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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oodles of Apples

I promised I'd tell you what we did with all those apples we picked a few weeks back - and I'm sure you've been hanging on pins and needles waiting for this very post.

My mother, sister and I left the apple orchard with about 20 pounds of apples each - which, if you add up the price of admission to pick them + the price of the apples themselves - cost us roughly 99 cents a pound. (A pretty good deal as you couponers well know...)

So what on God's green earth do you do with 20 pounds of apples before they go bad? Well, I figured this was as good a time as any for us to get domestic and learn a new skill - canning!

- Sidenote - It cracks me up that you can learn all kinds of old-school things like how to can apples online. Something about the juxtaposition of my Mac on the kitchen counter wirelessly streaming a video of how seal the lids on a mason jar full of apples tickles me. Here I am feeling very Laura Ingalls Wilder all the while relying on decidedly 21st century technology...

So for any half-pint wannabes, here's the process in a nutshell:

1. Boil your jars and lids to sterilize them. Keep them in warm water during the rest of the afternoon (yes, this will take all afternoon....be prepared) so that when you fill them with your apples they don't shatter.

2. Peel, core and slice 60 lbs of apples. (This part sucks.)




3. Boil your cored, peeled and sliced apples for 5 minutes.


4. Fill the warm empty jars with apple slices, leaving about an inch of room at the top of your jars. Pour the water you just boiled your slices in into the jar to fill in all your empty space. Leave at least 1/2 inch headroom!

5. Place the lid on tightly and screw the ring onto the lid - leave it loose - so it just holds the lid in place. Over the next 24 hours the little pop up bubbles on the lids will magically get sucked down and you'll hear them pop! Once they do this, screw your ring on tightly and viola! Apples in a can. Yummo.

If plain apples in a jar aren't your thing, you can mix up some sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg to add to your canned apples for instant apple pie filling...

This stuff is to die for. I was eating it straight out of the pot.


But it was also delicious in this pie!

I walked away from our afternoon of pioneer-esque delight with seven jars of apples ready for use, don't be surprised if one shows up on your doorstep come Christmas time!

 
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