Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Canning Applesauce...

I am not a master canner by any means!  I am still learning so please learn with me but double check times for your area.  Do your research.  I can't be responsible for anyone getting sick from improperly canned food.  That said it's not as hard as you think.  I find it no difficult than cooking just takes a bit of time.  I have both a Kerr and Ball cookbook (the canning giants) that I reference.  Alright enough of that on to the main attraction. :)

As you may be learning I'm not good at measuring :)  But applesauce is easy! I had bought a bussel (a big box) of Granny smith apples and needed to use them.  I peeled and cut them up and threw them in a big pot.  I just got out the biggest pot I have and filled it about 3/4 with apples.  Filled with water just to cover the apples. Much like making mashed potatoes.  Then I dumped in some sugar totally guessing at the amount.  Gave it a stir and turned it on about Med. 

When the apples started to soften I added cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.  All optional.  I like these flavorings so I just added to taste.  When I tasted it I figured I needed more sugar and added it.  My Granny smiths were very tart and it needed quite a bit of sugar!  If you use a different apple you may not need as much.  I cooked it until the apples were soft and started to fall apart a bit when you stir it.  It looks like applesauce.  If it is too thick add a little water.  Mine made a chunky style sauce if you want it more like store bought you can mash it or put it through a food mill.

It is ready now!  You can eat it right away and can the rest if you want :)  Of course you need clean jars and another big pot for water.  Apples go through a boiling water bath.  That's pretty much all I use this big black pot for...

I used quart jars.  Fill them and put lids on and into the big black pot they go...
They go into the boiling water bath for 20 minutes.  By the way the applesauce should be hot when packed into jar. I was so happy to add this to my pantry!  One day I hope we have our own apple trees. 
Here's my pantry. We are slowly working to have more home canned foods and less store bought. So far I have peaches, applesauce (jars in front), pickled peppers, and relish.  Most of this will be gone by summer and I'll be working to put up our harvest.  We are trying to steer away from freezing foods to save freezer space so we will be canning much of what we get.  I keep an eye out for deals on fresh fruit and buy in bulk to can.  That's where the peaches came from.  I like canning over commercial as then I know what's going in it and can adjust amounts for what works for us.  
Happy canning... I'll keep you posted on what I do can. And try to remember to take pictures.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Winter Blues...

We are very anxiously waiting for spring here!  I know I haven't posted in a bit but really we haven't had much going on.  We've been staying inside trying to stay warm most the winter.  I didn't really have any projects going on. 
But Finally!!!! Spring is starting to show signs of coming soon! 
We have taken advantage of the nice days when we get them. 

The girls had fun playing outside in the sun!

"Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream..."

And here is the very beginning of cold frames we are building for the garden.  More to come on them. 
Hope your faring winter well.  I'll be back a bit sooner this time.  :)