As I type this, the last batch of apple butter is being processed in the water bath canner. It's a good feeling. After a very long day yesterday, and a shorter-long day today, I can say I've put up the 50 pounds of apples we picked on Saturday.
- 9 quarts of apple sauce
- 3 and a half pints of caramel apple butter
- 3 pints of sweet cider apple butter
- 4 half-pints of no-sugar apple jam for my dad
- a whole bunch of dried apple rings
- a bit of apple leather for the kids
Not enough. I can't wait until our apple trees produce in a few years. I will be putting up so much more, making cider, all that good stuff. But I am thankful for what we had this year. You can't beat fresh apple sauce, no matter how much of it there is.
In addition, because I like to get as much use out of one canning session as I can, instead of doing lots of little canning sessions, I put up
- 3 and half pints of concord grape jam
- 3 pints of green tomato salsa
The peels and cores that I did not give to the chickens went into making apple cider vinegar.
Basically, I just threw all the peels and cores into this bucket, topped them up with water, put some muslin over the top, and tied it with an unused shoelace (because that's how I roll). In two months I should have vinegar. Or a smelly mess. Good thing the compost pile doesn't care either way!
With that done, it pretty much signals the end of canning season for me. Once the apples are in and put up, the canner goes away. Now I will be drying whatever tomatoes I can force to ripen in the newspaper in the house (because it's getting cold and they refuse to ripen any further outside), possibly making (and freezing) a jar of sauce here or there, stringing and freezing the peppers I can nurse along under the frost blanket in the garden, and if I come across a pumpkin or two, like this mama one,
I'll render it and freeze it. But that's about it. The year winds down.
I did a lot of canning this year, and a good amount of drying and freezing. I am starting to feel like this farm is producing the way it should. It still has a long way to go, and I know, when my birthday comes around next month I'll be making my resolutions as to what else I can do with it. But for now I am pretty satisfied. It's been a pretty good run so far.