Yesterday, on my birthday, I cooked and canned 4 quart (1 liter) and two half pint (500 ml) jars of applesauce with my new canner – I still used the hot water bath method, no high pressurizing as yet, it was simply the only pot that would hold all those jars.
It gave me even more appreciation for the materials and effort that go into processed food. I cored the 12 pounds of apples that I bought last week at the Farmers Market (that the orchardist grew, harvested, and brought to market), peeled them, quartered them, cooked them, pureed them in batches, processed them in the canner, and after hours of slaving away in my progressively steamier kitchen (no airco), this is all I ended up with:
That’s it?! But it’s local and organic, and I know exactly what went into these jars, and believe it or not it turned out cheaper than or as expensive as store-bought organic applesauce (*), and they were another great learning experience.
Today at the Farmers Market I bought 10 more pints of blueberries (2 of those have already been eaten), 6 lbs of peaches and another 12 pounds of apples (different varieties this time). They’re waiting in the coolest part of the house. On my kitchen counter I am “saving up” on our very own tomatoes (Ida Gold and Glacier), which are coming in about 2 lbs a day now. Tomorrow is promising to be not so hot. Time to tackle some more blueberry jam, some chutney, some salsa?
(*) apples $12 / sugar $.50 / lemon juice $1 / electricity $?