Friday, April 6, 2012

Farmer Jeff's pets

I just had to add some more pictures of the cute Daisy Girl Scouts.  They're at the pond that we stocked many years ago with catfish.  They are monster catfish now!  Jeff took the Daisies out to watch the catfish feed.  When they come up to the edge of the water, Jeff can actually PET them on their heads!  What's next, giving them a kiss on the head??  Don't even suggest having a catfish fry.....So, if you come to the farm, it won't hurt to ask if he'll pet a catfish for you and the family!

Daisy Scouts in from the field with their berries

When I saw this recipe for fruit leather, I kicked myself for giving away my dehydrator!  But you don't need one with this recipe - just your oven.  

Fruit Leather Recipe

  • Strawberries
  • Water
  • Lemon juice 
  • Sugar (if needed)
**4 cups of fruit yield about one sheet of fruit leather
  1. Preheat the oven to the lowest setting or 120 degrees...the lowest my oven would go was 170 degrees.
  2. Rinse the berries and cut of the green tops.  Cut the berries into quarters if they are large berries.
  3. If the berries are sweet you will not need to add much sugar, but if they are tart you will need to add a bit more.
  4. Place the berries in a covered saucepan on medium heat.  Pour in 1/2 c. water for every 4 cups of fruit.  Bring the berries to a simmer and let them cook down for 10-15 minutes until the fruit is soft.
  5. Use a potato masher to mash the fruit that is left in the pan until fairly smooth.  (Or wait for the mixture to cool a bit and put it in your food processor or blender.)  If you kiddos are sensitive to the seeds, you could strain the mixture through cheesecloth to remove the strawberry seeds.
  6. Add sugar 1 tsp. at a time until desired sweetness and lemon juice to taste  I added 1/2 c. sugar and the juice from 1/2 of a lemon to give it some real zing.
  7. Simmer fruit until sugar is completely disolved and the mixture has thickened (about 5 or 10 minutes more).
    8.   Spray a baking sheet lightly with cooking spray and line a baking sheet with plastic wrap. Pour the strawberry mixture onto the lined baking sheet until it is about 1/8 of an inch thick or so.
    9.  Bake in the low temperature oven for as long as it takes for the puree to dry out (between 8 and 12 hours) and not be sticky to the touch...ours took 6.5 hours since it was at a higher temp.
    10.  Let the fruit leather cool.  Then as you take the leather up, tightly roll it, plastic wrap and all as you would do cinnamon rolls.
    11.  Then cut the leather into desired widths.
    12.  Store the homemade "fruit roll ups" in airtight containers or plastic baggies.

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