Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Good Fall Harvest

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!!!


Joel said...

Well, well, well. If it isn't my long-lost friend Dan.

Hey! I found your blog through Keetha Broyles'. Just thought I'd say hello.

And dude. All this canning and freezing stuff is incredible! You are amazing! My grandparents did it and my parents still do it, but man . . . you're rocking it out in our generation.

Trust you're well. I'll be keeping tabs on you -- just added your blog as a feed to my content reader, so every time you publish a post, I'll know about it.

And stay tuned. I'll be starting up a blog of my own in the next few weeks.

Take care, amigo!

Keetha said...

Joel - - - how fair is it for you to find people THROUGH my blog withotu leaving me a comment ON my blog????????

I'm just sayin' - - - -

Dan - - - it makes me tired just looking at the pictures of all that work.

I've never had a "canner" whatever that is - - - but used to put up a few jars of beans or pickles or something using a hot water bath.

My dad is the expert at all things garden and putting it up - - - not me.

Danman said...

WEll, HOWDY Joelsey!

Glad you found me!

It's so exciting to actually have people read my posts now... I'm not feeling quite so lonely now.


And Keetha, yes it was a lot of work and I was dog tired all week. But it's nothing compared to the "puttin' up" a homeschool mom has done this summer. Over 100jars of beans, pickles, apples, corn... two HUGE freezers full of stuff and more tomatoes to can. I'm soooo jealous of her. Ahh, the life.