Peach lemonade concentrate

Every year when I bottle peaches, I always wonder if there is something I can make with the skins. Last year, I made peach honey (check out this source, and pick your own’s recipe), and it was delicious, but this year, I thought the idea of peach lemonade sounded FANTASTIC! So I played around with the idea, tinkering with the flavor. I think next year, I’ll use a cup less sugar.

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after blanching all the peaches for canning, throw the skins back into the water used for blanching and let them sit in the fridge overnight. Boil the whole mixture the next morning, blending the skins, and then pouring it through a sieve to get the liquid. Discard pulp. You will need about 16 cups of liquid when you are finished. If you don’t have enough, you can use juice or enough water to make 16 cups.

To zest lemons, get a peeler and peal the zest in big strips. You don’t want the little sprinkles, you need big chunks. Place in a heat-resistant bowl and set aside.

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Combine sugar and 3 cups of flavor-infused water (from step 1) and boil until sugar dissolves, creating a simple syrup. pour over lemon zest. Let soak for 10 minutes, then strain out the peels, reheat the water, and pour over the zest strips a second time. let sit. (you have to do it twice because the water cools and the oils arent completely released). strain a second time. You can now dehydrate the peels and make candied lemon strips. I’ve not done this but I want to next time.

Save the pith and pits for Citrus Pectin

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Add peach water, syrup, and lemon juice in a pot. Simmer until desired flavor is achieved (can take a few hours). And remember it’s a concentrate, so it should be strong!. Add peaches and simmer another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. you may blend peaches, but I left mine in chunks. It’ll make great texture when I use it.
Pour into warm sterile jars and process for 20 minutes, adjusting for altitude (I live at 5000 feet).
To reconstitute, it’s about one part concentrate to one part water or soda, but adjust it to taste.

Peach lemonade concentrate
Author: Keira @ Searchforseven.com
Ingredients
  • 20 cups water
  • Skins from about 2 boxes of peaches (the more you have, the more flavor)
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 10 lemons, washed and ready to zest
  • 4 cups lemon juice (can use from lemons above)
  • 6 cups fresh peaches, diced
Instructions
  1. after blanching all the peaches for canning, throw the skins back into the water used for blanching and let them sit in the fridge overnight.
  2. boil the whole mixture the next morning, blending the skins, and then pouring it through a sieve to get the liquid. Discard pulp. You will need about 16 cups of liquid when you are finished. If you don’t have enough, you can use juice or enough water to make 16 cups. set aside
  3. To zest lemons, get a peeler and peal the zest in big strips. You don’t want the little sprinkles, you need big chunks. Place in a heat-resistant bowl and set aside.
  4. Combine sugar and 3 cups of flavor-infused water (from step 1) and boil until sugar dissolves, creating a simple syrup. pour over lemon zest. Let soak for 10 minutes, then strain out the peels, reheat the water, and pour over the zest strips a second time. let sit. (you have to do it twice because the water cools and the oils arent completely released). strain a second time. You can now dehydrate the peels and make candied lemon strips. I’ve not done this but I want to next time.
  5. Add peach water, syrup, and lemon juice in a pot. Simmer until desired flavor is achieved (can take a few hours). And remember it’s a concentrate, so it should be strong!. Add peaches and simmer another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. you may blend peaches, but I left mine in chunks. It’ll make great texture when I use it.
  6. Pour into warm sterile jars and process for 20 minutes, adjusting for altitude (I live at 5000 feet).
  7. To reconstitute, it’s about one part concentrate to one part water or soda, but adjust it to taste.

 

Throwback cont: Part 3: Service is My Love Language

So I wasn’t convinced at first. And I was even LESS convinced to ADMIT I was convinced. But I confess that I was slowly changing my mind. I was so guarded, to be sure. Very precautious. In fact, I probably would have never even entertained the thought had it not been for the feeling that I should.

