Thursday, October 15, 2009

EXPOSE' -- The Truth About Apple Pie Filling & Applesauce...



I just spent the better part of two days...with a $6 bushel of apples.
Oh, aren't they pretty sitting here in the entryway, waiting for me to get busy?
They're still not all gone yet....
.


I enjoyed pulling out a pretty apron, and making the yummy caramel-y sauce for the apple pie filling...it's as tasty as it looks.

And spending hours peeling, coring and slicing apple after apple....


I take pride in my work, and in the jars packed and all ready to go into the hot water bath for processing....


Then I take them out of the hot water and still bubbling....without burning myself.
(I'm feeling so accomplished.)

part of the mess...enlarge for a better idea of the devastation wrought here.


Lest you think that my life is domestically idyllic and that I spend chilly, bright fall mornings or afternoons canning happily in my apron, humming a country tune with the radio playing in the background, letting the steam out the window over my sink by opening it and yodeling with happiness to the fields of golden grain, turning happily back to work, just twirling with joy...

Let me bring you back to earth with just a bit of the aftermath of preserving your own food....


This is what it's truly like:

**Trying to time the important parts of the very messy process between taxi runs to and from school and to basketball games, and an important meeting at the school ...
**Going into the cobwebby basement and hurriedly finding more jars because you're several jars short for the batch you just finished...

**Hurrying to sterilize more lids and rings...
**Dirtying up loads and loads of dishes...
**Scorching (in a very major fashion!) your big batch of applesauce in spite of having the smallest burner on the very lowest setting,

**Therefore almost ruining your whole batch...
**And stinking up the house, (there goes that "yummy fall smell"...how about a new fall season candle scent: scorched apple?!)

**Scorching drips onto the surface of your new stove that won't come off for ANY REASON...

**And then finding the thick black, charcoal mess at the bottom of your two favorite canning kettles...

**And working at de-scorching for over an hour and finally succumbing to OVEN CLEANER

Which.....

DOES NOT WORK....

Despite all your attempts at scrubbing...with magic eraser,



And SOS pads, and all other manner of scrubbing aids...
All the while your throat is burning because of the "no fumes" oven cleaner....

You finally give up and go to bed, only to face the giant again the next day!
(Procrastinating said job by blogging about its misery.)
And when you show your son who loves applesauce all your jars ready for the pantry and subsequent chillin' and eatin' this winter for a bedtime snack...
he says
"Why is it pink? I don't like pink applesauce!"
(What's wrong with PINK, macho man?!?)
I guess it's all for me, as we were the only two in the house who expose our taste buds to "apple mush" as my husband sarcastically refers to it.
Soo....



Was it really worth it for twenty five pints of applesauce and seven quarts of pie filling?

Don't ask right now...ugh!

I'd have to say
NO....
CERTAINLY NOT!


AND...I've got to live with the guilt that I neglected all manner of household chores for two days (and now part of a third for toxic spill clean-up!) to manufacture this food that I am now extremely bitter about....HA!
There's still mounds of laundry the size of Mt. Raineer,
Bills to pay, and file...
Oh, forget it. I won't bore you with all of THAT.

But...


Just keepin' it real folks...meanwhile, got any tips for cleaning up the pots and the stove top??

(And...my nails are stained and dirty, still today, even after all that scrubbing! And now...off to pick slivers of steel wool out of my fingers, I can think of no better way to spend my day! Oh, and if anyone ever gifts you with a jar of something home-canned? PLEASE remember my story...thank you. Amen.)

17 comments:

Sister Number Five said...

I think that is why our mother decided canning was not her favorite chore; she could give it up and save money in other ways, like sewing almost all of our clothes and giving homemade gifts. Every time I've canned I under-estimate how many jars it will need. That's why I freeze stuff, even tomatoes! Love the home canned, but don't always have time. Northern Michigan didn't produce many tomatoes this year; not enough to can, anyway!
You had me cracking up out loud (at work!) when I read this; you're so funny and accurate!
You could be an inspirational speaker when you retire from blogging!

