Monday, September 24, 2007

Ta-da! The canning report.

I am so proud. After twelve hours of slicing, grinding, straining, and simmering, I am now in possession of 7 quarts of applesauce and 12 pints of apple butter. I am also minus an entire weekend and the sufferer of one major breakdown. (The breakdown, by the way, was caused by having only 7 quarts and 12 pints at the end of the weekend. That's it?!) Brian kindly handled the quartering of almost all the apples, many of which had been invaded by a chubby pink worm that had tunneled through the center to eat the seeds and leave the innards to rot. We encountered a few of them who, as you can imagine, met their demise soon after. Removing the damaged portions of the apples made an otherwise simple operation more trying, but Brian forgave me because he was assigned to operate the grinder/strainer attachment on my mixer during the next step, which -- judging by his enthusiasm -- was a very satisfying job. He is to be thanked for keeping an eye on the apple “guts” coming out of the end of the strainer to make sure that they went into the “guts” bowl and not the applesauce bowl. He was particularly diligent about this, letting out a yelp of alarm and pointing to the offending piece until I responded to his satisfaction. If there are any “guts” in the applesauce, I am the one who is to blame.

In the midst of it all, I also managed a trip to the farmers' market on Sunday morning and froze the many heads of corn and a couple pounds of yellow beans that I bought. Apparently this was far too much activity for one weekend, because I woke up this morning with a miserable head cold. So much for reveling in my success. I'm off to find that box of tissues.

Pics above: Apple butter, they say, but at this point it looked more like apple flavored sugar to me (top left), the final product, yet to be rinsed off but with all seals intact (top right), cheering the Chargers on from the kitchen with local beer in hand (bottom right), and the kitty Ella very bored with the proceedings (bottom left).


Anonymous said...

Any man with more interest in this task than Ella must be worth keeping around! Hope he likes applesauce!

I have a theory about 'homemade' things -- they taste good to you no matter what. Perhaps because It's the representation of your dedication, creativity, patience (perhaps perseverance would be more accurate?), drive and so much more -- it all adds up to make it delicious, or at least something that you'll happily eat for the memories!

7 Quarts and 12 pints is quite amazing for a first attempt! CONGRATS!

Danielle said...

I was really hoping to see the other picture I helped you was so cute!

Jamie Thornton said...

Great pictures! I'd love to see more if you have them - especially of Brian enjoying the grinder :) Think of all this canning as not only saving up for the winter, but getting all your xmas shopping done early. Who could say no to homemade apple butter!?!

The entire process is one I'm fascinated by because I am absolutely and completely clueless about it. And yet, if the world fell apart tomorrow, canning would be one of those highly prized, save-the-world kind of skills. You're definitely encouraging me to step up my game :)

Jamie Thornton said...

Did you do a post yet on the canning equipment you decided to get? I would love to know your thoughts on how you choose the equipment, and what equipment (brand, make, model, etc.) you have and your thoughts on the equipment after the canning weekend. A tech review of sorts... Because basically, if you like what you got I want to outfit myself exactly the same way :)

Mom said...

I'm proud of you! :-)

Diane said...

I bought the last of the peaches at the farm market yesterday. They were the “white” type and were already ripe, so he gave me a decent price. However, when I started cutting them up today, many of them were an unattractive brownish color on the inside. Not bruised, just what slightly overripe white peaches look like, I guess.

They would have looked terrible in the jars, so I decided to make peach sauce out of them. I seasoned them just like applesauce, and it turned out just fine. You’d never guess they were peaches!

Melanie Lytle said...

Will gladly post about my equipment and the very homemade nature of my applesauce (let's just say that it's quite a bit denser than I had intended). Not sure that it's of Christmas giving quality!