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Sep 3, 2011

Canning Applesauce, Tapas Plate Dinner, New Cookbook!

Canning Applesauce Today- I was SO happy it was cool today, only in the low 80's. I had only canned pickles so far, with store-bought cukes. Now it was time for home grown apples!!! I spent about 3 hours this afternoon processing 1/2 of all the apples from our tree. I don't remember the variety I planted, but it was our first harvest, since we had frosts several years in a row, that killed the blossoms. It's a good red/green eating and baking apple. I decided not to wait another week for more ripening, since the tree was taking a beating from the weight of the fruit, even propped up. I also had the 3 day wekend, so good time to can. We wound up with 10 gallons of apples, total. Less than I thought, but all organic! I was happy, after eating one this morning that they were riper than I thought- crunchy, crisp and nice flavor! Anyone recognize the variety? Gala?


Cooked til soft, then processed with my new Roma strainer/processor. I had decided with 2 fruit trees, would be a goods investment. Sounds simple to operate, BUT they forgot to mention to cook til really soft. The strainer came off several times with the first batch, and I didn't know to really tighten the thumb screw with pliers til really tight, since it holds on the screen. Duh. I used the "salsa" screen first, but the seeds came thru, so switched to the next smaller sauce screen, since we like our applesauce more chunky. Next time will be faster since I know the routine. Atleast I didn't break it!!!


Worked great! I cooked the 2nd batch of apples a little longer, perfect! I also ran the leftovers thru a 2nd time, and got a lot more sauce. The hens got the rest, OMG, now THAT was funny! Chicken applesauce. They attacked it with relish.





Then I cooked it with a small amount of fresh lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon, brought to a boil and processed. My husband did the taste test, excellent! He hugged me :)  His Mom used to can a lot so he appreciates the effort put in. He liked the way it the processor cut down on the labor, since she had to hand do everything - skinning, seeding, etc. 4 quarts and 1-12 oz. jar. That was 1/2 the apples, but with a lot of wormy spots I had to remove. Tomorrow's batch is the better apples, so I'm thinking about 6 or 7 qts. or more. And it's very thick, even with some water added.



I also have started freezing seasonal produce from the store. In the dead winter red and green bell peppers run about $1.00- $1.50 or more each, so I bought several at $.49 each last week- washed, dryed, seeded, sliced and threw in the freezer. I am still picking our fresh blackberries and freezing them too. Haven't decided if I'll make jam or just use for muffins, pies, etc....

Tapas Dinner In-
I knew I'd be busy today, so I planned a nice, cold dinner in advance. I use this recipe (sorry no time to type it out) and it's good! I love the chickpea salad, good with anything, or by itself! I subbed purple onion for the scallions, or use green onions. I also added about 1/4 diced celery. I always double the salad recipe since it's great, and keeps well. I think it's better the second day. Our local discount grocery store sells the nice, mixed french olives now, yum.





 I found the recipe last year in a magazine (Sunset?)- just chill the salad before serving.


And my new cookbook! I loved The Lost Art Of Pie Making so much, I had to get another by the same author! Love her series so far. I'll try the Swedish Orange Rye Bread next...



Nice End to The Day- We ended the day with a trip to Baskin Robbins, with Sam, our aging dog. Too far to walk to the park, so we stopped there on the way back with our ice cream and boy, did she RUN! The Aussie part of her loved it. I haven't seen her run that much in a while, it's been so hot, and she's getting arthritis. She was rested when she got there, so bam, she ran circles around us. How cute. Then, she ran out of gas a bit later. She loved the ride home, crashed out in back seat of our wagon. She took a long nap when she got home. Good girl Sam... Mommy loves you...




1 comment:

Candy C. said...

What a nice day you had! :) How nice to make applesauce from your homegrown apples!

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