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The bounty on the homestead

Last spring, our pear trees really outdid themselves with the blossoms!  And the trees were covered with butterflies and bees of all sorts.  The fragrance was amazing!  Once the fruit formed, the branches hung down to the ground!  The best harvest ever!

Our peach trees & plum tree also put on quite a show.  Our peach tree by the house was loaded.  And thanks to the darn squirrelly neighbors, we didn’t get 1 peach.  Those little varmints cut every peach off before they were ripe!  Dang!  I was looking forward to making peach pie.

My neighbor’s elderberry bush was covered with blooms… 

and of course, the blackberries were prolific as well.

And NEAC crews were running fiber optic cable, so they mowed all the blackberries under the power lines.  So our blackberry harvest was dramatically reduced.

Thankfully, all these fruits aren’t ready for picking at the same time.

This week I offered pears to any friend who wanted to come & pick them.  And we had some takers.  I myself picked & filled a 5-gallon basket full.  

I washed them carefully, then I sliced them up.  Now… what should I make with them?  Preserves are the first thing that came to mind.  I love preserves.  My husband and son aren’t big fans of jams and jellies.  They ARE big fans of cookies, cakes and pies.  So I searched through my cookbooks and on the internet.  I found a recipe for pear cobbler.  And that’s what I decided to make.  Here’s the link to the recipe: https://bakeorbreak.com/2016/10/autumn-spice-pear-cobbler/

I chose this recipe because I am fond of the spice combinations that were required.  I used Pioneer Brand Baking mix for the crust.  It’s convenient and tastes great!  You can find Pioneer baking mix at the local grocery stores or on-line at: https://pioneerbrand.com/portfolio-posts/pioneer-original-biscuit-baking-mix-2/

I think the cobbler came out well.

I was also gifted with a Chicken of the Woods mushroom, which you can see in the photo with the pears.  I carefully cleaned the mushrooms, then I cut them into ¼-inch pieces.  Then I put them in the food dehydrator.  My yield was 2 quarts.  This mushroom has a texture that resembles chicken – hence the name.  It can be cooked like chicken (makes a great substitute!).  Or you can add it to soup, pasta sauce or casseroles.  I also received one last year, and used it in casseroles all winter.

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