Thursday, October 24, 2019

What I Did Yesterday

Friends! I was swept under the tide of big kids' activities this fall, and I dropped everything I could to keep my nose above the water.  For me, that meant keeping up with the laundry, good food, and bills/paperwork, and everything else had to wait. I'm eager to get back to you!  

Last week, Phoebe and I picked out a custom blend of apples to make applesauce: Fuji, Grimes Golden, Gold Rush, and Smokehouse. Twenty bucks for two bushels of apples, a good price.  I really should have read my canning notebook more closely, though, because I would have met my applesauce goal with 1 1/2 bushels.  In the spring sometime, I take inventory of the preserved food in freezer and cupboard, and then I set some targets for the year's preserving.  

So I stashed the apples in the basement until I could clear a day to make applesauce.  Phoebe was keen to help, hooray, so I planned for a day when she did not have preschool, but her help couldn't extend much beyond washing jars.  Hot apples in a food mill are too much for a four-year-old.  

I made a grand total of 33 quarts of applesauce yesterday.  Oh, I was tired! I did not do laundry, go food shopping, or editing.  I stood in the kitchen and canned.  But the resulting applesauce, from those four kinds of apples, is so delicious: deeply rich apple flavor with no sugar needed, thanks to the sweet Fujis.  And now my canning goals for the year are all crossed off.  

Putting some tomato-canning photos in here as well!

Here's my list from this year, basically in chronological order: 
7 half-pints strawberry freezer jam
18 pints frozen blueberries
13 pints frozen sour cherries
25 pints frozen corn
17 pints dilly beans
3 quarts frozen green beans
8 pints pickled red beets
9 pints bread & butter pickles
3 half-pints blueberry syrup
5 half-pints pickle relish
10 pints 7-day sweet pickles
5 half-pints duck sauce
2 quarts frozen grape pie filling
3 quarts grape juice
4 half-pints spiced grape butter
21 pints pizza sauce
14 quarts tomato soup
28 quarts whole tomatoes
7 half-pints pimentos
3 half-pints peach jam
33 quarts applesauce

And I'm back on the laundry today, with a grocery shop planned as well. 


Judy said...

I'm so glad you wrote a post. I've been missing your ideas. I like reading my old food notebooks. I keep other info there as well and it becomes a diary without me having to actually write a diary!

Jennifer Jo said...

A post from Margo! You made my day!!!

I skipped all applesauce this year (I think --- though there is still time to panic and change course). We just aren't eating it as much as we used to...

e said...

I'm so impressed! Not just impressed with your 33 quarts of applesauce (what a day!) but also with your amazing record keeping. That's where I always fall down. I used to be better at keeping track but now I just look in the pantry and do a rough estimate in my head. Not accurate at all! Oh, well, I haven't run out of jam yet...
Thanks for sharing your pictures!

Nancy In Boise said...

Nice to see you back!!! Good for you, and I know he tiring food processing is!!! Nice haul.

Lisa said...

Margo, I was just thinking of you yesterday. I've never heard of most of these apples you mentioned, but it sounds like you knew exactly how they would all add up. My mouth is watering!

Margo said...

I agree, Judy! I like seeing our lives change over the years by seeing how the food changes. . .

Margo said...

Interesting! Wonder why the applesauce intake went down at your house? I think it ramped up at ours.

Margo said...

Lisa, the orchard where I got the apples has signs with each variety, describing their flavor and uses. I *love* trying to put together a good flavor from that!

Becky said...

I really need to keep better track of what I can. I do look at my shelves and mentally keep track of what I need to put up this year. I definitely need some applesauce - getting some apples next week.

Unknown said...

So impressed with your canning! Here in CA few people I know can anything but I still do applesauce and other things because my daughter and son in law have an organic produce farm (although no apples yet). How I wish I could get apples at that price! The best I can do around here is at the Berkeley Bowl, a huge produce market, where they have a bargain room. We pick up all seasonal produce that is ripe that day, for a dollar for three pounds. The bags of apples are mixed types and it always makes good applesauce. I am writing mostly because I am wondering about your pimentos. I have wanted to can those for a long time but can not figure out what to grow/get. Are these called pimento peppers, and did you grow them yourself? Pimentos are not just any red pepper, canned. How did you can them? Thanks for any information. I love a good pimento cheese sandwich but those pimentos you can buy in the teeny jars in the store are prohibitively expensive!

Margo said...

Hi! My pimento recipe is from Virginia, and just uses regular red bell peppers. Here's the link to the pimento cheese AND the canned pimentos themselves:
Good luck!

Unknown said...

Thanks! For some reason I figured there must be a pimento pepper that I need to find. This is very helpful!

Unknown said...

BTW, when I google pimento pepper they say that they are also called cherry peppers and look a lot different then regular bell peppers, but I wonder if they are not much different when you mix them into a cheese spread? The reason I have hesitated in the past is that pimentos have a certain flavor that I wondered if bell peppers could provide. I do trust your judgement here and may try regular bell peppers and see. Thank you for letting me know what you think.

Unknown said...

I'm sorry to not get my questions in order before posting, but one more. Your recipe states: large red peppers, ground and that you use your food processor. I am not sure what you mean by "ground". I mean, I have a grinder (for my Kitchenaid that does meat for ground beef, etc.) but you couldn't mean that, could you?) With my food processor I have graters, slicers, etc. but nothing that I would call "ground" but then pimentos are in little pieces or strips, right? Please advise. I really am hoping I can get this correct if possible!

Margo said...

I have never compared pimento cheese spreads :) They're not really a thing in my area, so that's why my recipe is from another (Southern!) state. For me, canning pimentos started because I tasted the amazingly delicious pimento cheese and my BFF's dad said you had to can your own pimentos for that flavor. And it is also a handy way to deal with red peppers because they are in abundance right now - I can get a a big bag for $2 at my market and my little backyard plants are still producing, too.

Margo said...

No worries :) I use the regular blade on my food processor and chop the peppers very finely so that they look like ground beef - I pulse numerous times and look at them after each pulse - definitely stop before you puree them. Hope that helps!

Polly said...

You are so industrious! That list is mind-boggling, truly. Isn't home-canned applesauce the best, though?? I love to make apple butter with it. Although I confess to a streak of laziness....I freeze applesauce!

Margo said...

Hi Polly! The delicious flavor of homemade applesauce is what got me started in food preserving! I bought commercial applesauce a few times when I was a newlywed and just couldn't stand the stuff when I had grown up with my mom's homemade. I can my applesauce now because I don't have enough freezer space :)