Wednesday, October 26, 2011

criss-cross applesauce.

about a month ago, i told you that we went apple picking with my sister and her family, and we brought home a half-bushel of apples. just in case you are not well-versed in the measurement of volumes by bushel, let me put that into layman's terms: we had a crap-ton of apples. especially for just the two of us. we ate them in our lunches, and i baked a couple into cookies once. but mostly, we just glared at them every time we walked past them in the kitchen, using them as target practice for our jedi-mind-tricks, willing them to just disappear.

we are not very good jedis.

we got to the point where there were fourteen apples left, and they were starting to go bad, so i knew it was time to either start throwing the apples out, make a triple-quadruple batch of apple cookies, or cook them into applesauce. i went with the least-wasteful and seemingly easiest option of the applesauce, expecially since the internets told me i could use my crock-pot.

luckily for me, i discovered that one of my apples was rotten to the core when i went to dice it up, leaving me with thirteen chopped up apples, which justbarely fit into my crock-pot.

then just for fun, and because i was following an amalgamation of several online recipes, i added a little water, and some brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

i cooked the apples overnight on the low setting, because i was so excited to be making applesauce that i couldn't wait until the morning to start, so when i woke up, i was greeted by a crock-pot full of delicious smelling cooked apples.

and then i mashed them with a potato masher, and left them sit for the rest of the day on the warm setting, because it was time to go to work. (this is the part where being less impatient the night before and waiting to let them cook during the workday would have made a lot more sense... oh well.)

after work, i allowed the applesauce to cool, and also wisked it to try and get rid of some of the larger chunks of apple. definately not the most hi-tech system of applesauce making, but hey it worked.  

at this point, i realized that instead of having a crap-ton of apples, i now had a crap-ton of applesauce to deal with, and not a very good idea of what to do next. i briefly considered some sort of a quick-and-dirty pseudo-canning process, but after talking to my sister we decided that it was longer than a 2-hour process. (tanning with a t on the other hand may have been added to my list of things-to-do-at-some-point-in-my-life)

freezing the applesauce was also an option, but since i kind of had canning on the brain, i decided that i would rather just put the applesauce into jars, and either eat it all within the next few weeks before it goes bad, or give it away to people who might appreciate the sentiment of a jar of home-made applesauce. 

lucky for me, the spaghetti sauce that i like to buy is packaged in 24 oz. mason jars, (i like to buy it because of the jars) and i have been saving them for any number of potential projects. so i washed up as many would fit in my sink, peeled off the labels, and scrubbed off all the glue residue and even the stamped-on expiration dates.

to get the applesauce into the jars, i made the fortuitous discovery that i own a gravy ladle! smaller than a soup ladle, bigger than a spoon, and the perfect substitute for a funnel of any sort, which i do not own. and just in case you're planning on doing this yourself, you should know that 13 apples = 84 oz. of applesauce, so make sure you have enough jars. which i did. yes sir, yes sir, three (and a half) jars full.

i still can't quite decide if i should be selfish and keep all the applesauce for myself, freeze it in the jars, and pull it out for Christmas or sometime that i want to seem really impressive when i show up at a dinner party with my homemade applesauce, or if i should stick to the nursery rhyme and go with "one for the master, one for the dame, and one for the little boy who lives down the lane." to me, that means i'd keep one for myself, give one to my mother-in-law, and give one to our next-door neighbors.

what do you think? are you as impressed by my most recent kitchen adventure as i am? what do you think i should do with my three jars of homemade applesauce? (i'm not counting the half because i've already eaten half of it) do you think that frozen jars of applesauce would be ok to put in my carry-on to take to Thanksgiving in Wyoming? or do you think that would land me in airport-jail? what if i split it out into a bunch of 4 oz containers? hmmm...


Miss Brenda said...

Do not freeze it in jars. Because of the unique molecular qualities of water, it will expand and potentially burst your wonderful jars. If you saved chip dip or sour cream containers, you could freeze it in them. But it would not be as visually pleasing. I vote your m-i-l and your neighbor. Impressive.

Abi said...

I froze mine, no mishaps... but mine may or may not have been recalled from the freezer for eating before it really froze completely :) I vote with Miss Brenda. Share the holiday spirit!