Apple Picking – The After Math!

Two posts today, people. That’s what I owe everyone for listening to me talk about going apple picking for the last month and a half.

We left off with 10 pounds of apples in my crock pots. The applesauce finished last evening and stowed away in the freezer:

I tasted a bit while bagging. It was OMGTHISISGOOD-kind-of-good. The recipe was cored-apples and skins and a half cup of water. I listened to my aunt when she suggested good applesauce-making apples. The woman is going to the state fair with her apple pie, so I’m going to listen to everything she has to say.

Anyway, on to the apple butter. The apple butter cooked all night long and when I woke up this morning, it was ready:

Now for the fun science-y part: canning. I’ve never canned anything before so again, I listened to my aunt and referred to Alton Brown’s chapter on Urban Preservation.

So funny story, I have very little in the way of canning supplies, so I made do. Here’s hoping I don’t give friends and family botulism.

Boiling!

After the boil, it was fill time! Husbeast helped me keep things sanitary, he helped wipe the rims and keep everything in line. I put my canning-face on:

This is the part where Husbeast became most helpful. That whole “drop a full jar into boiling water and hope it doesn’t explode” made me nervous, so he did the drop:

Shiny can lid is shiny.

Five minutes later: Finished jars of spreadable apple gold:

All these jars need is some ribbon. I think I may keep one, the rest will be gifts. I may be deranged, but I kinda want to buy another 20 pounds of apples…

No comment on the status of the cider doughnuts or fresh cider. I can not confirm or deny what became of them….*cough cough*

Stay tuned…

Apple Picking!!

Yesterday, it was finally time to apple pick! We had a blast!!

Spawnbeast is still a little too young for the festival part but he was not too young to let loose in a working apple orchard. Well okay, maybe he was. Thankfully, we came ready for a 1/2 bushel (20 pounds!), a peck (10 pounds?) and a small, tired human:

We also sat in a real pumpkin patch, had hoagies and went through a very quaint market. I came home with the mother-load:

Now a bunch of apples are for friends but most are for us. And oh yeah, I “accidentally” got some apple cider doughnuts. I don’t know what happened, they just kinda appeared…ya know….

Enough with the fun, its work time. I put husbeast to work with the apple peeler, which is a wedding gift that we are finally using!

APPLES

I have two crock pots going. One for applesauce (no sugar added!) and apple butter. In 6-12 hours, both will be ready for the canning jars or the freezer.

Until then, we wait!

Stay tuned…

Leftover Makeover – Mac and Cheese edition

A few nights ago, I made of SUPER MOMS mac and cheese. It was delicious:

But there were leftovers. The Husbeast mentioned fried mac and cheese. Because I’m always game to fry something, Fried Mac and Cheese had to happen!

First, the supplies! I let the leftover sit in the back of the fridge for a few days. From what I read on the interwebs, fried mac and cheese works best if the mac is cold and firm before the breading.

The breading process was nothing special. I used the standard flour, egg, panko x 2 breading formula. All the breading happened while the oil was heating up:

This is where I started to breathe heavily. It smelled awesome and these little gems fried up so nicely.

Look at that golden brown exterior and tell me you don’t get excited. If that didn’t do it for you, here’s the Plate PrOn:

The mac was gooey and delicious while the crust was crunchy and delightful. I’m a BBQ sauce with my fried mac kind-of-girl. The husbeast is a Ketchup man. This was good enough to eat plain, but I like having the option of sauce.

If I had enough leftovers, I wonder how these would freeze par-fried. I would love to be able to have these when I wanted without all the dirty-ing of dishes. Hmmm, I’ll have to think on that one.

Stay tuned…

FO Friday – The Replacement Sweater

This is the sweater you chose! (well kinda, you chose the yarn.) It’s finished!

Well, kinda. It’s blocking and I still need to sew on the buttons BUT I’M DONE KNITTING!

It’s perfect! I want it to finish drying so bad so I can wear it! I think it will be too warm to wear while apple picking but at least it’s finished. I spend a big chunk of last night spelunking for the perfect buttons while watching Project Runway. I found a set of iridescent brown buttons that in some light look blue-ish gray and tan.

These buttons are probably 40 years old and they have been waiting for this sweater. The picture doesn’t do it justice, they seriously perfectly match the “Whiskey Barrel” colorway. Neat-o!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go clean up my mess from the Button Jar spelunking!

Stay tuned…

Pumpkin Shenanigans!

Another year, another pumpkin to go crazy on! Since Spawnbeast is too young to play with sharp things, Husbeast and I decided on pumpkin fun should wait until after bedtime.

Cue the gin & tonics and the matching aprons:

Someone was way too excited about the sharp things…

Before the carnage:

(mini pumpkins for scale)

Husbeast was the keeper of the sharp things and I was keeper of the seeds. Just as I had hoped, this pumpkin had quite the yield of seeds. I think I’ll get at least three batches of roasted seeds out of this pumpkin!

Cleaning the seeds is always a bitch. My two colander approach seems to work the best.

Note to self: a salad-spinner is not a short cut to drying seeds. As my Facebook/Twitter followers saw, it ended badly. Thankfully no seeds were harmed. These bad boys are drying until tomorrow:

Back to the husbeast. We took inspiration from a whippet friend who posted a picture of a whippet jack-o-lantern. Husbeast free-handed the design and then sat with a pairing knife and carved out the design. Here he is, mid-carve:

And here is his hard work:

But here’s the real test! I had to dig out a votive candle out of the deep depths of the junk drawer. Out go the lights and….

Ta-da!!! If it wasn’t so yucky out, I’d put it outside right now! Husbeast and I had fun making a complete mess of the kitchen and then sitting in the dark looking at a dissected pumpkin. We of course cracked the “now we have three demonic whippets” joke. Enza gave us the stink eye and trotted off to a cavebed.

Off to go scrub pumpkin guts off my face. This week it’s pumpkin, next week: apple.

Stay tuned…