Monday, October 17, 2011

Ahhh, Orchards.

My husband loves applesauce;  I love being able to toss simple healthy things into his lunch.

The solution?  We went to an orchard and picked apples, then turned our bounty into little jelly jars full of yummy applesauce!

We had Fall Harvest Orchard recommended to us by some friends, so we headed over there about a week ago to pick apples and see all the animals!  We saw potbelly pigs & piglets, little kids gathering eggs, a peahen & her chicks (did you know that only males are called "peacocks"?  A female is a "peahen"), goats & longhorn cattle.  We could have picked our own pumpkins, but we decided to head on over to the "U-Pick" section of the apple orchard.  Once we were in, we picked to our hearts' content from many different types of delicious fresh apples.  

When we got home, we got started on transforming the fruits of our labor into winter sustenance.

Simple Applesauce
First, using my *new!* fancy schmancy apple peeler, we cored, peeled, & sliced all the apples.

We chopped them into some smaller pieces and put them all into the biggest pot I own.  It's actually a pan from a meat smoker...but it works!  

I made sure to add 1/3 cup water for every 4 cups of apples in the pan--this keeps it from getting dry or burnt on the bottom of the pan.

I cooked down the apples until they were soft, and then broke out the blender.  But not just any blender, my blast-from-the-past magical blender.

Please appreciate how the green of my counters and backsplash compliment the green rainbow of my magical blender.  

Also, while I was doing this I realized that my blender has a sister!
Introducing Olga, the pot that has been with me for seven years now--through thick and thin.

Olga has seen many batches of macaroni & cheese.

Awwww!  My kitchen is full of love.
Anyone have a good name for my blender?

Anyway, back to the apples...
I simply blended the batches of apples & liquid until it was smooth, put it in little single-serving jelly jars for my hubby, and froze them!

Yes, I did say that I froze them, not canned.  For a few reasons:
1.  I have not gotten my pressure canner seal & gauge checked and would prefer not to die-by-canner
2.  Freezing them means they're like mini icepacks!
3.  I do what I want.

I used the glass jars because I have a lot of them.  Is it actually okay to freeze in glass containers?  Yes, just make sure to leave plenty of room in the jar for the applesauce to expand, and don't screw the tops all the way down until it's completely frozen.
I'm so excited to have a stash of applesauce in the freezer.  
We'll see how long it lasts with my husband the snack monster!

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