Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I got a little over enthusiastic with the canning

I went apple picking last month, and got um, ambitious with it. Got a huge bag (they break easily, by the way), had grand plans to can it all.

And I did, pretty much, but I forgot that it would take a lot of time that I didn't quite have. Still, it was worth it.

The first thing I made were apple preserves. Once the apples were peeled, cored, and sliced it was a cakewalk. Honestly, it's all the peeling, coring, and slicing that does me in. I'm all enthusiastic to begin with. I put on Welcome to Night Vale and listen to the fake radio show about black helicopters and tentacle monsters and silent hooded figures and the Sheriff's Secret Police. (Don't judge me.) It's all good. And then. . .and then, somewhere around apple number six I get all OKAY THIS IS ENOUGH WHAT WAS I THINKING TIME TO STOP.

And then I realize that no, I have to see it through because I am really looking forward to eating this stuff.

Then, before I start the apples in the saucepan, I realize I have yet to soften the STUPID lids and I have to do that and make sure the STUPID water doesn't boil. At this point, I don't care if Welcome to Night Vale is telling me that the Sheriff's Secret Police is headed to my house. In fact, I'd be all WELL SECRET POLICE YOU'D BETTER GET YOUR BUTT IN HERE AND HELP ME OUT OR I WILL FEED YOU TO MY SURLY CAT* I SWEAR I AM IN NO MOOD.

I was able to get them done, though. I made a double batch and got 12 half pints made.

The butter was easy. I'm going to do more, in fact. I made it in the slow cooker. Then I canned it. And yes, the house smelled amazing. The slow cooker was filled to almost overflowing and the apples cooked down to half. If you do it this way, I suggest leaving the lid tilted askew a bit, to let the steam out, and maybe for the last hour or two cooking the butter with the lid off. I got about seven half pints out of it.

I love this stuff. It's good on bread and scones, I put it in my oatmeal, I will sometimes eat it right out of the jar. I brought this and the preserves and some bread to work and they were a big hit.

The pears should have been easy. They were from a friend who has a pear tree that has been going hog wild. I figured, yes, I'd somehow can these (as well as eat them). I found a recipe for tarragon pears, and I had to make it. I have tarragon in the garden. I had pears. This was a match made in heaven. Unfortunately, I got really tired and surly. But I pushed through because BOOTSTRAPS. Or because I already had everything set up and what the heck, these savory pears would be wonderful with a meal. So I managed, even though peeling pears rates right up there with say, trimming my cat's claws, driving in Boston, or having a work meeting at 4:30 in the afternoon.

It was worth it, once it was done. They were all worth it. It's not like I can things and then think, "Sheesh, I wish I never did that."

*She's tiny and geriatric but she can be fierce. She will throw down.

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