The day before yesterday I took advantage of a screaming good deal on wonderful local apples and cooked up a big ol' batch of applesauce. And lest you think this was no big deal for me, I'd never made applesauce by my lonesome before, (my father always helped) and I actually bought the apples three weeks ago! I decided to stop being intimidated by the task and took the metaphorical jump off the high diving board.
First up, wash the apples. (There were actually many, many more apples than this.)
Next step was to chop the apples. Because my family owns a vintage "Squeezo Strainer," peeling and coring the apples is unnecessary. I checked on eBay, and these saucy little gems sell for upwards of a hundred dollars. I guess we're not the only ones that recognize their genius design.
I then boiled the cut apples, which is when the windows started to steam up with delicious fragrance. Mmm . . . .
My "Squeezo Strainer" at work. The lovely applesauce goes into one bowl, while all the peel and seeds are diverted off to the side. My compost bins were very lucky this day.
Teenage boys (and occasional congressmen) may take self portraits flexing their abdominal muscles in their oh-so-sexy bathrooms, but I take self portraits of myself making applesauce. Waaay more alluring. Note the ancient "Squeezo Strainer" box on the floor.
I ran out of canning jars at the end, but then remembered that I had a few vintage blue Ball jars that I normally employ as vases. Their rims were intact and smooth, so I scrubbed them down and put them to work. The blue glass plus the yellow applesauce creates an otherworldly green glow, which is both beautiful and simultaneously kind of ugly.
In the end I canned 17 jars, which we will both dine from and employ as holiday gifts. Even my little sister Sara, who is a canning dynamo was impressed with how much applesauce I produced. It took around four hours including clean up and the occasional Twitter update. I somehow didn’t photograph the canning bath, but I ensure that it did indeed happen.
I am now done canning for the year, and am self-impressed with how I somehow plucked up the courage to can applesauce, pickles and jam this year. (And I think I made jam three times.) I blame Ashley English of Small Measure for getting me off my non-canning duff, so I guess I owe her a thank you. I only with she didn’t live 3000 miles away, so she could lend a hand now and again.
Have you tried your hand at canning? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”
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