Growing Up Agrarian

We are four Christian, homechurched, homeschooled, homesteading, agrarian children growing up in Central Texas on a Ranch. We are Tracy,(15) Jennifer,(10) Robert,(9) and Sarah(5) Bunker. We also have one more brother, Thomas Shepard Bunker, who is in the courts of glory. We like to read books, raise animals, and play on the land. Tracy will be writing about the stuff we do. We hope you enjoy our Adventures!


More Preserves

Hello, Tracy here again.

Today it is wet and cool. Praise the Lord for the rain he has blessed us with. Also for the pleasant break from the high temps.

Last week I made some Prickly Pear Preserves from the native Prickly Pear Cactus that is covering the Ranch. This time of year is when the spine-covered fruit turn a ripe purple color. The outcome is a light magenta, sweet preserve. These are the two bowls we picked to start the process.

The washed, scraped and cut pears before ground into a pulp. Sorry, the picture is a little blurry.

This is a few painful spines later. Well worth it!

Pricky Pear Preserves

To Make the Pulp:
With a torch lighter or a pencil torch, singe off clusters of microscopic spines. Scrape the black residue with a spoon, using gloves to hold pear with one hand while scraping. Wash in hot water and cut off brown top and bottom of the pear. Skin, cut in half and scrape seeds out with spoon or knife. ( Your hands might be purple for an hour of or so after this if you do not wear gloves, which I did not. The color did not bother me ) Wash again, rubbing each pear to remove any leftover seeds. Mash with a potato masher, or as I did it, in a blender until it is a pulp.

To Make the Preserves:

4 cups pear pulp
3 cups sugar
the juice and grated rind of 2 lemons

Put all 3 ingredients in a large sauce pan. Mix and place over low heat. Allow to come to a boil, and simmer, stirring frequently, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until thick and somewhat clear. Pour into sterile jar and seal. ( We are going to waterbath ours for 20 or 30 min.)

Here are some washcloths that Mrs. Sustaire made for me.She made 2 of each kind, and I gave the others to mom. These are going into my hope chest. Thank you, Mrs. Sustaire!

Here is Mom and Jennifer trying out a new recipe. Easy, No Knead Whole Wheat Bread. As you can tell, they ended up needing to knead it anyway. We had it with breakfast this morning, and it was pretty good! I cant tell you what Jennifer is doing in this picture, because I have no idea. Maybe she is conducting Mom on how to do it right. ( Just a wild guess)

Till next time,
The Bunker Teen


Blogger David and Susan Sifford said...

Great job on the preserves Tracy!! It looks delicious. At first glance, the picture of the bread dough in the bowl looked to me like flat rolled out pizza dough but then I realized the dough was actually in a bowl and almost overflowing. That bread sounds delicious too!! Excellent work - all of you!

Mrs. Sifford

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tracy, those prickly pears you get on the ranch are going for alot of money here. I have never tasted them myself but looks pretty tasty! Homemade bread sounds wonderful to.

8:52 PM  
Blogger Mrs Dewey Smith said...

We have tried some 'No Knead' recipes before as well and almost always they are improved by a bit of handling.
I have so enjoyed finding your blog and the various ones you share. The Lord has certainly led me along a wonderful trail here!
Thank you!

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Brenda said...

Re: No-knead bread...I found a couple of videos on that show the process:

Here's a healthier version, using steel cut oats, which you can buy at bulk food stores:
I haven't yet tried the recipe, but the video may be helpful.

My experience with prickly pears agrees with Debylin, they are expensive in Canada. They're not always available here, but a single pear costs .75 cents US. How blessed you are to have such an abundance of them! I read that they're a great source of vitamin C.

8:42 PM  
Blogger Bunker Children said...

Thank you both for your info...greatly appreciated!

Tracy Bunker

4:41 PM  

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