I don’t know what compelled me to ask him for help one night. I was working on a project for wedding planning, and normally would have done it all myself (which usually turns out to be a disaster because I’m only one person. Bad habit, I guess. I’m just used to having to take care of my own projects). I guess because I knew he’d ask to come over anyway, and I didn’t want to say I was busy (something else I wasn’t ready to admit to myself, yet), I took the initiative and actually asked him. He said “sure, I’d love to,” and even went that extra mile to bring me a table! I’m telling you, I bossed him around all night (in a nice, “I really need you to do this for me” sort of way) and he didn’t once get mad, didn’t once say “do it yourself,” didn’t once say “this is your project, YOU do it.” I’d ask him to do something, and as simple as that, he’d do it. And let me just say, that is a BIG deal. I’ve never known that kind of attitude. I don’t mean to bash my ex, but I need you to understand that EVERY time I had a project going on, I did it myself. I set up my own bridal fairs, I decorated the weddings by myself. I went to the store at 2 am because I needed something I didn’t have, by myself. If I had a project, I did it alone. And if I needed help, He’d say “this is your project, you do it.” And I was okay with that at the time, because it’s all I knew. I’m sort of an independent person. But for Ranger to just … help… Yeah, it got to me. I kept having flashes of Wesley saying “As you wish,” and it finally made sense!

“And even more amazing was the day
she realized she truly loved him back.”
That day was the day.

Throwback cont: Part 2: Who Needs Sleep?

Here’s part two in the story of how Ranger and I met.

[line]

Well, that was the end of taking pity on him, he didn’t need it any more. After Wednesday’s institute, he started texting me. By Friday, he had convinced me to let him come over after work (which seemed much longer until I looked at the calender and realized that was only 2 days…). I told him he could come over, but we had to stay outside, because B was at a sleepover. No Chaperones. You know, I had to play it safe, I’d barely met this guy a few days ago! Everyone I’d asked about him had said that he was super quiet. And I could tell he was quiet, but that didn’t stop us. We didn’t have a single awkward moment. We talked until 3. And I had a meeting at 6 in the morning! I honestly cant remember what we talked about. But I do remember it was cold. He put his arm around me to warm me up, it was sweet. Strategic, but sweet.

I still wasn’t sure what I thought about him, though. I was impressed, I liked his sincerity, but I was still far from being convinced. I actually have a big list of why NOT to like him written in my journal (Remind me NEVER to let him see that…), and how he would make a great friend, but I wasn’t so sure of a relationship. I could see so many flaws in that idea. For fear of leading him on, I’d tell him how I felt on a regular basis. And he was okay with it. He was okay with the fact that he liked me more, and it didn’t scare him away, or make him try harder (than normal…), he’d just understand, and appreciate what he could get. One day he asked how I felt, and I said I respected him. Which was true. I know it wasn’t the answer he was was looking to hear, but it was the truth, and I’m not one to beat around the bush. The funny thing is, I  could tell he liked that answer more than if I’d said anything else. He sort of smiled his natural, pensive smile, and said that respect was a good place to be at. And it  was true. Respect was a good place to be at.to be continued…

Throwback: So, About That Boy

Since I’m busy unpacking, I figured I’d give a throwback post and re-publish the story of how Ranger and I met. It’s funny to re-read this because now that I know Ranger and have known him for 5 years, first impressions are often misleading. But it’s funny, anyway. This post was written 4 years ago, today. Isn’t that crazy?
[line]
Well, man, actually, but “boy” sounds better in the title.Everyone’s been asking me who this man is in my life. And, don’t get me wrong, I could talk about him all day, I just don’t. See, first of all, I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up. Especially not mine. Secondly, the voice in my head says “be careful, be careful, be careful” and I am really already sick of hearing it from others. I mean, I realize that they just want what’s best for me, but it makes me feel like I cant make my own decision. Which is reason # 3. I have asked other people what he’s like, you know, get that broader perspective, but I wanted time to like him without others knowing so that I could get my own opinion before people were excited for me or scared for me, or encouraging or discouraging.  Anyway, for those 3 reasons, I’ve sort of been mum on the whole “Ranger” subject. And now the questions are pouring in, and I never have time to talk, and … well, I’m a girl, I like to talk. Especially about guys! :c)For Starters: How we met…

