Due to a huge mistake I made 18 months ago & only caught on Thursday (no, there is no way I can blame it on anyone else, because others steadfastly refuse to share the in the annual responsibility), my 25 property report has become a 160 property report, with the same due date & guaranteed associated fines.
Crisis mode has taken effect & my co-workers will be flying to my aid, taking over the majority of my daily duties, until I can get the report done.
Once I recover, that is.
Yes, I succumbed to Sam’s flu bug; I don’t have it as bad as he did, but I’m sick enough to stay out of the office for the past two days. On the one hand, I know I could be toughing it out & working after hours, so as not to infect everyone; one the other hand, I know it will be there waiting for me when I’m feeling better.
Duty or comfort?
I’d rather make applesauce.
Don’t look so impressed~ it really is quite easy. Saturday morning, Chris & I took off for our postponed trip to Apple Hill, & came home with all sorts of goodies, including this great antique apple crate & a quarter bushel of apples (approximately 30 medium sized). I picked out a mixture of mostly tart apples, with a couple sweeter ones thrown in: Granny Smith, Red Rome, Gala, Fuji, Winesap, & Arkansas Black.
First step is to wash & peel the apples; I rough-peel mine, leaving bits of skin, because, well, I’m lazy & I like the skin. Next you need to remove the cores, using a handy-dandy apple corer (definitely worth the $5 investment) which also slices it into wedges- all that’s left is to chop them a bit more.
I like chunky applesauce, so mine are cut into one inch cubes- cut them up smaller if you like a smoother texture. Toss them into a thick-bottomed dutch oven or large saucepan, add about an inch of water or unsweetened apple juice, & put the lid on it.
Bring the mixture to a full boil, then turn it down to low & cook until the apples are soft, maybe 10 minutes. Stir them first with a wooden spoon to check the consistency- notice that most of it has broken down into sauce texture- & if you want it smoother, either cook another 5-10 minutes or use a masher like I do.
At this point, add sugar to taste if you want- I use about a quarter cup of brown sugar if it’s really tart- & put in your seasoning; I use about ½ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, my favorite, per 8 cups of applesauce.
Now you are pretty well done; put your sauce into sterilized quart jars & it will keep in the fridge for a month. Or you can take the next step & hot bath can them, which will preserve it for 18 months- its super simple & worth the extra 30 minutes or so of work time. Fill a large, deep pot with water & heat to boiling, while boiling the lids in a smaller pan for about 5 minutes (which activates the rubber seal).
After filling your hot, sterilized jars with the still warm applesauce, leaving ¼ inch head room, put a lid on it & tighten down the ring to seal. Using a jar lifter (kind of like a giant pair of tongs, but wider to hold a jar), lower the jars into the large pot, making sure there is at least one inch of water over the top of the lids, & process them for 20 to 30 minutes.
Remove the jars from the pot & allow to cool, which will cause the vacuum seal to form; check the tops after the jars cool by pressing on the lids- they should be rigid & tight.
So, for an investment of $7.00 worth of apples, ½ cup of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of spice, four one-quart jars (left over from the case I bought for last Christmas’ Soup-in-the-Jar gifts), & less then 1 ½ hours labor time, I ended up with 4 quarts plus 2 bowls of applesauce & a house that smells wonderful!
Oh, yeah~ & a bowl of comfort food