Another of the fall chores done! Friday we went down to see Joe and his family. Holly’s parents were there so we had a nice visit with Herman and Tina as well as the rest of the family. We brought some more Hostas for Holly and some apples. We stopped at Hughes Produce in Dunlap on the way and got a bushel of Mutsues and a bag of Granny Smiths for Herman. He likes his apples fried so I told them how to make jelly from the peelings but after watching him peel an apple with a knife I told him he would never get any jelly from those peelings, there was no pulp left on the peelings. I use a potato peeler and have 5 times the pulp left on the peeling!! We ate 5 apples that afternoon, left 5 more for Holly and 3 extras for Herman to take back to OK with his Granny Smiths and we brought the rest of the bushel home. Saturday we started first thing, 6:30am, and we peeled apples for freezing, saving the peelings and cores for jelly. Mutsues are green so we picks some of the tiny crab apples to add to the jelly, we got about three cups full once they were cut in half and the stems taken out, with the peelings I got 12 cups of juice when we had boiled them in a little water for three hours and pressed them. I knew I had put too much water in to get that much juice so I only put in half the sugar it calls for. Really I put in the sugar until I got the taste I wanted. I wanted to taste the apple not the sugar so I finally got in 8 1/2 cups of sugar, then I boiled it until it reach 220 degrees. That took a long time because I had too much water in it to begin with and I did not want to use pectin, I don’t like the jelly with that and apples no matter the kind had enough pectin to set itself if you don’t add too much water. By 3:30 that afternoon I had 7 1/2 jelly jar full of apple jelly and it came out just as I wanted it- very good flavor and well set!
Back to the pies, we peeled and quartered the apples and put them into water with a little vinegar to keep them from turning brown before I could get to freeze them all. I saved out 8 big apples to eat fresh. Then I made an apple pie for us and started freezing the rest in aluminum pie pans. I have only five such pans so got those into the freezer and 8 small aluminum pans with chopped apples for apple muffins and froze those. By afternoon those were frozen enough to pop out of the pans and put into just the bags to finish freezing and filled the pans again. By 3:30 when we quit I have 12 pies in the freezer and 14 muffin apples in the freezer. This morning I went down and popped the rest of the pies from the pans and doubled bagged them all for longer storage. That finished the apples except for the 8 I had saved out. I took one of the saved apples, peeled and cored it and then sliced it very thin and put into my dehydrator to see if I can make some apple chips. I’ll let you know how they come out in 5 hours!!
Now my preserving is almost done and my shelves are full plus my two freezers but I still have two Brussel sprout plants to pick and freeze and try to squeeze in and some more green peppers and onions to fry up and freeze and some leeks to turn into soup to can. Not much of any so should be able to find room for the last of the gardens. We are still working on cleaning up the gardens and are making great progress. We are almost ready for the fall layer of compost and mulch on the gardens. We still have to prune the trees before we leave. It is best to do the pruning in midwinter but we are in Florida then and when we get home it is too late to do that so we will have to do it in Nov. We also have some brush cutting to do and then we are ready for a good winter rest, both us and the gardens. Have a great day.