"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Spot of Abundance

~~~"Abundance; A plentiful or overflowing supply; a large or sufficient quantity or number; copiousness; great plenty." Funk and Wagnalls New Standard Dictionary
~~~I am awash in abundance, I am overwhelmed with abundance. Look at all the apples and pears on my table. This is a drop in the bucket compared to the fruit still awaiting harvesting in our orchard. The harvester and preserver in our household is just me! There are still beans and peas in the garden needing to be picked and preserved. There are still lettuces and carrots for the picking. I am also preparing for the Puyallup Fair. Bathing sheep, cleaning up items needed for my 5 day exhibit. Getting paperwork and posters and information necessary for the exhibit. The exhibit where I will spend 5 days, from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. every day......who will preserve our harvest ? ~~~Well, sigh....I wash and sterilize quart jars for at least one canner load of applesauce.~~~
~~~Here I wash and slice up apples, cutting out any bad spots or buggy areas. Note, I am NOT peeling and coring the apples for applesauce..a very labor intensive chore I did for years to can my many, many quarts of applesauce. I just place the slices of apples, peels, cores and all into 2 Dutch ovens on my stove, add a little water and steam and stir, until tender.
~~~2 dutch ovens of unpeeled, uncored apples steaming on the stove. Why do I not have to peel and core my apples the way I did it for years? The very labor intensive way I did it to can the many, many quarts of apples into applesauce for a year's supply for our family ?
~~~This is the pot of apples , steamed with their peelings and cores. They are tender and ready to pour into my handy, dandy....... ~~~SQUEEZ-O! This amazing machine has a big funnel which will accept a whole dutch oven of steamed apples. I turn the crank and out of the sieve cone comes APPLESAUCE ! The little bowl to the left of the Squeez-o is collecting the stems, seeds, peelings, core pieces which are coming out of the end of the sieve cone. I am still amazed by this machine , cranked by hand, that helps take a LOT of the work out of making applesauce . I add as much sugar as I desire to the very hot bowl of applesauce. ( I added 1 1/2 cups to the whole bowl)
~~~I pull the hot sterilized jars out of my water canner. ~~~
~~~I fill my jars with the hot, sweetened applesauce to within 1" of the top of the jar. I clean the rims of the jars, add the lids and screw the bands on to secure the lids. Put the jars back in my water bath canner. Bring the water back to a boil and boil the quarts of applesauce for 20 minutes. Turn the stove off and remove the jars of hot applesauce to the counter..OUT OF DRAFT, and leave them until the next day when I will remove the rings / bands, clean the jar tops and store in my pantry.~~~ ~~~Ahhh, there is something so satisfying about seeing my very hard work stacked on the counter. I was able to can 7 quarts of applesauce and put a few containers away for the freezer. The small containers are the perfect size for Hubby's lunches. ~~~You can freeze your applesauce. It is much easier, but we lose our electric power every winter and often lose our power during storms for a long enough period to require disposing of freezer items. Canning is still the best option for us.~~~ ~~~I still have an abundance of pears and apples to can. I am hoping they will not ripen too quickly.I am hoping the week AFTER the fair will be soon enough to finish the long day or two of canning ( JUST CANNING) I have waiting for me. ~~~ I so hate waste. I especially hate to waste a blessing of abundance. Why oh why can't our fruit, or the fair work out their schedule to accommodate ME ?
~~~" Life is not orderly, no matter how we try to make life so, right in the middle of it we die,lose a leg, or fall in love... drop a jar of applesauce." Natalie Goldberg


LindaSue said...

My mom didn't peel and core for her incredibly delicious applesauce! She didn't have a squeez-o but used some kind of colander and a big wooden spoon to push it through. It is so sad that when we have an abundance of produce there isn't an overabundance of time - perhaps that is why people used to have large extended families living nearby or together. Many hands make quick work. THe Lord provides abundantly for us all - we don't have the beautiful produce you have but all kinds of different blessings. Your fair week sounds like such fun(perhaps the sheep will agree when they forget the indignity of bathing). Hmmm - I have a recipe for an applesauce cake I can send to you!

Anonymous said...

That squeezer is the neatest thing ever. I've never seen anything like that? It's awesome, blessings with your abundance and enjoy.

ByLightOfMoon said...

Oh! How I envy you living in Washington! I lived in Sumner, by Tapps Lake very close to you and attended the Fair that year, It is still a highlight of my memory there. One of the best fairs I have ever seen. Then we moved to the Olympic Penisula for awhile in Port Angeles. I am back in Alabama for now and we have a county fair next week as well. I wish you good luck with your beautiful sheep and what a yummy applesauce you make. My Mother can whip it up also!

Lanny said...

Hey Kathy, are those some red feathers I see sprouting out of you? Dirt would be happy to recite his favorite children's story for you.

Our apples are late this year.

KathyB. said...

Linda Sue, YES! That is definitely one of the advantages of a large extended family. WE do have a lot of family living close...hubby's sister and brother live on adjoining properties with their spouses...but everyone is busy going to work in town...except a few of us. And I know what you're talking about, the colander you push steamed apples through with a wooden spoon. I have one of those, but it made the applesauce too thick and pasty for me, so I did it the hard way til I discovered the Squeez-o. Would love the recipe!

Noble Pig, you can also use the Squeez-o to make tomato sauce, if you have a abundance of tomatoes...which we never do.

bylightofmoon, thank-you for visiting. The fair is very close to Tapps Lake in Sumner. You lived in 2 very beautiful parts of the state. I love Port Angeles.

Oh Lanny, no I am not sprouting red feathers.....lots of hay seeds though. By the way, if you spot the Little Red Hen, send her over. I'll share my apples ! KathyB.

Connie said...

Homemade applesauce---yummy! That looks delicious. I've never seen a squeez-o machine---how nifty is that! Wow, what a timesaver. Good luck with juggling the fair schedule and getting your produce taken care of. All things considered, an overabundance of fruit isn't such a bad problem to have when you think about it. ;)

KathyB. said...

Thank-you Daisy, perspective is always welcome ! Abundance for us ( all of us) usually means abundance for others. Around here, a lot of extra produce is most welcome by the animals....and our friends and family. I am always thankful for abundance..KathyB.