When I can produce harvested from our garden, the projects are relatively small, usually involving one load of jars in the canner. But when produce is purchased by the bushel, or half bushel, or quarter bushel, the project looms large. Today was one of those days where canning loomed large.
Ontario Gala apples were on sale at our local grocery store, so we purchased the equivalent of a bushel. Packages of Ontario plums caught my eye and I picked up a 1.5 kg of those, not on sale, $6.00.
Yesterday the plums were transformed into plum sauce, 5 ½ 250 ml jars of it. Unlike the plum sauce on offer at the grocery store, my plum sauce is made only with plums. Grocery store plum sauce contains a lot of pumpkin, and not much plum. The grocery store version also has preservatives in it, and undesirable starches.
Today I started before dawn to prepare the kitchen for a day of processing apples. The jars of plum sauce needed to be washed, dried, labelled, then put away. Then the apple processing began. Apples were washed in soapy water, rinsed, the stem and blossom end removed, the apple quartered, and placed in a 16 quart stock pot. Preparing the apples took a few hours.
Once the apples were softened by adding water and cooking over a very low heat, the tomato mill was set up, and used to remove the skins and seeds. This step took about 30 minutes, as we had to keep shutting down the process to switch out stock pots as they filled.
The applesauce was brought to a boil, then jarred, then processed in the steam canner, in three consecutive batches. This year’s applesauce is super delicious, very sweet with no sugar added. It was after 5:30 p.m. when the last jars came out of the canner. A very satisfying day’s work. I was just writing here that one of the jars did not seal, when I heard a loud popping noise in the kitchen. Investigation revealed that it was the sound of that final lid sealing, yay!
Attila helped out by washing the apples, setting up the tomato mill, carrying around the heavy stock pots full of hot applesauce to and fro, and keeping ahead of the dirty dishes by washing them as I was done using them. In addition to all this, Attila harvested lovage for the dehydrator, which he will powder tomorrow when it is thoroughly dry. Attila also watered the garden, as we have had little rain, so this is a daily activity that he takes responsibility for.
I think the applesauce represents the last big canning session for the season. There is much more to can of course, coleslaw, and pickled peppers come to mind. And there is still a lot of produce to come in for the freezer, tomatoes, and kohlrabi. These are not all day processing jobs though, nothing like processing a bulk purchase of bushel of apples, or tomatoes, or red peppers.
It has been another busy day here at Mist Cottage.
Updated on Sun, Sep 24 at 5:55 PM
FEELS LIKE 22
Wind 13 NE km/h
Humidity 47 %
Visibility – km
Sunrise 6:56 AM
Wind gust km/h
Pressure 100.4 kPa
Ceiling 0 m
Sunset 7:03 PM
“Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.”
1884 – 1962