Recently someone very special to me asked if I was still writing my blog. Quickly I said yes, but then I felt like I needed to explain how I may still be recovering from a stalker. And I may still be hesitant to share details of my life with anyone that stumbles upon my blog. I felt like I needed to explain how I wasn't going to let this stalker take away my love of writing (and I certainly wasn't!), but still my blog sat here less than tempting to the average reader, much less tempting to someone that is very special to me I'm sure.
I'm not making excuses but I have truly missed writing. I am however thinking that as much as I enjoy being in the kitchen it is more the stalkers fault that this has turned into somewhat of a foodie blog. And I suppose my affinity for food storage/preparedness only helps the foodie movement, not that I'm trying. And well, since I'm not trying to make this a foodie/preparedness blog please forgive me as I keep on that route and share this short post about...
In north Georgia we are lucky enough to live near some pretty spectacular apple orchards and every October they give us a marvelous excuse to roam around an open field in the North Georgia Mountains looking at crafty items one should never purchase, indulging in every kind of apple baked good imaginable, and taste testing every variety of apple known to God and man. It is a great Saturday and everyone should be so lucky as to enjoy it at least once!
I didn't make it this year, but Sarah did and she picked up a 1/2 bushel Golden Delicious and 1/2 bushel Granny Smith for $9 each for me. I took that combined bushel and made some extremely tasty applesauce!
Here are a few things I learned:
- Although the combination of Golden Delicious and Granny Smith is truly more palette satisfying than anything I ever dreamed of, they do not soften (when boiled) evenly. After a few batches of combined boiling I opted to separate each variety and only mix them prior to the second boiling.
- Speaking of boiling, Anne suggested doing so in apple cider rather than water. I did this and wow, yum. I really think it added to the flavor of my applesauce and I would recommend this method wholeheartedly.
- Apples to applesauce. My friend Vicki was kind enough to let me borrow her Victorio hand-crank mill. It worked great, and I am so grateful for her generosity, but the investment of a Kitchen-Aid attachment or electric saucer will be seriously considered upon my future need. When you think about the time you could save and the pain in my cranking hand I'm sure it would pay off.
- Size of the kitchen is directly related to the size of happiness while making said applesauce. Which means I need a bigger kitchen. Anyone? Anyone? And if I could have a dutch door leading to my back porch in this bigger kitchen, that would be amazing.
- Flavoring: While discussing the ins and outs of applesauce'ing Vicki mentioned that her grandmother taught her to use red hot (cinnamon) candies to flavor the applesauce. FABULOUS idea! My applesauce is pink, but it's pretty and again, it tastes FABULOUS!
Now, lest you think I am not myself and didn't worry that my applesauce would cost me a fortune more than what I could purchase at the store, let me show you my numbers:
1 bushel of apples: $18
Apple cider $5
1/2 pint jars $9
Red hots $2
Fruit Fresh $4.50
2 dozen pint jars $10
From the above I produced 31 pint jars and 12 1/2 pint jars (which for this equation I counted as 6 pint jars) for a total of 37 jars. $58.50/37 = $1.58 per pint jar.
I'm sure I can purchase applesauce for less at pretty much any grocery store, but I rather like that I made this applesauce myself...and I didn't add any sugar. OK, red hot cinnamon candies are sugar, but not really.
And in true Blogger.com fashion the photo upload is not working so I apologize for the error that will not allow me to show you photos. Maybe sometime soon.
Best of luck to those out there venturing down the path of personal preparedness.