Miles run this morning: 8.1
Days left until Half-Marathon: 9
Days literary agent has been reading my full manuscript: 3
Have I ever mentioned I’m impatient? It is good to get my mind on other things other than that literary agent loving or hating my book. Like Fall. It’s here! I love it so. The crisp, drier air makes me feel like running outside, crunching through leaves and cooking more…something my children appreciate as I have not done much of that lately. Let us move on to a truly wonderful fall activity.
Domestic Goddess Project #2: Applesauce.
I’m telling you, that after your peaches AND your applesauce canning, you can hang up your apron for awhile. You’e done your duty. Let’s not think about the holidays coming quite yet.
I have not actually procured any apples yet; we’re too busy! Soccer is taking over our lives (we secretly kind of like that) and I haven’t been able to do anything about apples. Not yet.
It’s still early in the season, but I’m setting aside a couple of hours in the next few weeks to get my applesauce yum on.
Are you ready?
1. First, you need your supplies. I use the Back to Basic applesauce strainer. You’ll also want to get Bell jars, lids, and tops. I see them everywhere at the grocery store right now. Get ahead of yourself and wash the jars in the dishwasher on short cycle. (There are other way to make applesauce without equipment. Google.)
It may seem like a lot to buy this equipment, but since I’m going to do this every year (I hope!) it’s worth it.
2. Then, of course, you need the apples. You can have your monkeys climb trees to reach them.
The last few years I’ve gone to Appleview Farm in Pittsfield, NH where, for $11-$16, they sell “2nds” or “drops”by the big burlap bag (bushel) you sling over your shoulder. These are the apples you want to use, not the perfectly edible ones hanging on the tree. I may be able to get some from my neighbor, Big Rembrandnt (left), if he doesn’t eat them all. He’s kind of a pig. Actually a water buffalo.
Welcome to my neighborhood!
You can count on 12-13 quarts per bushel. Sometimes that’s all I feel like doing.
3. Now. Wash the apples. Use your hose and do it outside for less mess in the kitchen.
4. Cut up the apples using an apple cutter or a knife. Personally, the apple cutter is a little quicker so that’s what I do. Do NOT peel the apples. There is no need as your machine is going to get those babies off for you. You do want to get rid of the rot unless you don’t have a problem eating it. (I do.)
5. I don’t feel guilty about dumping the cores or waste b/c I feed them to the chickens. Or at least I used to before the weasel got ’em. Now I simply throw them in the garden for compost. Cool.
6. Grab your two big pots. Or borrow some.
Fill the pots with your cut up apples and enough water to cover the bottom only. This is subjective; the more water, the more watery the applesauce. But not enough water and you’ll get applesauce that is way too thick. Experiment.
Inhale. Your house will smell divine.
While your apples are getting mushy (about 15-20 min) you can set up your applesauce making strainer/contraption on the kitchen table. I wanted to do it outside, but it doesn’t fit on the picnic table. Grab two more big bowls. BIG. Also get an 8×11 pan, sugar and cinnamon out and put on table. Go check on your apples.
7. Once the apples are pretty mushy, use your hot pads to carry them over to your strainer and pour into top. Pour to brim. Careful! It’s hot.
Take a moment to go back to the stove and fill up your big ol’ canning pot (saw them at Wal-mart just yesterday) with water and turn on high.
8. Use your pusher to push the apples through while your turn the handle. This is where your kids can help – they love to turn that handle. The machine will take the nice mushy apple and discard all the seeds, skins, and hard core pieces. Repeat until your apples are gone.
9. Empty out your applesauce pan when needed into one of your BIG bowls.
10. Stir in sugar and cinnamon. I like to use less b/c it tastes so naturally delicious! And because sugar is bad. Spoon applesauce into your prepared jars. Put on lids.
11. Bring prepared jars back to your stove where hopefully, your water is now boiling. Put jars into boiling water. Make sure the water covers jars. Bring back to rolling boil and let jars sit for about 30 minutes. You’ll know they are sufficiently canned because when you press on the lid, it doesn’t “pop” back at you. Take out jars with tongs and let cool.
That’s it. Really.
I never thought I’d be the sort of person who “canned” but this is what motherhood has done to me 🙂 And it’s good stuff, I tell you. How much do you pay for a jar or applesauce? Over $2-3 dollars? I priced this out one year and figured I was paying $.83 cents/per jar. And it’s homemade. The initial investment for the equipment and jars is money, but then you have it forevuh’!
How long does applesauce last? About 2-3 years. We eat it way faster than that.
Who knew domesticity could be so much fun?
Maybe I’ll tie a ribbon around the jars this year. One small step closer to Martha…
Questions? Ask me and Paige. We’ll give you the scoop.