Monday, October 12, 2015

An Apple A Day

It's October in New England.  If I'm not canning Concord grape jelly or tomato sauce then I must be making and canning applesauce.

We go to the same place every year about an hour from here and pick our own apples.  People usually go and get like a bag of apples.

We get a wagonload.  K-ster has one of those foldable canvas wagons and we put about 5 bags and almost fill each one.  Last year, we got over 100 pounds but this year, I think we got less.  A lot of the apples were small this year, so it seemed like we picked a ton but it wasn't quite as much.

I've spent a lot of time doing this:

If the weather cooperates, I do most of it outside, which is great because I can make all the mess I want and not get annoyed with myself!  When I can applesauce, I usually borrow my mother's crockpot and I use mine plus I make it on the stovetop.  If I get it all going at once, I can can a good amount of jars at the same time.

Last year, we bought this large pot and the outdoor burner for our yearly family clambake, but it works just as well for water bath canning.

It's a 30 quart pot which won't even fit on my stovetop, so outside is the only option.  It takes a while to boil the water but once it's going, it's fantastic.  I love the inner basket because I can just pull it out and set it on the patio and then remove the jars without having to reach into steam.

This year, I have the dehydrator and apple rings were one of the main reasons I wanted to buy it.  I didn't realize just how many apples that would eat up!  This isn't even full and I used a lot of apples.  

Next year, I will pick more just for this purpose.  K-ster really likes dried apples but I couldn't sacrifice too many!  Plus, I haven't done it before, so I don't know how long they will stay good once they are dried.  I'd hate to do a lot and leave them for a while only to find they grew mold!

I also made pie filling, but I don't can it.  I have a real fear of canning, so I only use recipes that are USDA approved and the pie filling recipe calls for something I don't want to use.  I can't remember what, it but it's something unnatural.  I see a lot of people all over the interwebs canning all sorts of filling their own way but it freaks me out.

I freeze mine instead.  I don't make a lot of pies but it is nice in the middle of winter to remember that I have some frozen pie filling and I can whip up a pie!

It's a lot of work to pick the apples and then do all of this canning.  Since they are not my apple trees, I have no idea what pesticides are on them, but I rationalize it with at least they are fairly local and I picked them so I know when they were picked and they weren't sprayed with the stuff that grocery stores use to keep them ripe forever.

There's really no way to win this healthy eating game.  It's all a series of rationalizations, I think.  I'm willing to make the effort if some of the specifically organic and safe foods I grow can balance the freaky fast food chemicals we sometimes enjoy!

Also, this Thursday, 10.15.15, I 'm hosting a Pampered Chef show on my facebook page all day.  There will be questions to answer throughout the day to earn points and then a big trivia game from 7pm-7:30pm.  The person who earns the most points throughout the day will get to pick $35 in Pampered Chef items!  You don't have to be local, through the wonders of the internet!  Sign up for the event here:

Linking up here: 


  1. This sounds so delicious! Yummy!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  2. OMG...nothing like real canned apples...all the hard work is worth it!!! I haven't done this in years! I do make crockpot apple butter in the crockpot, and then can it!!!

  3. Hello JoAnna, wow that is so fun going apple picking. That is a lot of work canning the apples and making applesauce.
    Thanks so much for joining and sharing this at Cooking and Crafting with J&J.
    Enjoy the week and hope to see you again.


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