Archive for ‘Preserving’

November 5, 2011

Apple Extension

In every way.

Food of the month and for snacking.

They’re just so good they’re sticking around.

Tonight they’re dehydrating or as I prefer to say, “schnitzing.”  My mom-in-law gave me a dehydrator that was just sitting in storage.  I plan on making it work pretty hard now that it’s out.  Thanks Lori!

As always, ingredients were assembled.  I even assembled a little corner of black bean tortilla chips for me.  I didn’t want to eat all the goods.  Winking smile

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Various things can be used to prevent browning apples, including sodium bisulfite and ascorbic acid.  I went for the real food item that I had on hand, lemon.  Most of the juice for the apples and a little for me.

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Lemon juice with one part water and one part green tea makes a refreshing mocktail when you’re tired of drinking just plain old water.  Enjoy while you…

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I soaked in the juice of one lemon and about 3 cups of water.  Don’t forget to drain.  Since the goal is to draw all the moisture out, no need to make your heat source work twice as hard.

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My new to me dehydrator is apparently going to be hard at work for 6-12 hours.  This will test my patience.  I can’t wait for my old favorite snack!

Although I’ve never tried it, apparently you can also dry apples in the oven.  Your oven should be less than 200 degrees.  You should also leave the door open for air circulation.  Not ideal, but possible.  It’s also supposed to be faster!

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Hopefully I’ll see you back tomorrow with good results.  Until then…

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What’s testing your patience these days?

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October 24, 2011

Smash and Wrap

That’s what my sister, Mom, and I were busy doing on Saturday.  We worked with apples in some way shape or form for about 5 hours!  Now our freezers are stocked with sauce and dumplings for the next year.

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The sink seemed to magically fill with apples.  Perhaps that was Mom’s doing?

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Karen, the official apple cutter and de-seeder was a little tired after she prepped almost every apple that passed through the never ending sink.  I believe toward the end she may have uttered things like “It feels like my hands have arthritis” and “I can’t unbend my fingers.”  I just laughed.  I’m not going to lie.  I’m an evil little sister.

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Karen claims I got the “easy” job, smashing the apples.  I think it just worked different parts of my body.  My fingers were tired of gripping the churner and my arms got a good workout.  Best of all though, I got a continuous facial every time a hot batch of apples entered my smasher!

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Mom supervised the activities, laughed at her crazy daughters, and floated to do whatever needed to be done….catching Karen up on apple cutting to fill the giant pots on the stove, smashing with me or cleaning up our splashes and splatters.  Needless to say the floor was a bit sticky when we were done!

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As a kid I loved seeing the sauce squish through the holes.  I still think it’s pretty cool.  However, the absolute best part as a child and still now as getting pink applesauce!  Because we leave the skins on the apples when they are cooked and smashed, they color the applesauce.

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We have some yellow and green apples that don’t bring much color, but they all get mixed together in the end.  In the first picture at the top you can see which batches got more red apples.  They are the pretty batches!

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Apparently as a child my Nan served my sister and I applesauce that was not pink and we refused to eat it because it was not “homemade.”  Try as she might to convince us it actually was homemade (just without skins), we did not believe her!  “No Nan!  Homemade applesauce is always pink!”  Poor Nan, working so hard just to be rejected.  We never lived that story down and now it’s one of our favorites to remember.  Smile

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Now these beauties…they were too nice to get sauced.  They were perfect to be wrapped up in a doughy package as a dumpling.

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This round I was in charge of coring.

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I may have had some fun with this job.

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Karen’s poor little arthritic hands were in charge of peeling.  It seemed like she whittled away at this tough skinned Stayman apple for what seemed like hours.  She may have been harassed by my mom and I.

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Eventually we each did our share of peeling to keep things moving.

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Mom, the master dough roller, wrapped up the sweet packages.  In the end we wrapped up 24 or maybe just 22 (we have trouble counting) apple dumplings.

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They have also been frozen to be baked on some lucky winter nights.  Can’t wait!

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Have you ever made applesauce?  Was yours pink?

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