Welcome to my happy place of DIY, homemade, homegrown, handmade, nourished & crafted, whole hearted living. Finding magic in the mundane & growing some roots in the process.
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This past month has been a little messy emotionally for me, so I’ve been keeping myself as busy as physically possible and canning has taken up a HUGE amount of my time.
The big frosts finally arrived so harvest time is officially over and to be honest, I’m a little relieved!
Who would have thought that with the repeat attacks of critters my garden experienced this year that there would be anything to harvest, but the Lord was kind and gave our little mountain valley an Indian Summer to extend our teensy tiny growing season. I am so grateful for the extra weeks of warmth and what was provided for my family, but I’m sure happy to put the canners back into the basement and spend a little more time with a paintbrush rather than a ladle!
The nice weather was very kind to my in-laws apple tree so I made apple pie filling and some of my son’s favorite applesauce then I canned the rest of the apples to use later.
About 10 years ago my dear friend, Kourtnie, gave me her recipe for chunky spiced applesauce and my son has craved it every year since. Food is love to my son, so each fall I bottle a couple batches of the stuff JUST FOR HIM. The smile on his face is totally worth the time it takes to peel and core the apples.
This recipe is simple and can even be cooked in a big roasting pan or slow cooker if you don’t want to make it on your stove top.
It’s thick and has a nice bite which is just what my son likes, almost like eating pie filling which he will totally do if nobody is looking! If chunky applesauce isn’t your style, you can totally puree it to your liking and it is still delicious, it’s totally up to you. I usually make a couple batches of chunky style for the hungry man-child then I puree another batch for my baby girl.
I don’t generally make plain applesauce because I’m lazy like that, instead I can apples in extra light syrup. When I need plain applesauce, I open up a jar and throw it in my Blendtec. Applesauce in a flash without having to do any extra cooking!
Works for me.
When there is 4 feet of snow outside and the wind is blowing sideways I have no doubt I will long for warm summer afternoons in the garden with cool dirt on my hands, but at least I can open a jar of tomatoes or Kourt’s spiced applesauce and enjoy the taste of summer even if I can’t feel the heat on my skin.
14 pints strawberry jam
4 quarts green beans
7 quarts peaches
7 quarts garden tomatoes
6 quarts roma tomatoes
12 quarts spaghetti sauce
8 quarts tomato soup
2 quarts refrigerator pickles
19 quarts grape juice
12 pints grape jelly
7 quarts apples
28 quarts apple pie filling
5 quarts spiced apple sauce
6 quarts chunky spiced apple sauce
I’ve still got dry beans to bottle and Christmas Jelly to make but that can wait until the snow flies and I am trapped inside.
For the next few weeks you’ll find me with sand paper, a paint brush, and a broom in hand trying to clean out the garage so a car can actually fit inside. For some reason my hubby thinks we should park in the garage like normal people, go figure.
Since we are focusing on Gratitude this month, I have to say I am so grateful for the many creative and passionate women I have been able to meet across the country through this wacky world wide web. They inspire me and make life a whole lot sweeter. One of those women is Sherelle from My Crazy Life as a Farmer’s Wife. She used to teach my cousin Irish Step in Idaho and I think she is so dang cute. I have tried a bunch of her recipes and every single one has been awesome. I canned several of her tomato recipes this fall. I especially love her pizza sauce, oh and her zucchini bread recipe is fantastic too!
If you love food, music, and country life then you should totally check her site and Instagram out.