Apple Sauce (24)
Grape Juice (39)
More Canning. The grapes were done by putting 1 cup of squished grapes into a quart jar, adding 1/4 cup honey, filling with boiling water, then put in a Water Bath for 25 minutes. These will sit on the shelf until January, giving the grape flavor time to develop.
We did our applesauce differently this time, and decided, after weighing the pros and cons we will be going back to our "normal" method. Usually we peel, core, slice apples, place in big buckets and cook until soft and stir until broken up. This gives a nice flavor, chucky texture, and golden color, all hallmarks of the perfect sauce in the minds of Jessica and myself.
Today we borrowed a food processor item, a Victorio Food Strainer/Sauce Maker, from Virginia. We quartered and cored the apples, cooked them for about 1/2 hour, until softened, then ran them through the Vicotorio, placed sauce in hot jars and then into a Water Bath. The sauce is smooth, light in color and due to the lack of long simmer time, is not as rich in flavor. We added cinnamon and hope with the time in the Canner with the spice, a richer flavor will develop. We decided to put the rest of the puree on the stove and simmer overnight. I will be canning the rest tomorrow, but I think I might do up some more apples, as we usually do, to add to the apple sauce puree we have now, so we can get the texture back, too.
I guess we are just old school, Jessica and I, and we like our paring knives and peelers. But, about the Victorio...It's brilliant. It worked just like it should. The mechanism is smooth, it separates the seeds, skins and such accurately, and the puree is very smooth and consistant. I used it with my autumn olives and it was the best puree I've made with those berries. I was quite impressed. Virginia used it for tomatoes, and I imagine it would be brilliant for that, and that alone would make it worth picking up, as it cuts out the need to peel them by blanching. It did work great with the apples, and if we were very short on time, or weren't such picky chicks, it would have been just fine. This is making it my "things to consider for next year to make life a little easier" list.
63 More Quarts of food put away. Oh, and many of those quart jars were among those we picked up this morning from a fella in Barrington who was selling a whole bunch of jars for are mere $10.00, via Craig's list. Virginia got 1 dozen Quarts, there were about 4 dozen for us, and a bunch of 1/2 pints. Great Deal!