Apple Peel Jelly and Wood Fire

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first fire in wood stove

We lit our wood stove for the first time yesterday. The temperature inside was 62 F, so quite bearable, but we wanted to cure the stove while we could still open the windows, and get the hang of lighting a fire before the cold really kicks in. Going by this evening’s attempts, we’ll have to do a better job of sorting our wood, and splitting it a little more. Even after a year out there, some logs are still not dry enough.

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applesauce and apple peel jelly

I processed most of my half bushel of apples into unsweetened apple sauce. For some reason – because the canning book says “peel” and I am still such a novice that I feel I have to follow each instruction to the letter – I peeled the apples before boiling them. (Next time, no more, and that will save me a lot of time).

So that left me with a big mound of apple peels. Thinking of the vegetable stock I made earlier with peels and trimmings, I wondered if there was a “fruit stock” I could make with these peels.

I didn’t find anything like fruit stock, but I found an apple peel jelly recipe, over at the Backwoods Home Magazine – the irreverent jokes in which I enjoy a lot. I called up the orchard from which I bought the apples and they assured me their apples are pesticide free. So I stuck ’em in a pot (two pots actually, there was so much of it), boiled them with water for 15 minutes, and set them aside for a night. Tomorrow I’ll finish and can them.

I was thinking I never used to be so frugal with food. I used to prepare and eat my food without thinking much about it. Even after starting the garden, I never thought of what I was doing as frugal. More like taking control of our food supply, shrinking our ecological footprint, re-learning skills that might be needed in the future, etc.

Making jelly out of apple peels, though, that counts as frugal. I’m very curious to try the result.

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6 Comments

  1. Hi, the October/November 2008 has a method to light fires that is different from what most people do. They put 2 logs parallel with front of firebox, then thicker kindling, then thinner kindling then newspaper knots on top.(Roll up a sheet of newspaper diagonally then flatten roll anr tie in knot) With the paper on top it warms the chimney and firebox making the fire draw better.Hugs, Roz

  2. SO how did the jelly turn out? I have some peels simmering on the stove right now. A quick google search has found many people trying this, but no one has come back to say how it tastes. Have you tried it yet?

    Thanks!
    ~Tara~

  3. Hi Tara,
    aha we just tasted it today! It’s a rich orange glow-in-a-jar, pink on the bread (it *did* turn into jelly, lucky me!), and quite sweet, with a subtle apple, maybe even crabapply taste. Not the most refined of jellies, but serves the purpose of some breakfasts.

  4. Congrats on the jell! I just got mine out of the canner, it’s rosy pink. I licked a bit out of the pot after the jars were all full and I have to agree with you on the taste, sweet with just a hint of apple. I would prefer more apple taste, but hey..considering we used up something that would otherwise have been thrown away..I think it’s perfect!

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