Monday, October 1, 2012

Canning Apple Sauce and It's Looking More and More Farmy Around Here

The score is 2-nothing Reds
No, those are not our chickens but yes, that is our backyard. Our neighbors acquired some chickens this year and now they are regular visitors to our yard. I'm curious to see how they will fare over the winter. Perhaps we can learn from their successes/failures and try keeping chickens ourselves one day. They had intended to purchase 6 hen chicks but one turned out to be a rooster, much to their dismay. Now there is even cock-a-doodle dooing in the neighborhood. Very farmy indeed.

It is the first day of October. While the nights have been appropriately chilly, it is predicted to hit 98 degrees in Quincy today! And this at 3500 feet above sea level. It has been over 100 in the valley. Some people are complaining, but not yours truly. I know the cold is on its way so I continue to steep myself in the heat, letting it permeate through my body and penetrate my bones, as if by doing so it may help carry me through the winter to come.

Similar to the grape harvest this year, our apples had to be stripped from the tree all in one go due to bear activity. The perfect ones were saved for eating and the rest were cooked into sauce and canned.

Y'all know how to make and preserve apple sauce right? Again, I was so impressed with the amount of traffic to my peach salsa canning post that I wonder if there isn't a resurgence in interest in canning. I myself am a beginning and rather lazy canner but apple sauce is truly simple. The most time consuming and labor intensive part is peeling and coring all the apples. This can also be a nice relaxing activity if you allow time for it. I have great memories of an apple sauce making day with friends last fall. We sat around an outdoor table peeling away the afternoon.

Warning: This is a basic method, not a recipe.
-Once your apples are peeled and quartered squeeze a lemon over them. 
-Put them in a large pot with an inch or two of water and put over medium high heat on the stovetop. Add more water if necessary.
-Cook, stirring occasionally until the apples are tender. 
-Let cool down to warm from hot. 
-Ladle cooked apples and juices into a blender in batches and blend until smooth. 
-Return to pot or saucepan and bring to a simmer. 
-Add sugar and cinnamon to taste. 
-Turn off heat and ladle apple sauce into clean jars. 
-Place lids that were sitting in warm water onto the jars and tighten gently (oxymoron?)
-Lower jars into boiling water and "process" for 10 minutes.
-Remove from water and place on a rack to cool. 
-Wait for popping sounds to indicate the lids have sealed. 
-When the jars have cooled, check that the lids are concave, indicating a good seal.
-Store in cupboard until needed on pork or pancakes or whatever.



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