I had been going to Family Home Evenings with the singles ward for about a month. I felt like it was time to get out of my comfort zone and make some “single friends.” Well, the feeling was more like “good things are going to happen, soon, and you need to be ready. You need to be at the right place.” But I didn’t want to believe that. I was happy being single. Now, don’t get me wrong, I was eager to date, but not ready to feel anything too serious for anyone else, just yet. And then in early September, there was a fireside for young adults. I hadn’t been to one since before I got married (my ex was sooo not into that thing, and it was easier to not go than to deal with it. And I kept saying “it’s just a fireside, right?”), and decided that this would be a good step to remedy that. Besides, I was supposed to be putting myself out there, right? I walked there and arrived before the building was unlocked, and when they came to unlock it (right before it started. I was afraid I’d missed it somehow…) they were shocked, because someone had actually arrived before them. And THEN they were shocked because someone else showed up. Said it doubled their numbers on attendance! But we ended up having about 10 of us show up. I sat in the middle of the middle row. I was the first one there and that was the best seat. Then a friend of mine sat down in the same row, and then more people sat in front of us. At the last minute, this kid I didn’t know but my friend did, came in and sat down next to him. I don’t remember if my friend introduced us or not… probably. But I didn’t pay attention, he was just some kid in singles ward, and I was only lookin’ for friends. Anyway, It was an AMAZING fireside. The message really hit home. It was all about marriage and treating women with respect, and that women deserve respect, and then Elder Scott cried a little when he talked about his wife, and it was just oh so perfect! He interviewed a happily married couple, and it was a reminder to me that not only was my first marriage no where near as full of love and respect as it should have been, but that there really was an opportunity for happiness. I remember thinking it was ironic because if I were still married, I wouldn’t have had the strength to go to the fireside by myself, and there was NO way my ex would hear the message. And here I am, sitting here single, soaking up everything that was said. And loving the peace and truth I felt. And then it was over, and I had so much to think about.

As I began to walk home, in my own little world, this white pickup truck pulls over and the guy who sat next to my friend asked me if he could give me a ride. You know, because that whole fireside was on respecting women and such (come to find out, Ranger’s just that kind of guy. But there was no way I’d have gotten in his truck had I not just seen him at the fireside, and even then, if the message hadn’t said “women, let them show you respect”). So he gave me a ride. And I cant explain it. The way he looked at me… I  could tell he liked me already! I had mixed emotions about that… First of all, I didn’t want to like anyone, secondly this was a little too intense for me, thirdly, I admit I was flattered. When he dropped me off, I asked what the activity was for the next Family Home Evening. He said flag football, and I said ugh. Well, I guess I’ll go and just socialize. And he said “oh yeah, I’ll go too.” Like, he’d be watching to see if I would be there. Like he’d be there BECAUSE I’d be there. Which scared me and flattered me all at the same time.

Ironically, I had convinced my cousin to come with me to the next activity (you know, showing up with a guy to look like you’re not as single as you really are…), so he gave me a ride and we went to play flag football. Well, I’m not really athletic, and there was a little confusion so that 3 girls (me included) ended up not playing. We were all okay with it, and said we’d be the sideline. Worked for us! So I sat and talked to them the whole time, and Ranger and my cousin and a lot of other people played Flag Football. When it was all over, my cousin came back to where I was, and Ranger came up next to me, too. I confess it was a little awkward. So awkward that I introduced my cousin as “my cousin” when I’d “neglected” to introduce him that way to anyone else… It stayed awkward enough that my cousin decided he didn’t want to stay right there and went to go get my daughter from the swings where she was playing with some other kids. Ranger and I really didn’t talk much that night. First of all, everyone else was coming up to him and asking if he was okay. Apparently, he’d played tough, quite the macho teammate. They all sounded shocked and impressed (I asked my cousin about it later and he said, yeah, he did take some hits… and then look over to see if I’d noticed. I didn’t, because I wasn’t paying one bit of attention. I was busy talking to the other “sideline” girls). And also because it was sort of awkward. But he said “well, I guess since your cousin’s here, you wont need a ride home?” and I said, nope, I’ve got that covered. And he said “well, let me give you my # so you can call if you need any more rides.” And I said “oh, thanks!” and also gave him my #. I’m serious, it was so cute and so awkward at how uncomfortable he was! And then we left, he walked me to my cousin’s Jeep and opened my door so I could get in. I’ve never been escorted to another guy’s truck before! That was a little weird, but cute, too. Anyway, then I got in the car and my cousin and I joked because it was sooo obvious that this guy wanted to ask me out, and he just didn’t get to it. He even threatened to get out and tell Ranger that I was waiting for him to ask me on a date!

Well, as impatient as I am, and as much as I hate awkward situations, I blazed ahead, and on Wednesday I asked what he was doing. He said “I don’t know, why” and I said because I cant make up my mind if I’m going to go play volleyball or if I’m going to institute. Just wondered if you were going to either of them, and then I’d ask for a ride” (So forward of me! What can I say?). He said, “yeah, I’ll give you a ride.” And I said “to which one,” and he replied, “whichever one you want.” And THAT, folks, was our first date. Institute. Exciting, hu? A friend of mine was watching B, and I’d asked if she could watch her a little longer, so when Ranger asked after institute if I needed to get back right away or if we could go get a “pop” or something (I love “mountain” language. -.- ), I said we could go do something. Well, we ended up going to Idaho Falls for a soda. All the way to IF. And then we talked and walked around. And it was so weird, because I’m normally a standoffish, don’t touch me, I wont touch you kind of girl. Old scars still there, I guess. But with him, it was so easy to flirt and talk and I even touched his arm! Without thinking about it. And then thought to myself “why did I just do that? That’s totally not like me. And I’m sure it sent the wrong message. I’m sooo not wanting to get serious. And that was serious.”

