Well, it's been a long couple of days. I put up four more pints of pickled beets, froze about five quarts of green beans (don't have a canner yet), froze about three quarts of broccoli, cut up and froze ten or twelve Corno di Toro peppers, and now... Applesauce! Above, you see the apples, all cut up and cored, cooking in a pot, skin still on - need the pectin, you know. I have one of those corer/cutter things that you push down on the apple. But a year or two ago, a friend gave my wife one of those nifty things that have a handle you turn. The apple is pushed through a blade or two and it cores and slices it into uniform pieces. There's even an arm with a blade to peel it if you want to use it. It's a wonderful little tool. Highly recommend it.
After the apples are good and soft, you run 'em through a food mill. I got mine from Rural King for about $20. It's an invaluable tool and it's a whole lot easier than pushing it all through a strainer/sieve.
This, then, is what you get. Add some cinnamon to taste and put it into hot jars with hot lids and stick it in the hot water bath.
Process them babies for twenty minutes......
And voila! Applesauce! If you're curious (and more for my own information as much as anyone else), 3 pecks of apples -or 3/4 bushel - will produce 10 quarts and one pint of applesauce, give or take. I had a small tragedy during the hot water bath. One of my quart jars cracked along the bottom. I heard it happen but didn't know which jar it was. So I had to take them all out at the end. I found the broken one. Unfortunately, all the applesauce in it ended up in the water as I pulled it out of the pot. Well, live and learn. It could have happened because I didn't have the jar hot enough for the water, or maybe there was an inherent flaw in the jar during manufacture. Oh well.
Today, I'm making apple butter (sorry, no pics - it took forever just to upload these pics). I'm using one peck of apples (the left over from the bushel I bought). So far, 5 pounds or so of apples have produced 5 1/2 pints of the yummy dark brown delight. I've got another 6 pounds or so of apples in the crock pot cooking right now. By the end of the day, I'll probably have another 5 or 6 pints. Boy, is it yummy... sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. I love this stuff!!!