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Monday, November 5, 2012

apples, apples, apples . . . & More Apples . . .



What do you do with 17 bags of apples from the tree in your backyard?

This post is just sort of, well , a little okay. . . a LOT out of date.  As it was intended for last year but somehow never quite made it to the “published” state


Aside from a missing post, my diligence to da blog has been lacking the past few months for multiple reasons, not for a lack of things to write about, but because. . .  well simply put. . . life has been busy. . .and because sometimes I let myself get over committed!


That has been me this past few months.


Seriously, I haven’t posted since July 6!
 
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I have, however, been having a blast this past several months. 

LOTOJA was a HUGE success, which I am excited to write about in the next week or two.  Now that life has settled down just a tad I will get back to da blog in regular fashion as I did before.  I have a few posts almost ready, and they just need a little touch up before going live.
happy day!

but I digress. . . .



Back to 17 bags of apples. . .  bags as in the paper grocery bags full of apples. . . just in case you are wondering. . . That is a TON of apples


and . . . we were trying to finish apples well into January! . . . yup, it was January when we finished!


I have two apple trees, and I don’t very much care for apples. . . .


. . . don’t ask, just know I have too many apples



I must admit that eating apples has been growing on me, but these apples are soft, perfect for applesauce, juice, drying, just not baking or storing for very long. . . and WHO can eat that many apples before they go bad????


But we have dried them, and apple-sauced them, and turned a fair portion into apple butter


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drying is my favorite and I can eat these like candy. . . with this whole process I have discovered dried apples are pretty okay!

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The apple-peeler-slicer-corer-coolness gadget
If you LOVE Apples and have 17 bags of the little red gems to deal with, this gadget is a MUST HAVE device!

It slices and peels and cores all in one step!


 Dried apples are a good thing!  
A much healthier choice than than snickers, or M&M peanut butter balls. . . 

. . . even if you eat too many!


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We sliced them in half, they were easier to package this way


. . . well, I’m not sure if they’re better than the M&M peanut butter balls, 


. . . but they are healthier.
 
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Soak apples in citric acid so they don't go too brown in the drying process

. . . well, unless you over dry them :(


We used our apple creations for neighbor and family gifts too


The daughter came for a visit and made tons of apple butter for family gifts and she dried 
4 bags of apples on her own.


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ready for the dehydrator!


just turn this little hummer on and in a few hours the apples are perfectly ready for storage. . . 

. . . or eating



Apple Butter, doesn’t have any butter in it, but is a creative way to make a soft spread that isn’t a jam or jelly and a wonderful way to use up LOTS and LOTS of apples. . .

Apple Butter is relatively simple,

. . .  it just takes forever!

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.  first you core the apples and remove the seeds, just like for drying, except we cut these apples into MUCH bigger chunks. We have discovered that it works best if you cut the apples into fourths and then remove as much of the core and seeds as possible

then you cook the apples in apple cider until they are soft and mushy


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next put them through the Victorio strainer

you can read the Geinus’s “to-Do” list for the day. . . .


. . . pretty funny

(I think the daughter dreamed this list up)


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The strainer separates the pulp from the skin and any remaining core and seeds . . .


the parts you don't want in Applesauce or Apple Butter!



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 pour the pulp back into the pan to simmer with spices and sugar.  

 
Let them cook until they are thickened


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 let it boil and toil for a couple of hours or longer until it is thick. . . 

otherwise known as reducing

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 pour it into jars

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put them into a water bath for 10 minutes

Remove them from the water bath, let them cool
and . . . . 

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you have yummy apple butter. . . this is the culmination of 3 bags worth of apples
. . . of course some jars are bigger than others, but nonetheless, it's Apple Butter, and it used up a few . . .correction . . . several apples!

yummy. . .  yummy . . .  yummy . . . 


on toast or for PBJ's!






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