Yesterday was apple day. As much as I enjoy my apple-peeler-corer, I don’t want to use it for a few days. We made apple sauce without cinnamon, apple bars, apple butter and apple sauce with cinnamon, in that order. By the end of the day, I was worn out. It did feel good to have it all finished up, but it felt even better to be able to label the jars and put them in the cupboard for later eating.
I took the recipe for the apple butter from the Blue Ball Canning Book. I like the book well enough, but for whatever reason, I can never match their recipes in terms of results. Lets just say my math is never quite what theirs is. I suppose the problem is with the pounds thing. I cannot for the life of me deal with fruit of vegetables in terms of pounds. I can tell you pails in terms of gallons, or even bowls in terms of quarts, or even cups, but I haven’t a clue about pounds.
It is probably because I have never invested in a scale for these things. I have a small scale for ounces, and I have the super humongous one that goes up way past 200, thankfully, but I don’t have that middle one. I suppose I could do what they have you do for weighing small animals like cats, you weigh yourself, note that, then pick up the cat and check the combined weight. Well, right now my husband and I are having a great laugh imagining ourselves weighing out the apples of beets or carrots that way. Actually, I think I will just keep on guessing and going with the flow.
Sorry that I got so off track back there. The point of the discussion was to explain that the wonderful recipe called for 16 medium apples to be peeled and cored. I wasn’t sure about medium, so I took the middle-sized ones and added two small ones because you really lose a lot with this peeler. As we were doing the apples, we noticed that there were a few bad spots that needed to be cut out here and there, so we threw in two more for good measure. After we boiled them down with two cups of water we were supposed to have two (2) quarts of soft pulp. Here is where the math goes off for me, from two quarts, I get four pints. Please remember this if you are a metric person.
Next we add four cups of sugar. For the metric people this is two pints. In my experience with jelly making, sugar is a volumizer. I may have made up that word, or at least the spelling of it. You also throw in two teaspoons of cinnamon and 1/4 a teaspoon of cloves. I am excited to have memorized this recipe already. Now this boils until the cows come home or the cat brings the second mouse onto the deck which ever is longer. It becomes a sticky, gooey mess in your kettle, but keep on boiling. At the end of all this I ended up with nine 1/2 pints. That is 4.5 pints, which is 2.25 quarts. The book told me I would get three pints. This is the sort of math that drives me crazy, but this is my canning math.
I guess the thing that matters is that is tastes good. In fact both my husband and one brother-in-law, Steve said it was very much like what they remember their mothers making when they were young. I don’t think there is any other comment that I could get that would make me feel any better than that. I will for sure make apple butter again and again and again.
Again I will end with a couple of pictures for today. The first is me on the porch. It has been a few days since I have been able to sit out there for breakfast and morning readings. Sunday morning, I decided I was going to be there no matter what. Paulina snuck around the house and got this shot of me. She thought is was quite funny.
I took this last picture which is of the green bean. It was what was on the top of the can that I opened when making green bean/hamburger/rice hot dish for supper for Paulina and James and myself. This was a store bought can. I didn’t put up beans this year, we ate lots fresh, and I sold the rest. So we are reduced to purchasing for the rest of the year. I won’t make that mistake again.