Saturday, July 10, 2010

Applesauce

Bob and Cynthia Hanson, our neighbors have several apple trees. The variety that grows on their trees is only good for applesauce. The fruit isn't firm enough to hold up in a baked pie.
Last year, Cynthia told Bob she wasn't making any applesauce. She had made plenty in the past years....and just couldn't bring herself to do it again. Bob called all their neighbors and friends to find homes for the apples. Luckily, I got one of his calls. Bob even picked the apples and delivered them. Quite the job!

Cynthia is making applesauce this year....but somehow I'm still on the call list. They had a bumper crop.

After working for 4 hours making 12 jars of applesauce, it got me thinking. Growing food is really a responsibility. You care for it as it grows, you harvest it and after all that, there is still more. It's not like going to the grocery store and buying a couple of cans of food. It's work. I wonder about my grandmother who worked all day putting up all the food they grew. It reminded me of the time my parents worried about what to do with my brother, sister and myself during the Cuban missile crisis. They decided they would send us to my grandparents, where there was plenty of food canned and frozen to feed us. I wonder if the thought of that kept my grandmother in the kitchen making more jars of green beans or applesauce. One or two more jars might keep her family from starvation. Food doesn't last long with hungry kids.

As I only made 12 jars, luckily it's only Dave and me. People would really starve around here if it depended upon me to can all of our food!

Hope your summer has been filled with fun! More tomorrow about new patterns.

Until later,

Alma

19 comments:

  1. Isn't it amazing to think how much time our ancestors spent preserving the food they grew? It's astounding that they managed to grow the food and preserve it, and also do all the millions of other things they did. Like stitching and quilting for example! Your applesauce looks yummy! I have no clue how to can or preserve things. It's so neat that you carry on your grandmother's knowledge.

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  2. Great job Alma. The applesauce looks yummy. It's amazing all the work our parents went to to feed us. My mom canned fruit and vegetables and my father raised beef cattle. We were, and are, a blessed family. Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for sharing.

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  3. When I was a kid my mom used to can everything! Pickles, jams, jellies, tomato sauce and even tomato jam! I miss those days. Especially the day I turned the blender on "to see what would happen" and the lid wasn't on. There were, of course, tomatoes in the blender =)

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  4. My MIL who is 83 still cans things - it amazes me. But she was raised to do it and won't stop because she doesn't think there is any other way. Luckily we're the recipients of a few jars of what she puts up!

    I have done pickles and jams a couple times but it's a lot of work!!

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  5. great job Alma the taste of home canned cannot be beat,I grew up in Minneapolis and never learned to can.
    I married Mike and his mother said you will learn to garden and can and I surely did both, for 33 years I have been fortunate enough to have a very large garden and a very large pantry to store my canning.
    I like the taste of home canned food better than store bought sometimes I do have to buy from the store that is o.k.
    Next year we are planting cherry trees wish us luck.

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  6. I know this is of topic but have been unable to contact you otherwise. I have the book, "In Full Bloom" which I love. Page 3 & 4 of the pattern insert or the same. How do I go about getting a corrected copy? Thank you.

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  7. HI Belinda,

    e-mail me at alma@blackbird-designs.com

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  8. I love how the house smells when making apple sauce or spiced apples to use in pies later....better than any plug-in fragrance from the store!

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  9. I used to go out to the local orchards, pick the fruit by the lugs(just about every fruit you can think of), prep it and can it. I also made jam and jelly and dried the fruit too. Vegetables I dried, or blanched and froze them. Made pickles and canned tomatoes. Fresh almonds, and walnuts from the nut orchards. Fresh fish from the river. Fresh beef from the ag dpartment at the local college. Honey from the beekeepers. Dried herbs.

    I did it many years ago, when we were young and poor. I worked full time outside the house, and had a baby to take care of. Now I realize how lucky we were, how well we ate, and how 'rich' we really were. I don't have that availability of fresh local food any longer or I would still be in the kitchen canning, freezing and drying food. Lots of work, but well worth the effort. Enjoy your applesauce!

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  10. oh...that looks so yummy !!!!!!!!!! My mom made applesauce, and it was sooooo much better than store bought, what a treat....enjoy...smiles, Linda

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  11. my mom made applesauce in her pressure cooker and it was wonderful!

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  12. My husband and ten-year-old niece made bread yesterday. She said, "this is hard work!" But it does taste markedly different from the stuff you pick up in the store.

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  13. Wow, thanks for the great memories. The deer in my area make gardening in my neighborhood next to impossible, but the gal who spoke of cherries may be onto something. :-) Keep up your wonderful stitching and yummy treats. They are always inspiring and wonderful to share with you.

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  14. Yum! My grandmother did lots of canning, veggies, jelly and jam. I don't think I age store bought jam or jelly until I was an adult, LOL.

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  15. The first year we moved to the country (13 yrs ago), I decided to plant 50 tomato plants. Well, they were little plants and I didn't think they would all make it. That was my bumper crop year! I made canned salsa, a lot of it!

    I still grow tomatoes but not that many!

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  16. Looks so wonderful. When I was 12 my mom and I canned 800 quarts one summer while my dad built our log cabin. Of course, I thought my world had come to an end at the time, now I know it prepared me well for living on an island w/no stores, mail, nothing... :)
    Love your work~all of it! XO

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  17. I'm growing my first garden this year and am so nervous that everything's going to be ready to pick at the same time and we won't be able to preserve/eat it all. It IS a lot of responsibility!

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  18. Alma, there is something to be said about freshly picked fruit in these days of pesticides and chemicals, don't you think? I loved my summers at my aunt's farm in Spain where we would just go out in the field and eat fruit. It was juicy and just delicious. I do miss those days. I am sure your applesauce will be so yummy..

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  19. what a wonderful post. We have 9 blueberry bushes that my husband spent many hours building a blueberry house for so we could have the blueberries and the birds could not. It takes hours over a month's time period to pick them. Then as you said, you must 'do' something with them. But 'hard things are worth things'. Our berries have made many people happy.

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