Life on Regal-Hill: August 13, 2008

The weather continues to be iffy here at Regal-Hill, but one day we decided to mow hay anyway. Even though showers were forecast, we didn’t get any rain. As it turned out, George was able to get it dry enough to bale. We still need two, but if possible, three good days to dry hay safely and thoroughly. No one can take the chance of spontaneous combustion and a barn fire. There is another harvest all ready in many fields if only the weather would dry up.
Perhaps you wonder what we do while waiting for drier weather. Well the lawn continues to grow, the weeds grow and trimming always needs to be done and I recently made some jelly.
The weeds and plants grow so fast and so tall that it requires a continuous effort on our part to keep them pulled or staked but they still get ahead of us. The tomatoes were staked one more time. If I do so again I will need to add to the top of the stakes. I hope I won’t have to do that. I guess because of too much foliage the garden as a whole seems to be slow to produce. This has been true of not only the tomatoes and carrots but also the beans and cucumbers.
One thing I have done that hasn’t been done in a very long time is that I made currant jelly. However, I didn’t remember all the work it requires. It takes so long to sort them and remove the stems. Then they have to be crushed and cooked and then strained so you end off with only the juice since they are so seedy. Finally you are then ready to proceed with making the jelly. I did have a deep satisfaction of a job well- done once I had finished.
George planted more lettuce, so within a few weeks there should be some more fresh lettuce to enjoy.
The season for fresh asparagus and broccoli is past. I really wish the zucchini or summer squash were ready to eat. I don’t want to have to buy fresh vegetables this time of year. The carrots have big tops, but after inspection I found the carrots are not very big yet.
As the summer goes on gardening continues even though we should be making more hay for the animals to enjoy in cold weather. It seems like the weather should be drier soon. At least I hope so.
Fresh peaches are available now. Enjoy them as a snack or appetizer or use them to make delicious desserts. Try these and see if you don’t enjoy the taste.

Coconut Peach Pie
3 egg whites
Dash salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1-1/4 cups flaked coconut, toasted, divided
1/3 cup chopped almonds, toasted
3-1/2 cups sliced peeled peaches (about 6 medium)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites and salt on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Fold in 1 cup coconut and almonds. Spread onto the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9-in. pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Arrange peaches in crust. In a chilled mixing bowl, beat the cream with remaining sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread over peaches; sprinkle with remaining coconut. Refrigerate for 1 hour before slicing.
Yield: 6-8 servings
From the test kitchens of Taste of Home

Cheddar-Biscuit Peach Cobbler
4 pounds fresh peaches, peeled and sliced or 8 cups frozen unsweetened sliced peaches
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cold butter
Cheddar Biscuits:
2 cups biscuit/baking mix
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter, melted
In a large bowl, combine the peaches, lemon juice and extract. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Combine the sugar, corn starch and salt; sprinkle over peaches. Dot with butter. Bake, uncovered at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine biscuit mix and cheese. Combine milk and butter; stir into biscuit mixture just until blended. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto hot peach mixture. Bake 20-25 minutes longer or until biscuits are golden brown. Serve warm.
Yield: 10-12 servings
2008 Taste of Home Annual Recipes