Friday, November 15, 2013

Visitors and Applesauce

During the third week of October, we had a delightful visit from my father-in-law and one of his former exchange students, Mathias.  Mathias is from Denmark and he was in the States three years ago as a student. This year, he came back to tour all the things he wanted to see and didn't have time to while he was here before. He and Dad H are off on a driving tour of the U.S. Can I just admit right now that I am slightly jealous?  How much fun that sounds!  We were so glad that they stopped here for a few days to say hello. I always love seeing Dad H and it was good to catch up some with Mathias. The girls loved him. Poor guy.  I think he hardly had a moment of peace while he was here. H4 wanted him to hold her constantly and H3 wanted him to explore the backyard with her. Fortunately, Mathias is a very gracious guy with younger siblings, and to my girls' joy, he indulged them quite a bit.

The following weekend, it was time to work on all those apples we'd picked on our camping trip. Do you like to make applesauce?  Or maybe tomato sauce? Or jams and jellies?  If so, I hope you have a Squeezo or something like it! We usually can a minimum of 40 quarts and 15 pints at a time. I would hate to not have this handy gadget through the process. I purchased ours a while back through ebay and I love it!

H3 helped out a lot this time

How does a  Squeezo work for applesauce?  Well, let me share our process.

1. Cut apples into quarters and add them to a pot of boiling water, peel, seeds, core, and all
2. When the apples are soft and tender, dump them into a colander to get the water out.
3. Add all apples and pieces into the top silver bowl of the Squeezo.
4. Crank the handle. Your fresh, ready-to-eat applesauce will pour down the chute and the peel, core, and seeds will go through a different end for you to either toss or process again, if you choose to squeeze a bit more sauce from them.
5. Flavor your applesauce if desired (we put brown sugar and cinnamon in some and others we leave plain).
6. Sometimes, you will need to reheat the applesauce before pouring in the cans, especially if you desire a thicker sauce. In the past few years, we have been able to skip this step.
7. Bathe in a hot water bath for 18-20 minutes.

That's really all there is to it!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Snapshot of Our Camping Trip, October 2013

Once again, I'm a lot further behind than I meant to be on posting here.  We've had a packed few months, and it's continuing to chug along quickly.  Here's a few pictures from our family camping trip that we took at the beginning of October.  We go apple picking and camping every year near Crabtree Falls. This year, H3 hiked to the top for the first time.  The distance isn't far, but it is a steep hike!  We were very proud of her.