Canning Day

I had some rare toddler free time thanks to the miracle that is a friends sleepover. I decided to put my butt in gear! I harvested fresh basil from the garden and made some yummy pesto! I froze this batch into little discs to pull out this winter.


And I picked five lbs of apples for making jelly. I was a little disappointed that after cooking I only got four cups of juice when the jelly recipe called for seven. Jam and jelly require precise measuring so I had to fudge a little and used some of apple sauce pulp mixed with some purified water to get to seven cups of liquid. The jelly is very cloudy as a result and set very very firm. I’m definitely going to taste this before sharing with anyone…

I had been cleaning out the freezer and found four gallon sized bags of last years tomatoes. I decided to cook them down into sauce. I managed to get eight whole pints!

The house was very warm all day and I ended up running the dishwasher three times but it was very nice to stock my pantry and feel like I accomplished something off my list!

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My New Favorite Pork Roast

I accidentally invented a new favorite recipe. And I thought I’d drop a quick post to share with you all! The hubby and I wanted to cook up some pulled pork for our friends at out Baby-Q a few weeks back. Normally I chuck a pork butt in a crock pot with some salt and pepper and go low and slow for most of a day.  But because pork and apple go so well together and I have so much apple jelly this year and I added the two together.

Homemade Apple Jelly Pork Roast

  • 5-7 lbs pork butt/shoulder
  • 1/2 pint of homemade apple jelly
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Place the pork fat side up in a crock pot. Sprinkle dry seasonings all over the pork. Using spatula spread apple jelly all over the pork and deposit any leftover around the meat. Cook on low 8 hours or until pork is fork tender. (You can adjust your seasonings according to your own taste. I don’t always measure exactly so do what feels right.)

You can also cook this in an oven in a roasting pan. Just set your oven to 185 or 200 degrees and cook 8-9 hours. However, this method might require more frequent checking of the meat since the oven will pull out more moisture than the crock pot.

Not only did this make everyone in the house drool for hours, it was some of the best pork I’ve ever eaten. It was uber moist with just the slightest hint of apple. We literally at it so fast that I didn’t even have time to take photos for you. But I promise this won’t disappoint!

Enjoy!

FO Friday: Summer Canning

My feet and I survived our canning session last weekend!

What were my spoils you ask?

– 11 pints of brown sugar/cinnamon apple sauce
– 5 full pints and 11 1/2 pints of apple jelly

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And 16 glorious pints of tomato sauce!!

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I’d still like to put up more salsa and tomato sauce but that will be schedule and pregnancy permitting. Just going with the flow at this point!

What’s in your canner lately?

Apples and Worms

My apple tree set like gangbusters this year. Unfortunately I didn’t get it treated in time earlier this spring due to my morning sickness and the worms have done a number on my apples. There are still a number of good apples. Just going to take a little extra time to peel and trim away the bad parts.

I don’t think they will be in good enough shape for apple pie or apple pie filling. But good news…I think they will be just perfect for apple jelly. And after my last experiment in apple jelly, I have a few tweaks I’d like to try!

I’ve picked a five gallon bucket of green apple goodness. They are now cooling their heels in the fridge. Now I just have to wash, core, trim, and slice a five gallon bucket of apples….crap. Didn’t I just process 8 gallons of tomatoes yesterday? I must be a glutton for culinary delicious punishment.

I’ll let you know how everything sets up! Hehe, see what I did there? I love a good pun! That or the delirium has set in 🙂

I promise to get back to knitting content soon! I have another update on Jellybean’s blanket coming, a #sockswithsarah update, and one last sweater WIP I want to work on before Jellybean gets here!!

Now What?

Remember my apple trees? Well it’s harvest time…

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I now have two five gallon buckets of apples. And I only picked half of one tree!!! There are a few gems in there but mostly they are all covered in worm/bug/bird marks. It’s going to take a lot to dice and clean these babies up. For now they are bathed and chilling in my fridge.

My question is now what? What you guys make with all these green apples? My leading preservation options are:

– apple butter

– apple sauce

– apple pie filling

Anything else sound good?

Apple Tree Progress

My apple trees are coming along nicely. My summer apple tree is LOADED with fruit.

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My fall apple tree has less fruit but still doing reasonably well in this heat and drought.

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This fall apple tree has a great deal of worm invasion and other assorted bugs crawling on it. The summer apple tree also shows some bug sign but to a lesser degree. I did some internet research and found that the local extension office recommended Sevin, an all purpose big killer for fruit trees. But now I must decide to spray or not to spray. It’s a laborious process but would increase my fruit yield. And I would introducing chemicals to my fruit.

Anyone out there have any experience on this? All advice is welcome 🙂

 

In Search Of Freshness

This time of year I am left craving fresh food. Especially with all the winter and snow we have received the last two weeks. The vegetables and most fruits in the grocery store are sad looking. I’m tiring of soup and rice and canned goods. So to break my funk I’m kicking up my canned goods with anything fresh I can lay my hands on!

For lunch I pulled out some Campbell’s soup from my pantry:

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Chicken Quinoa with Poblano Peppers!

I found a nice ripe avocado tucked away in my fridge so I diced it and threw into my soup:

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The rich creaminess of the avocado really offset the heat of the poblano. The freshness also hit the right spot for my craving. I paired the soup with crisp sweet apple to give my meal something “crunchy”.

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This meal was very very filling. It was spicy, warm, creamy, crunchy, and everything I was looking for. I got fruit, veggies, healthy grains, and healthy fats. And by rough estimates, around 500 to 550 calories. A little more than I like to eat at lunch, but trying to move around outside in almost two feet of snow should burn some calories!

Nothing Beats the Smell of Baking Bread

My mother is an AMAZING baker, for almost 15 years she churned out homemade buns, biscuits, rolls, crust, and everything in between. All done daily in the local elementary school kitchen for hundreds of hungry tummies. She can make anything from scratch and her cinnamon rolls and pretzels are particularly amazing. This being said I have inherited her taste for fine homemade goods……just not the patience to do it by hand.

Two Christmas’s ago I received a bread machine and last Christmas I got the most wonderful cookbook to go with it, The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook. This book is jam packed with 300+ recipes for both bread in and out of my machine. It’s literally to die for! So thanks to this wonderful book I bring you today, Applesauce Bread!

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It’s sooooo easy to cook in the bread machine. Step one: add all wet ingredients to bottom of the pan.

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Step two: mix all dry ingredients together (except yeast) and pour over wet ingredients.

Step three: add yeast on top of dry goods.

Step four: punch in the machine settings for you bread type, hit start, and walk away!

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The machine does all the mixing, kneading, proofing, and baking! Three hours later you get this….

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This bread turned out golden and perfect. It has a nice dense texture perfect for toast and a lovely hint of apple pie flavor. This recipe gets a star in my copy of the book to definitely use again!

I packed some for breakfast today along with some of my homemade jam and it was beyond delicious for breakfast on this cool autumn morning!

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The machine lets me be my mothers’ daughter, just in my own way! I love the way my house smells because of baking bread, and this way I still get to knit at the same time!

Stay tuned tomorrow for my FO Friday and one of my largest finished projects ever!!!!

Happy Knitting! (And baking 🙂 )