Thursday, August 2, 2012

Making Progress...I Guess

Why is it that the week after you've gone on vacation, everything seems to be in slow motion?

It's been beautiful here -- hot, but not the blazing, sticky, lay-down-and-die weather we had in July. In fact, it was the hottest on record -- even beating out the previous high month, set in 1934. (Yup, the Depression.) Charley the dog has been scratching himself raw, trying to get away from all that fur. Here's hoping that the break in temps will help him some.

I wasn't the only one who noticed the groundswell of support for Chick-Fil-A yesterday. (Not to mention free speech.) The newest suggestion for a 'boycott:' same-sex couples are supposed to meet in front of their local Chick-Fil-A restaurant on Friday...and kiss!

The green beans are producing now. I got them partially weeded before the heat drove me inside. Also the weird feeling of being watched by beady eyes. (The chickies are free-ranging now. They don't seem to like bean plants, but decimated our once-healthy squash bed, the little stinkers.) Unfortunately, an afternoon hailstorm paid me back for my diligence by smashing the bean plants down. (Again.) Apparently the weeds were supporting them some. Ah well. They're still alive, though battered.

Thanks to our Palisade stop, there are approx. 20 packages of peaches in the freezer...and we've been up to our hips in fresh peach smoothies all week. (Oh, the sacrifice!) By far, the best ones we got came from Anita's Pantry and Produce. Go to their Facebook page for more -- or just stop by their stand at 625 37 1/4 Road in Palisade. (Or call 970-985-2282, or e-mail anitas-pantry@hotmail.com.)
     We stopped twice. Even though we didn't spend a cent at first, Anita spent some time explaining types, and cut up a couple of peaches for Husband to try. (An older lady -- her mom, maybe? -- was very friendly, too.) Our second visit came because not only were Anita's prices competitive, but her peaches were in outstanding condition -- fresh, but with few bumps, spots or bruises. (Try keeping peaches for long, and you'll see how remarkable that is for a dealer.) Even after we'd made our purchase (a bushel of Glow Havens), Anita quietly had the older lady fill a paper sack of "ripes," so we had a snack for the drive home.
    She said she would be doing her usual fundraiser at Bear Valley High School this fall...so you don't even have to go to the Western Slope. (They ship too, by the way.) Funny -- we'd bought peaches before through Bear Valley, and thought them very good. We just didn't know we were going to meet their producer!
    I don't usually do commercials -- and I'm not getting a cent for mentioning this,. If you're looking for fresh peaches right now, Anita's Pantry and Produce is the place to go to. (Tell her Cindy and Dave from Castle Rock said hi.)

     The Mama and Grandma used to spend hours in a steamy kitchen, canning peaches. I canned right along with them for years, but freeze peaches now. It's incredibly easy:
     1) Wash the peaches
     2) Put them in a zip-lock bag; seal.
     3) Bung in the freezer.

That's it! You can get fancy, and take the pit out before you throw them in the bag...or peel (easiest way: soak in a pot of boiling water for about a minute) and chop them, ready for peach crisp or pie. (Use while they're still half-frozen, for less mushy results.)
     Either way, they're perfect for a:

FRESH PEACH SMOOTHIE

2 peaches, halved and pits removed (or straight from the freezer)
1/2 cup ice cubes
1 1/2 - 2 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar

Blend until the ice and peaches are pulverized, and the mixture is thick. Makes a blenderful; about 2-4 large glasses full.

Call when you make a pitcher of this, wouldja? We'll be right over!



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