan of hot water, your dishwasher (on a drying cycle) or on a cookie sheet in your oven preheated to 200*. Keep the lids hot in a pan of simmering water (never boiling as this could damage the seal). The rings will be fine at room temperature. Working with one or two jars at a time, ladle the hot peach butter into the jars leaving 1/4" of head space. Wipe the rims clean, place lid on jar and tightly screw on ring. Once all jars are filled, place in canner or large pot filled with enough boiling water to cover the jars by 2". Boil for 10 minutes. Carefully lift the jars out and place in a spot where they won't be disturbed for 24 hours. Before too long you will begin to hear the jars seal! If for some reason a jar does not seal you will need to store it in the refrigerator. All sealed jars can be stored at room temperature. Cool basements are even better!
The great thing about fruit butter is that you can tweak the ingredients to fit your taste. Let me know if you try this recipe and what (if any) tweaks you make!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Ledger Clan

It isn't everyday that all of the Ledgers are together in one place. In fact, it only happens about once every 5 years now that my cousins are spread out all over the Eastern part of the country! After much schedule juggling, a trip was planned to visit Grandma in New Albany. Seeing us is just an added bonus! :) We thoroughly enjoyed being able to spend time with family that we rarely get to see. It was also really great to get the next generation together. A.J. is four and told me some of the greatest tall-tales during dinner.
Wait for me, A.J.!Grandma Faye and her two very squirmy great-grandsons.
Grandma and the granddaughters (me, Sydney, Grandma, Michelle and Megan). Grandma had four sons and no daughters. I'm sure everyone was surprised by the onslaught of females when the next generation arrived! Kevin is the youngest and the only grandson (and wasn't able to make it due to work).


Part of the "disappearing A.J." act.

Card mugs courtesy of Aunt Debbie.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Silas' FIRST Birthday!

Could it be true?! My sweet baby boy all grown up to a full year old?! It absolutely blows my mind to think of all that has taken place in a years time. From a helpless little 8 pound newborn to a 25 pound, WALKING, 8 toothed toddler... unbelievable. Silas has already been such an incredible blessing to us. He is my little sweetheart. We are so grateful to the Lord for choosing us to be his parents.
Silas' actual birthday was a fairly normal day. I made breakfast for us and then we let Silas open up his birthday gifts from us. We bought him a little red truck with pegs on top and a blue hammer to pop them down with (a little fist works well too), a play table and a ride-and-push lion. He wasn't as crazy about the lion at first but really loved the play table and all of the different songs that it played. The curly bows on his presents were the best. Dan worked hard to get Silas new swing up so he could try it out. We also took him for a ride in the car to see how he liked sitting FORWARD. Grammie came over for a bit that evening to see Silas open some of his gifts, sing happy birthday and to witness his first taste of ice cream. He is definitely a fan.
Good morning, birthday boy!

First time in a swing!

My sweet baby boy.
Birthday balloons!
Ice cream!!!

The next day we had the big birthday party. Even though we tried to keep things low key by having just the family and a few close friends, we still ended with about 25 people! You just can't avoid having a big group when you're a Powers. Since Silas loves dogs so much, I made little puppy invitations to send to everyone. We had lots of good food (hot dogs of course!) and great cupcakes with killer cream cheese icing. I made Silas his very own little cake to dig into. He was hesitant at first but then stuck his fingers alllll the way down in the cake. It was so much fun. He loved all of his presents too! Everyone knows how much Silas loves to play with our cell phones. For some months now, he will pick up almost any toy and hold it up to the side of his head like he's talking on the phone. Several people obviously had the same train of thought because Silas received 5 phones! He was in heaven.

Silas and Jack (not sure if this was before or after Silas punched Jack).



Silas wasn't too crazy about all of that sticky stuff on his hands.

Happy FIRST birthday, Silas!!!