Vicki's Bit-o-earth said...

Oh Joni I'm laughing so hard... but not AT you!!! I'm sooo "been there, done that!" Recently, I might add! But still, its so satisfying to see those rows of jars on the shelf. You crack me up! Thanks for sharing. I don't feel so bad with my own attempts now... I'm not alone! (: xx Vicki

ladyhawthorne said...

Try WD40 and let it set overnight. Sometimes that stuff will take off the strangest gunk.
I feel where you are coming from but I still get a lot of satisfaction when I hear those lids go pop!

Dee said...

You are one funny lady....so true, the process is sometimes just not worth it. I canned a batch of bread & butter pickes in Sept. & somewhere in between my 3 year old trying to "help" me and breaking up an arugment over a new shirt between my girls....I doubled, (maybed tripled) the salt in the recipe & when we finally opened our jar of pickles, I thought ewwww! What the heck! Jar after jar was ruined...so frustrating...the wasted days! BTW, Did you try baking soda on your cooktop? That often works for me. I enjoyed your post!

Mimi Sue said...

My daughter and I spent all day yesterday with a bushel of apples. You must find an old aluminum pot at the thrift store. I have my grandma's and they don't scorch or stick. It's not very pretty but it sure works great. Mimi

Mimi Sue said...

PS Is canning worth all the fuss??? I'm just not sure. But I do it anyway. Mimi

Sue said...

It never seems worth it after you just get done, but wow-in February, it's like pulling sunshine and sweet summer off a shelf. And THEN, you'll be glad you did it.
Have a wonderful weekend.
PS Try vinegar for the scorches?

gailsgarden said...

Yum! Pink apple sauce! I'll be right over. Did you know apple sauce is yummy with ginger snaps? I will bring some!

Hollace said...

Looks wonderful! I bet it tastes wonderful! Good for you for doing it. I really thought your blog was funny, so true to life and ironic. I'm glad you put it in perspective and if someone gives me a can of homemade fruit I will kiss their feet!

Donna said...

All those pretty jars, filled and lined up in procession are so pretty! But my-oh-my there is an incredible amount of work that goes into it! We used to can and make jellies, but we finally gave it up because it would consume entire weekends (precious time when you are both still working). Bravo to you for putting in all that hard work!

Bloggin bout my Boys said...

OK, I thought about trying my hand at canning...and now I know why it remains a thought HAHA!! Had my mom's great stuff to spoil me for years but i'm afraid if I want that heaven in a jar, I must go where only the brave, like you dear Joni, have dared to go! I heard boiling water and vinegar let to sit may loosen the "war wound" my pans far too often endure!!

Kathleen Grace said...

Having grown up canning most of our food, I can entirely relate to this post! It is one reason I try to save $$ by using coupons and in other ways. I just don't enjoy canning any more.

jAne said...

While I enjoy canning I actually *don't* enjoy the time, mess and flubs that can (and do) happen. But. When a jar of apple pie filling is opened and that yummy goodness is gobbled up, I'm *so* thankful and realize that the 'bad' side of canning is but a fading memory. Almost. ;o)

jAne at tickleberry farm

Anonymous said...

Hi Joni!!! I was just checking out your site and found your yummy looking carmel-y apple pie filling that you canned and was wondering if I could get that recipe from you. I am loving your site!! Thanks for sharing it.
Sandy Hawley

Jeanette said...

Oh my! Thanks for keeping it real!! If I ever had an inkling of canning my own food I think it just flew out the window into this beautiful fall morning!

Aubrie said...

Obviously my post is late but for in the future...BAR KEEEPERS FRIEND. You can buy it walmart. It is amazing on pots and pans, amazing.

KimmieB said...

Oh Joni- thank you for your open honesty! I can easily love you as much as your sister Mary and I've never met you. I was looking for your apple pie filling recipe. Now as I sit here thinking about that bushel of apples out I my kitchen I am smiling and wondering just how many fresh apples we can eat and remembering just how much work canning truly is...hmmmm