Today the husband and I went with some friends to pick apples. Delicious, locally grown apples! A 1/2 bushel of them, to be exact. To be honest, I had no idea how many apples you got in a 1/2 bushel. I very nearly bought a full bushel, and I still might go back Monday for more. See, our garden pretty much failed this year. The whole thing was just a friggin disaster – zero tomatoes, a small handful of peppers and eggplant, and I only ended up with a few pints of canned pickles. So our pantry is pretty lacking in home grown/canned goodness, and I was determined to at least stock up on some apples to can and eat this winter since I failed in everything else.
I did my best to avoid procrastination (which I promise you all I’m really, really bad about – one of the many reasons why the urban homestead has been nicknamed “Fail Better Farm”), so as soon as we got home I set to peeling and cutting apples up. We don’t have an apple peeler, nor do we have one of those apple slicing tools to cut them into chunks. I just used a good old fashioned knife and hand peeler. Wasn’t too bad, honestly, especially since I was doing it all on my own.
I stopped canning around 7:30 or 8pm for the night, and all I ended up with was 4.5 pints of applesauce, 5 half pints and a nearly full quart of apple-ginger jam (which I don’t think really “jammed” but that’s okay because it’ll be delicious on top of some ice cream! Also, the recipe said it made 6 pints and I pretty much had a “Screw this, I know better than the recipe” moment – as I’m prone to do – and only put 5 half pints in the canner because I couldn’t understand why the recipe would come in full pint form when all the other jam recipes I’ve made call for half pints… Know-it-all girl thinks she knows it all, ya’ll!), and a crock pot going for apple butter.
I still have half of my 5 gallon bucket full of apples for tomorrow, though I’m not sure yet what I want to do with them. I can’t decide. More applesauce? More apple butter? Or do I freeze some? Or dry apple rings in the oven? Or make apple baked goods – like apple bread, or that apple cake recipe I saw the other day? But then… can you freeze that to eat later? Because if I have to eat it within a few days of baking that isn’t going to be good for my waist line. And it defeats the purpose of wanting to have things to eat later in the winter and the whole “preserving” thing.
So many choices!