Is it naptime yet?

So, my internet requests on freecycle finally paid off. Someone contacted me that had two boxes of pears and about 75 canning jars. Woo!

And, over the weekend Tom Thumb had apples for 88 cents per pound. So, I bought about 26 pounds. I picked up the pears on Monday afternoon and took them straight to my Aunt’s house, along with my canner, jars, the apples, cookbooks…. I had a full car!

It was all really good. The only bad part is we didn’t even get started in earnest until 5pm.

Round 1, three quarts of apple pie filling. Round two was 12 pints of applesauce. Round three was six pints of apple/pear butter and one pint of apple slices. Round four was eight half pints of ginger pear preserves. Round five was me going home and going to bed since it was 4am!

The thing was, there was still an entire box of pears left. Oh my!

Since these were nice, from the tree, home grown pears (and probably organic) they were seriously tough to peel. Wow. My knuckles were swollen from holding the peeler by the end of the night. I went to bed with an ice pack wrapped around my hand! But, my Aunt and I both agreed that while it was hard work, it was fun to be together and you really can’t beat free pears.

My Aunt is planning to use the remainder to can sliced pears, make carrot cake jam, some autumn fruit conserve or something and one other thing which I can’t remember at the moment. Robert doesn’t like pears so much and she and my Uncle really like them, so I was willing to leave the extra box in exchange for her help on the apples and such.

After all of that canning and being up til 4 am, yesterday got kind of wasted. I slept until noon. Got up, used a few pears to make some Pear Pecan bread (adapted from my Apple Walnut Bread recipe), took a shower and then headed out to a Stampin’ Up gathering at my friend Correna’s house.

Yummy Apple Walnut Bread (from Seventeen Magazine sometime in the early 90s…seriously!).

  • 1/4 cup butter or shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 cups chopped apples
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in sugar and egg. In a medium bowl mix flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Stir flour mixture into sugar mixture then add fruit and nuts. Spread batter into pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

My Notes: For this batch, I used pears (shredded, not chopped, and liquid gently squeezed out) and pecans since that is what I had on hand. I omitted the cinnamon and nutmeg and used ground ginger. Delicious! I am pretty confident you could use applesauce (or pear puree or whatever), pumpkin or any other fruit or veggie that bakes well. Zucchini, of course. You can adapt the spices for whatever flavor you are looking for. Flaked coconut would probably be good too, but the bread wouldn’t be nearly as moist.

When baking, because of the moistness of the apples/pears/whatever I always have to bake this up to 15 minutes longer than the recipe suggests.

I am guessing this would make good muffins as well, you would just have to adjust the baking time. Enjoy!


Lots to do…

There are so many things on the to-do list right now I am not quite sure where to start. Robert worked on bread today. He makes a double batch, creating four loaves at once. This lasts 2 1/2 to 4 weeks depending on how much toast we have for breakfast or if we just use it for his lunch sandwiches.

I am so glad that he enjoys doing things like this. I think the two of us could be happy living many different types of lifestyles but it is enjoyable to us right now to work together to save money by doing things like baking our own bread, cooking from scratch and gardening. We make quite a good team and I’m glad Robert doesn’t think I’m nuts for wanting to do these kinds of things!

On Friday I finally found my sewing scissors and rotary cutter. I jumped in and started sewing right away. One of the first things I did was make a pillowcase for Robert. He is a volunteer firefighter and the station he is a part of has a schedule which requires the guys to stay over at least one night per week. Currently he stays two nights per week to take up some slack. Anyway, I had this great firetruck fabric and knew it would make a perfect pillowcase to take to the firehouse. I think he liked it a lot, so I was pretty happy. It was relatively simple to make as well, so even better. I may have to make a few for my nephew for Christmas. They are doing some actual attempts at decortating at the fire station and since Robert doesn’t have any type of fire memorabilia to take down there, he asked if I might make some curtains (after seeing the way cool fire truck fabric). I of course, said yes. We just need to measure the windows and find some equally cool fabric as the pillowcase fabric is several years old already.

We went to the library yesterday and got library cards which was kind of fun – for me at least. I wandered the stacks for quite awhile before Robert came to get me and ask if I was done yet. 🙂

Today I made a short trip to the grocery store to get apples for applesauce while they were still on sale for 88 cents per pound. I got about 25 pounds. I also got some ginger to go with some of the pear recipes. I just remembered that I forgot to b uy lemon juice. Oh well, I still have to go to Walmart ot buy more pectin so I will get it then I suppose.

I also spent some time cleaning out my car today. It was in rather rough shape after the school year and soccer season and such. Hopefully this evneing we can drive it a bit and see if it needs more work done or if I can finally drive it.

I think now, I will go sew some more. Or read some of my library books!


Too much to write and no time to do it.

My freecycle posts have paid off. I am getting a lot of canning jars tomorrow and Tuesday and, a few bushels (potentially) of pears. My Aunt is coming over Wednesday and we will make pear stuff and applesauce and all that. She is bringing herself to work and her tools.. apple peeler/corer/slicer thingie, food processor, etc. Also, she loves pears. Robert doesn’t so I will limit the amount of pear stuff I keep but, having her here will help me get the apple stuff all done so it’s all good.

More news, and photos, later.