Oct 15, 2009

Remedial Canning Day

You thought I was done talking about those apples I got?  Not on your life.  I was pretty excited about the possibility of making homemade applesauce, as I love learning new domestic skills.  I borrowed a friend's victorio strainer and another friend's children, and we set to work on those bad boys.

Below is Christa quartering many, many apples before cutting her finger.  That's all we had to do because the sweet little machine I borrowed did the rest of the work.

Then we boiled them until they were nice and mushy, but not quite falling apart.

Then the girls took turns cranking the handle on the strainer.  The inventor of this handy dandy little kitchen gadget should sleep well at night, knowing he has enriched and embettered the lives of domestic divas around the world.  This little beauty eats quartered apples, separates the cores and skins from the flesh, and spits out the applesauce on one side, and the refuse on the other.  It was truly a beautiful thing to behold. 
It almost made me cry to think of all the work it was saving me.  Ok, not really...

(They look enthused, don't they?  Actually, they were awesome helpers!)

Here's where it got really ugly... so if you were feeling warm and fuzzy up until now... prepare yourself.  That's all I'm gonna say.

You know what this is?  It's canning gone awry... big time.  (Thanks, Dick Cheney, those two words are probably the most oft used phrase in my vocabulary.)  Let's just say that I lost 25% of my work in a moment's time... in the heat of the moment... I was in hot water...not that I'm crying over spilt applesauce...

The long and short of it is that 2 of my 8 quarts broke when I put them in the hot water bath to process them.  So I have officially learned the hard way to keep your jars hot before processing them in the water bath.  Won't happen again, I tell ya.

Then my helpers and I took a break for lunch, and I think Grace enjoyed her chocolate cake.
What would you say?

Since I had such fun and hard-working helpers, I took advantage of it, and we started making cherry jam.  I had purchased some pitted cherries from a local orchard this summer and had frozen them for a rainy day.  Today was that day.

Here's the jam at full rolling boil, in case you ever wondered what that looked like.

And here's the fruit of our labor.  It was worth it.  (I think.)

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