Monthly Archives: August 2009

Fallen Apple Applesauce

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It’s hard to believe that it is actually applesauce making season again but it is! Last weekend we put up a bunch of jars and I thought I’d share with you our process. I’m sure there are as many applesauce recipes as there are people who make it, but if you haven’t tried making your own applesauce before, you really should try. It’s so easy! We have a golden delicious apple tree in our yard and typically we make applesauce out of the ugly apples that have fallen off the tree and leave the nice looking still-on-the-tree apples for eating and for pies. So the first order of business is to send out a troop of little boys to collect the fallen apples.
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See, ugly, aren’t they? It takes extra time to cut them up, peel them and cut out the bad parts, about an hour to do an entire pot full, but it’s worth it in the end for not having to waste them.
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We put the cut up apples into a pot with about a cup of water and a cup of sugar and set the heat on medium-hot. As I was cleaning the kitchen I would occasionally use a potato masher to press the apples down and smoosh them up. Then we started adding more water, probably about 3 or 4 more cups of it until it reached a nice ‘saucy’ consistency. As the applesauce was getting close to where we wanted it to go (about 45 minutes of simmering) we added a tablespoon of cinnamon and more sugar to taste and started on the canning jars.
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First put the jars you want to use in a large pot, then carry that over to the sink and fill up each jar with water and then add water to the pot until that water reaches to the shoulders of the shortest jar. Set these to boil on high to sterilize for a few minutes.
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When the applesauce is ready to go and the jars are sterilized then we throw everything into the canning jar water to quickly sterilize, the lids, the screwtops, the funnel, the tongs, everything that is going to touch the jars, we give a quick sterilization.
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Then very, very carefully, we pick the hot-water-filled jars out of the boiling water and empty them. Be prepared that chances are that you are going to get some hot water on you, so have a choice curse word on hand and Don’t Drop the Jar! Maybe it would be best to have a bowl of ice water on hand to dunk your burned hand into, that would be smart. After emptying out all the jars, place them on a heat safe surface, like your cutting board. Insert the canning funnel and fill up leaving 1/2 inch of room at the top.
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After filling all the jars full, dip a clean towel into the still boiling water and gently wipe off the top of all the jars, just to make sure that everything is nice and clean. Then you’ll carefully pick up the lids out of the boiling water with tongs and place them on the lids. Then put all the screw tops on. You don’t need to screw them on super tight at this point, just securely.
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Then place all the filled applesauce jars back into the boiling water and set your timer for 5 minutes. After letting them process in the hot water for five minutes, take them out, screw on the tops even tighter and wait for the tops to pop sealed.
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And there you have it! Ugly Apple Applesauce! I hope you enjoy it, I know we will!

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We’re Still Around

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Phew, it’s been busy lately! But we are finding some time to harvest and to build new beds for the fall garden. I hope you have a good weekend and on Monday I’m going to share our recipe for Fallen Applesauce.
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The Days of Canning Begin

our biggest tomatoes
It’s been quiet around these here parts, hasn’t it? Sorry about that. We’ve been fully wrapped up in this last part of summer…can you feel slight hints of autumn where you live too? The tomatoes have finally started kicking them out with regularity so we’ve been making sauce when we can.
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These shown tomatoes are the largest that we’ve ever grown! Granted this peach is tiny for comparison, but these mysterious Italian Heirloom (that’s all the seed packet says) tomatoes are all weighing in well over a pound each. These combined with the funky ones, a few Better Boys and a handful of Sweet 100’s are filling the copper pot these days.
first season tomato sauce
How about you? We all were struggling with tomatoes earlier this season, are they catching up for you?

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Impractical Tomatoes

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Our tomatoes have started to turn red now and are slowly trickling onto the counter top to be incorporated into our daily meals. Right now I’m fascinated by this variety, Constoluto Fiorentino:
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I can’t say that it’s a very practical tomato. You can’t slice them for sandwiches all that well and even chopping them is a creative task, but sometimes garden fare needs to go beyond practical and just be beautiful.
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