Another day…a new orchard…

Sierra, the kids, and I visited Okaw Valley Orchard this week. It was significantly smaller than Curtis Orchard, less crowded, and less expensive. Yay! Our goal was to get plums. Sierra is canning jam and I am making Plum BBQ sauce (I have a bit of a problem!). We took all of the plums they had left in the store- 14 lbs. I can’t wait to start using them. I also got a half bushel of Gala apples. I had originally planned to make apple sauce, but I am going to make apple butter first and see how much I have left. I have more fruit sitting around in my kitchen than I ever could have imagined….it is wonderful! We also got our hands on blueberries. Sierra is in charge of those and is making jam and syrup. Liam is going to be in heaven 🙂

The orchard was beautiful. It seemed so quaint, but there were trees everywhere. I am quite jealous. Our two apples trees and one plum tree are pretty small still, and I don’t know how they will turn out since we have had such a dry summer. I am hoping to plant a couple more of each next year, as well as raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry bushes.

The kids loved the play area…especially the sandbox and swings. They have been missing their playset since the storm took it out last spring.

After our trip to the orchard we decided to head to Amish Country. We had a fabulous lunch–homemade friend chicken and mashed potatoes. Yum! And then we saw the sights of downtown Arthur. I forgot to get pictures. We got some fudge, cheese (which is delicious), and peanut butter…and then went to the most amazing place ever—Beachys. It is a bulk food store and it had amazing food and prices. I got a ton of rolled oats for future granola bars for 3 dollars. They have huge packages of whole wheat flour and every other kind you can imagine. The herb and seasoning aisle was my love….small tubs for $1.25. Amazing. I will be going back on Monday (and will take pictures then) for the Cheese Festival. I better start my list now 🙂

In canning news…My mother-in-law is visiting and we just canned 14 half pints and 3 pints of Peach BBQ sauce. This is my biggest haul yet 🙂


3 thoughts on “Another day…a new orchard…

    1. Here ya go:
      Zesty peach Barbeque Sauce:

      Makes about eight 8-ounce jars (I did not find this to be true…ours made 2 1/2, 16 oz jars)

      6 cups finely chopped pitted peeled peaches

      1 cup finelychopped seeded red bell pepper

      1 cup finely chopped onion

      3 tbsp finely chopped garlic

      1 1/4 cups liquid honey

      3/4 cup cider vinegar

      1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

      2 tsp hot pepper flakes

      2 tsp dry mustard

      2 tsp salt

      1. Prepare canner, jars, and lids

      2. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine peaches, red pepper, onion, garlic, honey, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper flakes, mustard, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until mixture is thickened to the consistency of a thin commercial bbq sauce, about 25 minutes. (hint: after about 30 minutes our hadn’t boiled down enough, so we stuck it in the food processor and it came out perfectly.)

      3. Ladle hot sauce into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot sauce. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.

      4. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

      Happy Canning!!!

      (Recipe from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, 2006)

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