Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Making Applesauce For a Year?

I've been putting it off for quite a while, because I've been pretty busy, but last night I decided I better get to making applesauce, before all my apples go bad.  I usually do a crockpot recipe, but I decided to do it on the stovetop this year, because I didn't have time for the crockpot to sit for hours, and I wanted to do a LOT all at once.

I left the skins on, because I knew I would be running the apples through the food mill later on.  I used my handy-dandy apple slicer gadget to prepare the apples.  The only part I discarded was the core, and any yucky spots I found.

I put a few inches of water into the pot and let it cook for about 20-30 minutes until they were soft and cooked through.  I stirred them a lot to circulate the top and the bottom apples.  The pot was full when I started, they cooked down quite a bit. 

The apples looked like this when they were done. I used a couple of different kinds of apples, mostly red delicious, but some Arkansas black, and some honeycrisp.  Using a variety of apples allows for better taste and less need to add a lot of sugar. 

My food  mill is not fancy...just one of the old Foley's food mills.  It worked just fine though.  Especially after I figured out that the food mill was exactly the same length as the diameter of the bowl.  There are two hooks on the backside that you can't see, but it allows me to brace the mill on the bowl while I am cranking the apples into sauce.  After all the apple was pushed through, I dumped out the skins and put more cooked apples into the mill. 

It turned out to be a lovely consistency and I LOVE the rosy pink color that came from cooking the apples with the red skins on.  I added a little sugar because I like a sweet applesauce, and some cinnamon. 

I repeated this process several times until I had used up my apples.  I ladled the sauce into jars, leaving about 1/2 inch headspace and capped them off.  They went into a waterbath canner for 15 min for pints, and 20 min for the quarts.  I ended up with 15 pints and 2 quarts of sauce.  I'm not sure if this is enough applesauce for a year for us.  My son and I are the ones who eat it, and one jar will last through several who knows?  It is definitely a good start. 

Have you ever made your own applesauce? 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Captions Please!

Picture #1

Picture #2

Picture #3

I'll do one to get you started.  Picture #1:  How YOU doin?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Passing Through

I have not been doing a very good job posting on my blog lately...mostly because October has been a VERY BUSY month for us.  We had company 2 weekends of the month, and we were out of town one weekend.  We had all the Halloween activities, plus our first really hard freeze last week.  So I haven't had much time to spend on my blog.  I am hoping November will be a little more low key, while I get the garden cleaned up and finish up some canning projects before the Christmas season starts and winter sets in.

During the Halloween weekend, my Dad came to visit.  My son was very excited to see his 'Pop-Pop'.   Dad got to participate in some things he's not usually here during.  Usually we carve pumpkins a few weeks before Halloween, but because of being out of town, we did it 2 nights before.  My son enjoys really getting his hands in there and getting the seeds out. 

This picture is funny to me, because after you see the pumpkin carving picture, when you look at this one, it appears as if he is biting a huge chunk of pumpkin.  This is actually the next morning, and he is eating a big sticky roll with orange icing. 

Our jack-o-lanterns took one evening and part of one morning to carve because I like to do fancier designs.  I enjoy pumpkin carving, and if anyone near me ever offered a class on 'advance' carving, I would take it in a second!  I don't care so much for the scenic pictures, but I love a scary, detailed face. 

After the pumpkins were carved, my son wanted to go to the nearby pond to feed the ducks.  Evidently, there was a large group of geese on the way through, because I never have seen so many geese here at once.  The swan was present, but it took us a while to find the ducks.

We don't throw bread to the ducks very often, I know it isn't very good for them, but we don't do it but a couple times a year.  The ducks took a while to find because I don't think they get along very well with the bossy overbearing geese.  I always wonder how wild creatures stay this white.

For that matter, I wonder how my Dad's shoes stay so white!  We had to play dodge the goose poop while we fed the birds and enjoyed the sunny day.

We always save our seeds to roast.  Ben loves to mix them up, and this year we boiled them in salt water first, to really get that salty taste on the inside as well as the outside.  He had to go to bed before they were done though, because our trick or treat is on actual Halloween, and it was a school night.

I love Halloween decorationing, and I am slowly adding to my collection of things to put out in the yard.  Some people have way more than me, but I can only afford so much at once, and dh won't help me with Halloween decorating.  So I am limited to what I can do without geting up on the roof.  I guess we do have one of those hook and pole things for Christmas lights.  Maybe next year I can get some of those orange icicle lights to go around the gutters of the porch.

Sigh, it is time to move onto thinking of Christmas now.  Whether you like it or not, the stores force you into considering Christmas as early as the week of Halloween (when many stores are shoving the Halloween merchandise to one side already to start setting Christmas merchandise out).  Even if you declare it is obscene and disgusting, you are still thinking about it.  I suppose the only way you could avoid it is if you don't go into any place that sells anything from October 20th until Thanksgiving.  Maybe longer than that.  But then you'd be thinking about avoiding it, and they've still got you.  I've taken my decorations down, but I won't put Christmas ones up until after Thanksgiving.  I refuse to participate until after my appointed time.  So...Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving, and NOT (merry christmas early).  
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