Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thirty-five pounds of Apples, three dogs, and a rainy day

Today was a really busy day. I made a trip up to Biddeford, ME (about an hour away) with Tyler. While I did that Mike went to Home Depot, and bought grout sealer for the laundry room, then to our local orchard and picked up the two bushels of apples we reserved, and came home. He sealed the floor and finished up just about as I got back home. We started working on one bushel of apples. 35+ pounds of apple per bushel. We currently have a turkey fryer sized pot on the stove full of apples cooking down into applesauce. We also have another 35+ pounds worth of apples sitting in our living room and I have no idea what to do next. I'm thinking spiced apple rings, or wedges, or maybe some cranberry apple relish.

Chopping, and coring 35 pounds of apples is not easy, or fast...especially when you are trying to do it while dodging three dogs that have glued themselves to your feet trying to catch every crumb that hits the floor. After almost tripping over them twice, I put a chair, and the trash can, blocking them out of the part of the kitchen I was in. Dewey...the little brat that he is, realized he could fit under the chair. So after he did that a couple times, I blocked off that\ bottom part of the chair with a laundry basket turned on it it's side. Mike and I were able to work in relative peace for about 20 minutes. Then all the sudden there was a huge commotion and the laundry basket was hopping across the kitchen floor with a panicked Dewey trapped under it. Mike and I were laugh so hard, we never even managed to make it over there to help him get out...he just kept jumping trying to run away from the laundry basket and it kept following him of course, but eventually it fell off. So funny. At that point he was so embarrassed that he didn't come back over near us for a while.

I have to say, I'm pretty impressed with us. We even broke out the juicer and juiced the cores and it was enough apple juice for us each to have a glass (so yummy) and to put some juice in with the apples so they wouldn't burn. then I took all the juice gunk and put that in a pot with some water and I'm cooking it down. I think I'm going to strain it with cheese cloth, and see if I can use one of my pectin packets and add some sugar to make apple jelly out of it. If I can reduce the amount of waste on 35 pounds of apples to the size of grapefruit, I'll be happy :)

I'm going to re-can the peaches from two years ago too. I'm thinking about making a peach chutney with it and canning that. We just haven't eaten up those peach halves like I thought we would. They are still yummy, but I want to put them in something we'll use more.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

"Putting up" for Winter

Mike and I have been hard at work most weekends, trying to do at least one day a week picking at "the Farm" and putting up food for winter. We've canned about 12 Quarts of Sauce, and 12 pints of sauce, we've frozen some meat sauce. Today we went to pick about 30 ears of corn (which VERY hard work...not the walk through the corn field everyone pictures!) to add to the 12 ears we got in our farm share yesterday. We'll blanch that, cut if off the cob and freeze it. We also picked yellow beans. I thought about 10 pounds, but Mike says closer to 15 or 20...we're in the process of cutting the ends so they can also be blanched and frozen. The farm was closing but we did a couple trips up and down the tomato rows and managed to grab about 10-15 pounds of tomatoes. I think we'll freeze's just easier :)

This CSA thing has been so awesome...we really have a good stock of food going into winter. If prices go up, even a small amount, it won't effect our budget. Now I just need to find the $ to buy half an cow and half a pig and we'll be good for winter :) That's gonna run us over 2K though, so it might be something we need to save for and do in the Spring.