Sunday, October 5, 2008

September means Fall.

And Fall means Apple Picking.
And that means Applesauce.

We went apple picking with our friends and got several bushels of apples. It was VERY hot. But the orchards are gorgeous and climbing trees is FUN!

We picked two different kinds of apples at 2 different orchards--when you blend types of apples, you get good flavors. Mmmmmm. A few days later, we went to our friends' farm to learn how to can applesauce and worked at it for the ENTIRE day together (reason #697 to homeschool--real hands-on learning of life skills as well as academic skills and LOADS of social time with friends). We've frozen applesauce before but our freezer is full and we're working on making room in the freezer since our friends are also raising a pig for us and we're sharing the meat from that and that'll be in a few months. So, apples.

First, you collect and mix all the apples.

Then you wash them.

Then you cut and core them and pour them into a solution with lemon juice in it. While cutting and coring, you WILL get a lot of apple juice splashing on you. It smells like summer and fall at the same time. Yum. Bonus, you get to discuss politics with your awesome friends.

Then, on a propane burner outside, you cook and cook and cook the apples in a big, huge pot.

And, of course, you have a water fight with your good friend to cool off.

You scoop the cooked, soft apples . . .

. . . into the food mill and press them through it.
The peel comes out one place, the applesauce another.

Then, you set up your canning station. You wash your canning jars and heat them in the oven. Then you ladle the applesauce into your warm jars using a funnel. You scrap around the inside to remove air bubbles. Then you measure to allow for head space at the top. Then you wipe down the top and using a magnet thingy, you grab a lid from the warm water pot on the stove and apply it to the top of your jar. Screw it shut tightly.

Then, you go outside to can using a water bath canner on a propane burner.

You keep cooking during all of this because you've got 4 bushels of apples.

You enjoy some time doing some of your favorite things--hanging out with babies, cats, and books.

You make a total chalk mess to do body art.

And, after a long day's work and some good kitchen clean up, you have 60 quarts of applesauce, 30 for you and 30 for your friends. And you have fresh, homemade applesauce to enjoy all winter long. YUM! To find out more about making applesauce, be sure to read The Magic Violinist's take on it.


Jill O said...

WOW! I am impressed. Looks like a lot of fun. How nice to have a friend who owns a farm and has all that great canning stuff. Lucky!

emily said...

holy cow, you guys are real doers. you like pork?!

Lena said...

What a fun productive day! I remember making applesauce with my grandma when I was little. I'll have to do that one of these years! I'm thinking this isn't the year though.

Boquinha said...

Jill, there are SO MANY FARMS here. It's amazing. And positively gorgeous. We see farms just about every day that we run errands or do just about anything--they are everywhere! We love it. Heck, our house is an old farmhouse!

Emily, we do like pork. Did you think we were vegetarians? We don't eat beef, but we eat chicken, turkey, pork, etc. We love fish, too.

Lena, oh yeah, that's an awesome homeschool day to do applesauce together! (And to bake apple crisp and cobbler, too, of course)! :P

kristenhcubed said...

Stacy, my hat is off to you for the applesauce endeavor. Wish I were so talented. But I must say, as I specifically remember a Halloween during Med school where you came as a missionary wearing a nametag and a denim non-waisted dress, It's time to get a new dress!

Boquinha said...

Kristen, did you miss the "I Hate Shopping" post? :P

Seriously, what's funny is that we've bought that same dress like 2 or 3 times SINCE the mission because they get so worn and faded. It's my quick-and-easy comfortable dress to wear to the beach, the pool, when it's hot, etc. I love it! :P

D'Arcy said...

Stacy....seriously, there just comes a time when you are making applesauce with your family and you can be wearing ANY darn thing you please. For pities sake!

I am in yoga pants and a t-shirt right now and I have never felt better about myself. But, I don't really notice people's clothes, I kind of see past it and notice who they really are.

Chelle said...

Did you really just make picking apples and making applesauce look like FUN?! Your passion for things you enjoy is very persuasive my dear. However, I've picked enough fruit and canned enough foods in my lifetime to not be fooled by your intriguing portrayal. I happen to KNOW that those are things I don't necessarily consider fun, but I sure feel satisfied once the ordeal is over. Nothing is more beautiful to me than a pantry stocked full of bottled fruits and jellies.

The dress/I hate shopping thing has got me chuckling. Just this past weekend I "good willed" a bunch of clothes I've been keeping around since before we got married. I'm still hanging onto a few things, however. Sometimes these things need to be done gradually.

Boquinha said...

Mmmmm, yoga pants and a t-shirt. I love yoga pants and t-shirts. Have I ever mentioned that I think Yoga is WAY WAY sexy? Well, I do. :)

Rachelle, did I make it look fun? Wow, I'm good. Because while it was fun, it was a TON of work. Quite honestly, freezing it is SO MUCH EASIER, but our freezer is full of berries and veggies and we're in the process of clearing it out for pork meat in a couple of months, hence the canning lesson. And you're right--the pantry looks so great! :) :P

And yes, gradually is good. I'm not one to want things but I do get attached to stuff. I think that's part of why I hate shopping--avoid the whole mess in the first place! :P