Here's what we started with:
While at the dentist last week, I discovered that the dark green blotches on the apples can be scrubbed off. (The dentist's wife had gotten her apples from the same source.) That meant that I had to clean the apples before making applesauce. That turned into Friday's job.
Let me just say that it was a very time and muscle intensive job to wash apples. I finally decided on just washing the red apples, since they were more oddly shaped, and sending the green ones through a peeler (which I also borrowed). Here are before and after washing pictures:
Also on Friday I started in on some Crab Apple jelly, which I could not resist trying to make. After boiling the cut up crab apples, they had to drain for 12 hours like this:
Also on Friday's list was Black-Raspberry Jam, since I had the canner borrowed and could therefore process my jam. This jam is very, very precious. The 14 1/2 cups I made represent many walks to the woods and dozens of terrible chigger bites.
Once the apples were cooked, we sent them through the Victorio Strainer (in my childhood it was known as the Squeezo). It was so wonderful to see that first bit of applesauce coming through! It brought back so many childhood memories!
I started around 8:30 and by about 3 had the last of the applesauce made and the jars in the canner. We made about 34 quarts of applesauce, most of which were canned in quarts and pints -- a few frozen.
It took me the rest of the afternoon to clean up! The floor was still sticky even after I mopped it! And there was the Crab Apple Jelly to finish -- isn't it beautiful?! I only got two jars, but next time I'll know I can attempt a bigger batch.
And now I'm done in the kitchen with major fall projects like this, at least for the present. We'll see if any more produce comes our way. I've still got frozen raspberries to make into jam at some point.
Note for my British Readers: I wonder if applesauce is a bit of an American thing. When we were in Scotland I could only find it in very small jars in the condiment section, and of course under the name "Apple Puree". I did see it in baby food jars, but of course those were too small to feed a family. Over here in America we seem to eat applesauce in great quantities! :)
What do we eat it with? Well, usually we serve it as a side dish at dinner -- kind of like one would serve a green salad. My kids love a bowl of it plain, or sprinkled with cinnamon for a snack. We also serve it over plain yogurt for breakfast or lunch. It can also function as a simple dessert.