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~~~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.
~~~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.~~~
~~~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 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