Sunday, October 23, 2005

OF APPLES, SUGAR AND SPICES

Last week it was tomatoes. This week is was apples. Apple butter actually. About fifteen pounds of braeburn apples, some cider, sugar and spices are now living in some very nice jars. And some of those jars are probably older than me. That’s the nice thing about Ball, Kerr, and Mason; you can use them over and over. All you need is lids. We’ve even got some of the wire clamp variety that uses the rubber gaskets. We don’t use those for canning anymore but they are great for dry storage. Bean, rice, pasta, home made granola, that kind of thing.

Over several batches I’ve learned a few things about apples. Gravensteins may be great apples, but I’ve only used them once for apple butter. The juicier the apple, the longer it takes for the batch to cook down and gravensteins are really juicy. Really, really juicy. We’ve gone back and forth between macintoshes and braeburns since then. That food mill I talked about last week comes in real handy. We finally got smart and we don’t peel the fruit, just trim, core and chunk. It saves a lot of time and the peels get left behind when you put them through the food mill. Besides some of the best flavor is in the peel. And that food mill is really great for meditation. It’s quiet, it’s repetitive. You can get a good pray in while you’re making a mess. Then you can do some more meditating while you clean the kitchen. Several times. It’s a small kitchen.

Anyway, the house smelled wonderful while the batch was cooking in a very slow oven. The kind of scent that commercial air fresheners or candles try to duplicate and never can.

We use the big roasting pan and this was a great test run to see what will fit in the big oven. Should hold a twenty pounder plus very nicely. Or two good size roasting chickens.

We’ve restocked the feeders. As the leaves fall, the chickadees, squirrels and other critters remember that the buffet is open down here and come back down. The birds flit from feeder to big rhodie, butterfly bush and back. The cats are in heaven. Free kitty cable, so to speak.

Funny, while I was running the spell check for this entry Word made it obvious that the only Apples called Macintosh it knows about are the ones with printed circuits and a capitalized name. Chuckle, chuckle

3 comments:

toonguykc said...

You stirred a memory in me.  When I was a wee little lad in grade school -- there was a game you played when you had an apple in your lunchbox.  You'd twist the stem and say a letter of the alphabet with every turn.  Whichever letter you said as the stem finally broke was supposedly the first initial of the person you were going to marry.  

Russ

lisaram1955 said...

<Anyway, the house smelled wonderful while the batch was cooking in a very slow oven. The kind of scent that commercial air fresheners or candles try to duplicate and never can.>

Reminds me of when we sold the house in Springfield.  I gained ten pounds eating the chocolate chip cookies they always tell you to bake to give the house a"welcome" smell.  LOL!  Lisa  :-]

hestiahomeschool said...

ohhh, I can just smell the apple butter...yum.....I have a lot of those old Mason jars that hold my spices...