Holy Peach Fest Batmom!

I think this qualifies as "oodles".

I think this qualifies as “oodles”.

 

Due to that dry winter we had, I was disappointed with the peach crop we got this year. Last year was just a hard year to follow. I had so many last year, I resorted to juicing them when I ran out of space in the freezer. The pint containers stack real nice and take up less space. The juice turned out to be a real windfall, I used it for my morning smoothies for a couple of months before it ran out. 

Many of the peaches I have on my counter are still green, but I’ve had to be aggressive in stripping the trees because of an extra big family of blue jays this year.

This white peach wasn't ripe yet, so I left it, and came out this morning to find some jay had spoiled it. It's still good - after a day it will be ripe and I cut off the spoiled side and throw the rest in the blender.

This white peach wasn’t ripe yet, so I left it, and came out this morning to find some jay had taken a whack at it. It’s still good – after a day it will be ripe and I cut off the spoiled side and throw the rest in the blender.

I used to hate jays and gray squirrels, but I’ve found, they are impossible to get rid of without resorting to really ugly means. Sure, gray squirrels completely strip a mature walnut and an almond we have, but try to stop them. A friend of ours mounted a bb gun campaign in an effort to get more out of his walnut trees, but after he’d killed some 97 squirrels, he realized, they just keep coming. Blue jays are the same – as soon as you get rid of your resident mob, a new bunch will move right in. I’ve learned to live with them. They’re actually gregarious, even friendly if you are kind to them, and there’s measures we take to prevent them from robbing us blind. 

I don't mind sharing with my friends, but I try to move fast so I get some too.

I don’t mind sharing with my friends, but I try to move fast so I get some too.

The Christmas tinsel we put in the trees actually seemed to help. Whereas I used to wake up in the morning to the screeching and squawking of a jay party in my orchard, I notice they are not so bold anymore. We also hung netting – my husband buys this in big rolls at Home Depot.  We use it not only to keep birds out, but we wrap it around our tomatoes and vining plants for support.  It really seems to discourage the jays, they didn’t get as many of the nice  big ones as they’ve got in the past. 

As for the squirrels, I just caught one in the apple tree this morning, I will have to get on the stick and get out there more often. That’s really the trick – you have to spend more time in your orchard as the fruit gets ripe. My grandparents were smart – they planted their fruit trees right alongside the house, just outside my grandma’s kitchen window. She always had a stick handy, whether to shoo the birds out of the trees or whip some errant child. And, every day, she’d be out there, several times, pinching for ripe peaches and loading her apron full. As soon as they would come off the tree easily, she’d take them in and line them up along the window sills. She ate them whole, a lot. She cut them up and put them in a pretty dish for every meal, and she ladled them onto our plates. My grandfather ate sliced peaches and tomatoes off the same plate, covering everything on his plate, from bread to meat to vegetables and fruit, with a generous sprinkling of sugar. And, at least once a week, Gram would put up canned peaches. The pantry walls would be lined with them. They would go to all the relatives and close friends. At least half a dozen would end up on the prize table at Grange bingo night. And, we’d eat them all winter until we couldn’t stand the sight of them. 

You have to check them regularly to see which ones are getting ripe. And then, you got to use them or lose them folks. My son eats the yellow ones off the tree, and my husband eats the white ones  for a morning tonic.  I use at least one every morning in a smoothie, and I freeze a couple of big bags a day. I wash them, trim the bad spots, cut them in half to get the pit out, and lay them in freezer bags in layers. As I finish a layer I spray it with lemon juice I got from my lemons last Winter. That keeps the color nice, and it helps to keep them from sticking together. When I want them later, the skin will come off almost in one piece. They are good for baking, or you can eat them kind of frozen if you like. As they thaw, they get kind of brown and mushy, so use them fast in a smoothie, cut up on cereal, or make a cobbler.  My older son likes to put them in the blender frozen with some milk or cream, even just a little fruit juice – fruit sorbet. 

Fruit trees and gardening are not for looks. They are a lifestyle. 

 

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2 thoughts on “Holy Peach Fest Batmom!

  1. Hi Juanita,

    You recommend Blue Dawn below in a previous conversation on fiberglass tub cleaning What would you recommend for getting rid of hard water/calcium build up on stainless steel sinks? Also for the blinds below they are made of metal What would you recommend for cleaning them. They are difficult to clean. Thanks.


    Also, what’s an easy way to clean these kinds of blinds:

    They are really hard to clean without disassembling which is a pain.

    Thanks for the info.

    What’s the best cleaner to remove calcium, lime and
    hard water deposits, mold, soap scum, dulling film and ground in dirt in fiber glass bath tubs/showers/sinks?

    I have used CLR but don’t know if you can buy it anymore.

    You’re right about having to scrape off soap scum with a razor. I have used a putty scraper also.

    The problem is that can scrape the surface and then the mold can get in the scratches and turn the surface color black. I have left bleach on this and it still does not get the black out.

    • I was just noticing how well my stainless steel sink has held up – the porcelain lined sink in my rental got chipped about a week after we put it in, looks terrible, but not bad enough to install a new one. As it’s gone along, a rust stain has developed around the chip. Next time we’ll go stainless. When my son needed a new sink for his apartment, we lucked out and found a nice almost new stainless at a yard sale for $5. They were remodeling, and they had all kinds of counters, etc.

      I just use baking soda on my stainless steel sink, with dish soap. I’ll admit, I’m a compulsive sink washer, so it never really gets dirty. Whenever I’ve left a cast iron pan in the sink to sit, it leaves a rust stain, but that usually washes out with no more than baking soda.

      I had metal blinds – left in a house we bought. Man, we just gave those old bastards the heave ho, Gawd knows how old they were. We kept them cause the windows were huge, and we were afraid it would cost a bundle to replace them, but we just found cheap new vinyl blinds at Home Depot. The old metal blinds were a bitch to clean because it was so easy to bend the slats, and then they looked crappy.

      At first, my husband would take them down and hang them on some nails on our fence, and I’d spray them with the hose. We noticed, that only got the worst dirt, left a film. They were so bad when we bought the house, that was an improvement. After that I used to vacuum them off regularly, about twice a month, with the duster attachment. Those swiffers just knock the dust into the air and most of it just settles right back on the blinds. With the vacuum, you can see it getting sucked right in the attachment, looks like little sheep going into the corral.Then once or twice a year, I’d get on a step ladder and wash them, slat by slat, with soapy water and a soft terry rag. It was really tedious, and my arms would hurt afterwards, but wow, so worth it. That was our window house, windows all the way around, and I just kept moving around through the year, trying to keep up on all of them. We had a wood stove there so the blinds in the living room would get really dusty.

      For smudges or splatters, I’d use the usual bit of baking soda and dish soap on a rag.

      You know I love to talk housecleaning. I got a full schedule today, I’m going to put the spit and polish on this baby. I love my little apartment, everything literally shines after I give the place a good going over.

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