Sunday, September 23, 2012

An Apple a Day....

Still here and still nursing this stupid hip. It has been feeling better at times, and then I go for a run because I am literally DYING here being off the trail. I don't know when I will get this simple equation-
Hip + Running = Pain
Every dang time.
There was a point the other day when it was feeling pretty good, and then I stepped in a pile of dog vomit, in my dining room, which made me jerk my leg up and resulted in renewed pain in that left hip. Nice. Who fed that dog pieces Oh, yeah. That would have been me.
I guess even though I LOVE apples, I should not be feeding them to my MBF (Man's Best Friend), Matty. She couldn't resist them since they were what was left of my son's dish of fresh apple pie. For once, Mom was not the clean up crew.
Anyhow, we have a friend who built his log home on an apple orchard. We actually live on the property of an old apple orchard, but our trees have not been taken care of for years, and you have to search for decent apples to use here. Our friend, however, has a few rows of trees left that he did not clear out when building, and he keeps them mowed around and somewhat trimmed. That results in wonderful glorious baskets of free apples for us! I had a laundry basket of apples that I had picked and decided to make apple sauce out of some of them!

They may not be beautiful and perfect, but these babies are organic!
First of all, let me express just how much I hate to peel apples. 
It is a lot.
I will sometimes bargain with my husband that if he peels the apples, I will make the crust and put the pie together. Sometime I win. Sometimes not.
I decided that there was no way in Hell I would use up this basket of apples if I did not go out and buy an apple peeler/ corer. 
The local fruit farm had them for $21.00!
 So well worth the money!!

It clamps onto the counter and you stick the apple on the prongs and crank the handle.

It peels the skin and spiral slices the apple from around the core. You can see the cores in the pan in that picture. It is a true treasure to behold! My mother always had one when I was a kid. I don't know why it took me almost 39 years to buy one myself!
Peels and cores an apple in 10 seconds flat.

Even the kids will love the new 'toy' and will BEG to help you in the kitchen!
So anyway, I used 12 lbs of apples for one batch. Put them in a BIG pot and covered and cooked them for 10 minutes or until they started to get soft. I then took the lid off and continued to cook them and mash them. I added like 1/3 cup of sugar for the whole pot. I should have made it unsweetened, but I was not sure my family would eat much of it if it was not a little sweet. I also added cinnamon and a little sprinkle of nutmeg. I left my sauce fairly chunky. I just prefer it that way. It tastes a little less like baby food to me.
I did most of my mashing with a wooden potato masher that I have, but I also put my stick blender in the pot a few times to break up a lot of chunks.
I then prepared my jars and lids and filled them with the fresh hot sauce!
I used the skewer to run up and down the side of the jars to eliminate air bubbles. I processed them in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes and they are sealed and stocked on my basement shelves! I got 7 jars of sauce from my first batch and only 6 from the second because I promised my son that I would leave some out to eat. It is sooooo good!
We are planning to go pick again tomorrow and I will probably make another batch or two of sauce and maybe even can some apple slices for pies for later in the winter. I have never tried those before, but they sure sound like a good option!
Oh! Good news!
I think I am bringing my treadmill home later this week! I am so excited, but I have to do some furniture shifting in order to get it where I want it. It is extremely large but it is beautiful! Can't wait!! I'm praying that the softer surface will be more favorable on my hip while it continues to get better. I am so tempted to go out running on these nice sunny cool days, but I know I need to take it easy. I have only been running every 3-5 days. My goal for the rest of the month:
Get better
Run on!

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