Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Adventures in Canning


I had meant to write this post yesterday, but as I had the day off, I ended up in the garden and didn't come back inside until late.

In case any of you were wondering what I forgot to put in the double layer chocolate cake I was making for Thanksgiving it was. . .

Sugar! Thankfully I tasted a piece. I had had decided to just use both small layers for the black forest cake.

Blech! was it ever terrible!

So Brenda, I did not actually make lemonade from lemons. I just tossed them both and made something else!

Now on to canning.

I had come across the recipe for this pie filling over at Brin's (http://mymessythrillinglife.blogspot.com/) in April and I was determined to give it a try once my apples were ready.

The day finally came.

We had a lot of hail earlier in the season and the apples had suffered. We used most of my apples to make applesauce (and I use the word we rather loosely as my mom made most of the applesauce. All right, truthfully, she made pretty much all of the apple sauce!)

My neighbour offered her apples in exchange for some of whatever we made with it. As she picked all the apples as well, I figured we couldn't go wrong.

I looked at what she brought over, did some counting and figured they would make about 8 recipes.

That sounded good to me. My mom would get some, some I planned to use as Christmas gifts and the rest we could enjoy during the long cold winter months. No problem.

Time to get started. Mom chose apple peeling duty.

I was the chief sauce maker.


Mom had found these cute lids at Wal Mart which went on the jars to be used as gifts.

I got off to a bad start. While making the first batch of sauce, it occurred to me that my new measuring spoon looked rather large. Sure enough it measured at 1 and a 1/2 teaspoons! Ack! What to do? I decided to make a double batch of sauce and adjust the spices that way.

It was a busy day.

I decided to get some chili going in the crock pot for dinner so that it would be one less thing to think about. Then I figured we would need something sweet to keep us going so I quickly baked a coffee cake. Then the tile guy showed up (finally!) to work on the downstairs basement. Henry dropped by for lunch and Jada was constantly wanting to go outside and then come right back in.

Whew! Sometimes the only thing that kept us going was another piece of coffee cake!

Syrup duty was sticky work.

It took a while for the syrup to fill all the nooks and crannies in the jars.


But eventually the jars were ready for the canner.


We were starting to get somewhere.

But at what cost?!
What is that in mom's hand?! Oh no, the job has driven her to drink! What have I done?!


Quick! Let's get some food into her. It's a good thing I made that chili. . .

We started this process at 10:30 in the morning and it was starting to get late. We began to question our sanity. (As did the kids.)

WHAT were we thinking?!

Eight recipes meant we had 48 quart jars to do. I asked mom if she had ever canned that many jars in one day.

"NO, never!"

"What!. Then what are we doing?!"

"Do you want to stop?"

"No, do you?"

"No."

So, we soldiered on.

The bag of apple peels started to bulge.


I started snoozing while stirring.

But in the end. . .
Nine hours later. . .

Success! 48 quarts of Brin's Magical Apple Pie Filling!

Would I do this again next year?

Ask me next year!

5 comments:

Nancy-Mom said...

And you're going to give some away ???? after all that work ?? you're a better man than I am !! :o)

LovingLynden said...

We just spent a full day making apple pies - I'm a little tired of apples right now but the sight of those jarred ones are looking pretty sweet! Maybe...just maybe, I'll find myself whipping up a batch of Brin's because they'd sure make a great gift! Wish I had a Mom to help me though....

momofcrt said...

Wow that is a lot of canning jars full! Looks delicious though.
It's great your mom is around to help you!

Anonymous said...

Whew...I just did six jars using the same recipe, and we made an extra jar that we didn't can but immediately ate. Yum!!!

Next time less corn starch and more jars. I'm just about out of apples finally, but I'll be visiting your tree (or your neighbours) next year again.

- Ev

- Ev

Jenny said...

Yum! I plan on making some soon! Not quite that many though, lol. We have a vintage apple festival coming up soon ( http://www.vintagevirginiaapples.com/ )

I hope I can get some good stuff to can with there!

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