To be continued…

Update

We’ve got all of the stuff moved over to the new house. Now the joys of unpacking! Oh, and guess what? It’s canning season, and if I don’t get tomatoes bottled, my family will starve this winter. And my apple trees (in this new house) needed picked and converted into apple sauce and apple juice. So, I’m still here. I’ve got some more canning recipes to add to the blog, and I’ve still got to add all the fun from the girlie’s back-to-school/belated-birthday party. But my family seems to think that unpacking is more important than updating the blog. So you’ll have to wait. For now. Just know I’m alive. More to come.

K

Apple pie filling

I got a ton of apples from my tree this year. I don’t need that much applesauce. I don’t need that much apple juice. And I don’t have any pie filling. It took a long time to cut each tiny apple into a decent size for a pie, but I think it was worth it. The bigger ones, I used my VICTORIO Apple peeler-corer-slicer. Love that thing. Mine is the suction-cup bottom, but I wish it was the clamp-based one.

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I think they turned out well. and both Ranger and I will be satisfied. He likes the thin apples in apple pie. I like to take a bite of the pie and actually get an apple, instead of a thin wisp of many layers of apples. Sure there’s less apples in my pie, but more flavor. To each his own. I left out any thinkening agent, because

  1. I’m allergic to corn and corn starch is the #1 canning choice, with very few tapioca flour safety tests.
  2. It’s finicky in the canning process and leaves the filling looking clumpy.
  3. It’s much better and tastes much fresher if you add it after bottling.
Apple pie filling
Author: Keira @ Searchforseven.com
Ingredients
  • 12-15 quarts cut up apples (12 with the apple peeler-corer-slicer, 15 if cutting by hand. Make small slices! *about 13 lbs*)
  • 4 1/2 c sugar
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 5 tbs lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Combine ingredients in a saucepan. Mix it around a little. Let sit 30 minutes.
  2. When there’s a good amount of liquid on the bottom, and after 30 minutes, simmer until apples are soft, but still hold their shape. Thin apples take about 7 minutes. Thicker, about 10.
  3. After apples are soft, ladle into jars, packing them in as you go. I highly recommend wide-mouth jars for this!
  4. Place hot lids/rings. Water-bath for 35 minutes, adjusting for altitude (I’m around 5000 feet).

Why Christ Used Stories

Did you know that Disney movie makers and our brain have something in common? No joke! Okay, I’m sure there are a lot of jokes tied into that revelation, but I’m being serious here. Both Disney movie makers and our brains process things in story-board-like glimpses. That is why stories are so entertaining to us. Our brains are designed to grab new data out of stories. That is why when someone throws facts at you, it is hard to remember them, but when they tell you a story, it is easier to remember. Let’s think for a moment of the Master Teacher. Christ taught in parables; He taught in stories. Whenever Widow's Mite - Ancient Roman Bronze Coinspeople in Sunday School discuss why Christ taught  stories, the answer is usually “so that anyone can understand them.” They are talking about how there are layers of a story for every understanding. There are those who are only  able to take it at face value, there are those who understand symbolism, and there are those that take that story and get out of it a personal meaning just for them. Like the parable of the lost coin. To some, it is just about a woman who lost a coin and wants to find it. To others, it is a story about how our Heavenly Father feels about lost children. And to some, it is the story about a time when they felt lost and didn’t think that they were worth more than a few cents, and they suddenly had a paradigm shift because someone found them and was so excited for their return. Or maybe a person finds personification in the role of the friend. Or as the one looking for a coin. There are multiple connections to be made with each parable. While that is a very good reason for Christ to teach in parables, I don’t believe it’s the whole reason. Christ, as the creator of this world and the co-creator of man, as well as the Son of the Omnipotent would have more understanding of how the brain worked than just because there are multiple levels to a story. He would have known that his disciples would need to remember the lessons he taught long after he was gone. He had a short ministry. Most of our history of Him was written after he was crucified. His stories needed to be remembered in order to make it down the funnel of time to be available to us now, in the last dispensation.