Our November

We started November off with some family portraits.  The kids had a blast out there with our friend and photographer Molly.   Continue reading

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Blanching Peaches

Blanching sounded like a hassle and a difficult process to me a couple weeks ago.  Now it is my go-to process to get the skins off of ripe peaches quickly.  Here I will show you how simple it is.

First, you start with your ripe peaches.

Some peaches ready to make Peach Cobbler

Some peaches ready to make Peach Cobbler

Second, you boil water.  I hope you don’t need a picture of that because I didn’t take one.

Third, you prepare an ice bath for your blanched peaches

5 peaches ready for blanching.  An ice bath ready for the blanched peaches.

5 peaches ready for blanching. An ice bath ready for the blanched peaches.

Fourth, you put your peaches into the boiling water for 20-45 seconds.

Blanching Peaches for 45 seconds in boiling water.  This makes the skins peel right off without any hassle.

Blanching Peaches for 45 seconds in boiling water. This makes the skins peel right off without any hassle.

Fifth, you use a slotted spoon to transfer the peaches to the ice bath for a couple minutes.

Sixth, you pick up a peach and the skin should be kind of sliding off.  You just peel it off and check to make sure you didn’t miss any.  The peaches will be super slimy and gooey at this point if they are as ripe as mine were.

Seventh, you make something delicious out of them like Peach Cobbler or Peach Jam.  Or you could just slice them up and freeze them for smoothies later.

5 jars of Vanilla Peach Jam on the far left and 10 jars of regular Peach Jam to the right.

5 jars of Vanilla Peach Jam on the far left and 10 jars of regular Peach Jam to the right.

A commenter suggested on my Peaches post that the skins come off easily once frozen too.  I am going to give that a try with the 30 pounds of frozen and sliced peaches I have.  How do you get the unwanted skins off of your fruits?

Bah… Humbug Mountain State Park

We are headed off to Humbug Mountain State Park here in Oregon today for some camping and good times with The Girls and some friends and their kids.  We will be back next week to share pictures of our activities.  Until then here are some of my camping on a budget ideas.

Plan ahead!  We planned this out months ahead because coordinating 2 or more families to camp together is just a logistical nightmare.  But more than that we had to plan out what we will eat and how to get that much food for cheap.  So we found coupons and waited until sales and bought the hot dogs and hamburger patties for super cheap.  We did the same with water bottles, soda pop, and the sweets.

Use your benefits! My Husband Extraordinaire is a Veteran and one of his benefits is that he gets an Oregon State Parks Pass and we can camp for free.  Another benefit is his National Park Pass and we get into National Parks (Like Crater Lake National Park here in Oregon) for free and a huge discount on camping.  So when we think of camping the first place we look is at the State Parks to reduce costs.

Meet in the middle! We are not traveling all the way to where our friends live and they aren’t traveling all the way to us.  We are camping at a place that takes each family an equal amount of travel time.

Mr. Picky is not with us this week so our families do not have to stick to a Gluten Free diet while camping.  That reduces costs considerably and it also makes it easier for the 4 kids that will be there.  Bring on the PB&J’s!!! We are bringing bikes and hiking boots and leaving our puppy at home with a puppy sitter.  This trip is designed to be as stress free as possible and not a budget buster.

I hope you all have a very fun weekend and I can’t wait to show you pictures and stories of The Girls next week.