Sunday, September 27, 2009

Weekend Review - Times 2!

My weekends are ending short again, since I'm back on the academic schedule and working 12 hour Sundays. So we squeeze as much as we can into Friday afternoons and Saturdays.

Friday we went apple picking at a sweet little orchard (Deer Run, if you're local) about a mile from our new house.

We picked 2 bushels of apples, and I'm guessing next week I'll go get one more. It was SO different from the orchards near our old home - you really had to scavenge the trees for the good ones there - here the branches were just loaded with perfect apples.

As usual, I hit the market Saturday morning. I think I need to start bringing my cart with me - I seem to be filling up with more heavy things now!

Colin's soccer season is winding down - he has three games left. He's still on the team from our old district - next year we'll move him to this district.

The kids left with my father after the game to go to a fall festival near his house and spend some time with grandma and grandpa. I love that they're so close to all their grandparents.

The afternoon was spent at our house - Kevins parents came over. I am so, so blessed to have such amazing in laws.

My mother in law and I spent the afternoon inside, drinking wine, chatting, canning applesauce and making chicken and dumplings for dinner.

The guys spent the afternoon outside with tools and wood building our new compost area.

It was a lovely afternoon - each of the older parents passing down their knowledge to us, I wish I could have captured the feel of the afternoon in a single hallmark snapshot! :)

After they left I decided I had time for a little more canning - so filled up 6 quart jars with apple pie filling. I apparently filled them too high because 4 of the bottoms broke off in the canner. Another one was bursting at the seal when it came out - so that was poured out and became apple crisp. I was slightly upset - but this is my learning and experimenting year with canning. I have more jars. I have lots more apples. And now I know better.

It was in the 80's last week - but the last couple of days have brought the autumn winds in with them. I'm loving it. Cider. Using the woodstove. Sweaters. Yay!

I'm trying my hand at knitting yet again. I think maybe next week I'll get some crochet tools and see if I have any luck with that. One of these days I'll get it!

And if you're interested:

I just love the vintage/war era canning ads!


32 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
4 cups water
2 cups sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon or nutmeg (I use cinnamon)

Place apples and water in pot and bring to a boil - simmer about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The apples will mush together as you stir - I mash them just a little bit with the spoon leaving a slightly chunky sauce. Stir in sugar and cinnamon until it dissolves.

Process in a water-bath canner for 20 minutes. I got 4 quart jars and 2 pint jars.

Apple Pie Filling

6-7 quarts apples - peeled and sliced (place in water and lemon juice to prevent browning while sauce cooks)
10 cups water
1 cup corn starch

3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon salt

*In place of the above seasonings I used an apple pie spice I got from our farmers market*

Blend all dry ingredients and mix well.

Add water and bring to a boil (you can add a couple teaspoons of lemon juice at this point too - I didn't) The sauce will thicken nicely in a couple of minutes.

Pack apples into quart jars and cover with the hot sauce. LEAVE ONE INCH HEADSPACE! This is where I went -oh-so-wrong. I left about a half inch.

Process in hot-water bath for 20 minutes.

To make pie: Bake in double 9'' pie crust - 25 minutes covered with foil and then about 20 more with no foil to brown.

You can also make apple crisp from the filling:

Apple Crisp using Apple Pie Filling

Use prepared apple pie filling

Pour into 9 inch square pan

In a bowl mix:

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oat
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
*again, I just used apple pie spice in place of cinnamon and nutmeg*
1/3 cup softened butter

When mixed and crumbly - spread over pie filling - bake at 375 for 35 minutes.

Bonus! a couple of scenes from 2 weekends ago:

Sunset from our porch

The fire pit

We spent 2 weekends ago clearing an area of the woods with some dead trees and a falling down tree fort - the boys cut and sawed and pulled stuff out of the woods and I drank wine and cooked ribs :)

The recipe was wonderful and I hope to post it later this week. That area of woods is going to be an ongoing project - but eventually we'll get the kids a play set and fort. There's tons of old farm equipment, an old stone foundation and some other neat treasures - like this stove that I'm going to pull up and out and fill with flowers

Coming later this week:

Details on what this becomes

And - what's inside this box?!

Happy Autumn!


Barefoot Goddess said...

I have some crochet hooks if you want to borrow them before investing in your own...I haven't crocheted in forever now, and if I to take it up again, I have plenty of hooks.

Sara said...

It looks like you live in an amazing place! Beautiful pictures! I was all impressed with the wood gathering until I saw the peeking of a pair of first! ;) lol Your canning adventures sound fun. Can't wait to see your pies. :D And I know what is in the box!!! I'm so glad you are trying knitting again. Crochet is fun too! Wish I'd a thought of it, I would have tossed a skein and hook in there for you. Can't wait to see what you do. :D