I love this time of the year. All the preparations for winter, a myriad of colors, a crispness in the air… and canning.
We harvested the remaining beets, tomatillos, and carrots from the garden. The carrots were juiced for us and the leftovers were fed to Buster Bunny. Tomatillos were made into salsa verde, which we all agreed wasn’t as good as our friend Dave made it. I’ll work on it for next year, and maybe steal his recipe.
The beets were washed, boiled, peeled, and cubed in preparation for canning. They would have to wait until canning day.
We took a day and went to visit my parents. While we were in the area, we stopped at our favorite apple orchard and loaded up on apples. We bought 4 overfilled brown paper bags of #2 apples. These are apples that have fallen off the tree or that have a bruise or other minor flaw. Perfect for homemade applesauce. We bought a mixture of Gala, Macintosh, and Jonathon. And a big bag of Honey Crisp just for munching on.
Super Easy Sugar-Free Crockpot Applesauce
- peeled, cored, and chopped apples (enough to almost fill your crockpot)
- lots of cinnamon
- dash of nutmeg
Put everything in your crockpot, add a little water, and let cook on low for about 6 hours. Or turn it to high for 4 hours. You can add more water depending on how thick you like your applesauce. You can also add a few more apples halfway through so that you get some apple chunks (if you like it chunky) in your applesauce.
Applesauce should be canned using the boiling water method. Leave 1/2 inch of headspace in your jars and process quarts or pints for 20 minutes.
I spent the next day canning beets in the pressure cooker and applesauce in the boiling water canner. We made 8 batches of applesauce over a 3 day period. My kitchen smelled like apple pie. It was also quite messy!
I now have 35 quarts of beets and 27 quarts of applesauce. That doesn’t include the beets and applesauce that we’ve already eaten. It’s looking to be a good year for canning! I love the feeling I get from having a well-stocked pantry.
We had a surprise in the poultry pasture. Nik was collecting eggs and came running back to the house. I was sure something had happened to one of our ducks. Instead, we saw this guy standing there…
Not what I expected with the ducks, geese, and chickens! Nik and I herded him into a corner and he flew out. I think he probably stopped by for a snack and wasn’t sure which way to go to get out. Luckily for him, it wasn’t pheasant season!
To top off our day, we were treated with a beautiful sunset. It makes me think of that old sailor saying:
Red at night, sailor’s delight
Red in morn, sailor’s take warn.