Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Applesauce Day at the Farm...

Last year we thought we would have Applesauce Day at the farm, but we were nowhere close to being ready. But this year, Bob and I were ready to host this annual event. The day started out with a red sky in the morning and a heavy frost. It was beautiful, but also very slippery. My good friend Linda slipped on our stairs at the beginning of the day and had to be taken to a walk in clinic where she was found to have a fractured arm bone, close to the ball joint. So, it was a sad way to start out and Linda was sad she missed all the fun. [As a note, she will not have to have surgery, but it will take a while to heal. After the first week, the pain was much less and I have since re-stained the steps and put sand on them to keep them from being slippery.}

I started getting things around at about 6:30 or so. My basement laundry room was turned into what became lovingly nick-named "The Boiler Room." Bob installed a 220 line so we could plug in my old stove, and with the counter top next to it, we were ready to start.

 I set a table up by the basement door. This would be a cutting station.

All in all we had 8 bushels of apples. I had 3 bushels from Michigan inside and had these bags from our local orchard waiting outside.

Boxes of clean jars were piled up in the basement hallway outside the boiler room.

 The Boiler Room also has a laundry tub, so it was easy to wash the apples. In former years we had a plastic tub in the bath tub and it required bending over, which I HATE! This worked great.

Nephew David on R and his friend were in charge of carrying in the bags of apples, mixing them with the Michigan Apples, washing them and then taking them out to the cutters. They did a great job.

My son Dusty ended up at a second cutting station. Don't let this picture fool you, he was working hard but he did not cut all those apples in the foreground by himself! Later in the day he cut his thumb pretty bad and that ended his cutting career for the day. Fortunately his wife is a nurse, so she was able to bandage it.
 Here is the other cutting table with nieces Evelyn and Kate [behind Evelyn] on the left side and daughter Kari on right with Evelyn and Kate's dad, Keith in the rear of this photo.
Friend Bethel was shift boss of the Boiler Room for about 1/2 the day. This was when she was just getting started so she looks pretty fresh.

Good friend Jenny manned the upstairs kitchen for about 1/2 the day. This is where the filled jars of sauce got canned. We had two canners going and that worked great.

Jenny and I have been doing applesauce day for many years--not sure how many, but probably around 8-10.

This table we set up outside the upstairs kitchen and we kept putting the canned applesauce there till it cooled and then moved it into boxes underneath. You can see the filled boxes below the table. This was not the end of the day, but somewhere in the middle.

All in all, a great day was had by all. We had chili and potato soup in crock pots for lunch, along with Jenny's homemade bread and my little herbed oyster crackers. Jenny also brought homemade cinnamon chip bread for breakfast and snack and the two loaves were inhaled and gone around lunch time.

During the afternoon-after all the apples were cut up-- Keith took all the kids down to the creek for a  hike. They enjoyed that quite a bit. For supper Bob made a campfire and he and the older kids roasted all variety of hotdogs that had been left in the freezer after our various picnics and pot lucks this summer. We were all ravenous and I think for next year I should have some chips to go with the hotdogs and perhaps a small crock pot of baked beans. Of course, there was applesauce and it was divine.

We were done around 6:00 with mostly everything cleaned up and washed down. All totaled we canned 82 quarts and 122 pints of all natural- no sugar or anything else-applesauce. We had 2 pints break in the canner [we think the jars got too cool] and ate a couple of gallons of sauce. We had 14 adults, 6 kids and 2 toddlers. We all decided that we liked the more spread out nature of the cottage for the work because though it is small it has three separate stations [boiler room, cutting room and upstairs kitchen]. We had the two accidents which were unfortunate, but other than that everyone had a great time and a huge feeling of accomplishment.

Take care,

1 comment:

  1. Great job!! We pressed apples this year and I canned 13 gallons of cider. I also made about 8 quarts of apple sauce. Like you, nothing added.

    This past weekend I did grapes. I tried a different way of extracting the juice and it took MUCH longer. I thought it would make it faster. NOT! Still good juice!