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the cow jumped over the moon | category: apples

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the cow jumped over the moon

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a few things

You know when it's the beginning of the year, and if you're like me and still like to have a calendar hanging on the wall, you dutifully write down (in red marker) everyone's birthdays for the year?  I always enjoy doing that.

a few things
My shortbread pan
Two pans of shortbread have been made - son and daugher-in-law got the first batch on New Year's. You know who is absolutely obsessed with shortbread?  Well, other than us humans?  It's Sephora! She loves that stuff.  It's crazy.

A big batch of chutney is simmering on the stove.  We're in between watching NFL wild card games (to get into the play offs) at the moment.

Oh, so I wanted to start clocking my daily steps.  Robert gave me a pedometer that he had been given at work.  It's a cheap thing, but I figured, what the heck, I'll give it a try.  You're 'supposed' to walk 10,000 steps in a day for good health.  The first day, I clock 750 (what!?!!).  The second day I clocked nearly 1,500 (sheesh). The third day (which was Saturday and the day I was at the market and walking a lot) I clocked, get this, SEVENTEEN steps!  That pedometer is a fickle fickle thing. I have no faith in it anymore.

Update:  I cannot multi-task!  I not only completely pureed the chutney (I wanted to do a  few quick pulses with the immersion blender just to speed things up, but I way over-did it) but I also scorched it a bit because I was too busy watching football and knitting.  Arghh!  Oh well, I was able to salvage a few 1/2 pints of  'chutney butter'.  Lesson learned.

Okay, time for Downton Abbey.  

we need a word for this

We need a word for the week between Christmas and New Year's.

I am finally finally feeling better (thanks to everyone who cheered me on!), so today I start to do all the kitchen stuff I had meant to do earlier this month:  Because we still have too many apples I'll be making more chutney and dehydrating apples for Sephora's treats.  Shortbread.  And I still might try the holiday cookies I had 'pinned' on Pinterest - heck, we already bought the Jolly Ranchers.

we need a word for this

Speaking of Pinterest - when that site first launched, I had no idea why people would hang out there.  But over the years, I have succumbed.  And I love it - it is one of the best social media sites because it's a happy place. Like Flickr.  Though I haven't been posting much to Flickr and it isn't because I use Instagram ( I don't - it was only the other day that I realized you have to have a smart phone to have an account there and my smart phone isn't smart enough plus the camera on it stinks).  I like my regular old camera better and my phone isn't strong enough to upload photos from my camera to that app.  So I post photos directly to this blog. I do use Flickr for Ravelry, though.

Okay, I'm rambling about ridiculous things, and I better get off the computer and get to work on those projects.

Happy New Year to everyone!  

so many apples, so little time

All these apples, and I have to do something with them.

so many apples, so little time

So this afternoon I whipped up a batch of Apple Cranberry Conserve (the basic recipe from Little Jars, Big Flavors).  Instead of pecans I used walnuts. I didn't know the definition of 'conserve' -according to one source, a conserve includes dried fruits and nuts.

I should have made a double batch!  I only used up three apples, and chose the sourest ones.  The rest of the sweeter apples I'll dehydrate for Sephora's treats.

so many apples, so little time

happy birthday!

Happy Birthday to Sephora! She's 8 years old! We are not sure the exact date of her birth - we got her from a rescue shelter in early January of 2007 - she was around 8 weeks old, so we settled on 11/11 as her birthday (probably because Robert's favorite number is 11).

This morning she helped me process a huge bag of apples to be dehydrated.  She loves apples.  She loves food, period.  The dehydrated apple slices will be eaten by us and used as her treats.

We are really happy that we have her in our life! Our home just wouldn't be the same without her.

Here's some back story

happy birthday!
Awwww - see why we could't resist her? 
Photo of her as a 'baby' about the time we brought her home

mango chutney and football

Made the Mango Chutney recipe from the Women's Institute book today.  I had to add apples because I didn't have enough mangoes.  I also didn't crush the peppercorns enough, but man oh man, is this stuff amazing!

mango chutney and football

mango chutney and football
I don't remember where I got these jars, but they are not shelf stable,
so into the fridge they go!
Gotta run - kickoff time - the Cleveland Browns v. Cincinnati Bengals! Fight for the top of our division and our state. Go Browns!!

the chutney canning test

Last night, instead of being glued to the internet and/or TV watching depressing election results filter in, I finally made apple pear chutney.

I decided to do a test.  I did three half pints the UK way and three quarter pints the US way. This is the recipe I used (and I made a double batch because I had so many apples and pears to use up).

First of all, here's a quick run-down on the difference at the 'putting up' stage:

UK: Sterilize jars for 10 minutes by any method (I used boiling water, and the directions from my book The Women's Institute: Homemade Jams and Chutneys.) Then put hot chutney in jars and cap.

US:  Sterilize jars by boiling water for 10 minutes.  Put hot chutney in jar. Cap with two-piece lid (it is now okay not to simmer lid in hot water - I rarely did that anyway!).  Then immerse in boiling water for another 10 minutes.

the chutney canning test
 I found the cool 8 ounce jars and lids from Fillmore Container (the jars on the right).
 I do wish they offered  red and white polka dot lids, though! ;)
I'll see how they both hold up over time in the pantry. I doubt that the extra 10 minute water bath time with the US version will affect the taste at all, but I'll taste test, too.

The UK version is 10-15 minutes faster.  Plus I like the lids better - they're easier to work with, and use, because the two-piece system is annoying when you start using the product after you have opened it and put it in the fridge.

The UK version took longer to seal/pop.  But all six jars were sealed by this morning.

I'm still not happy about the election results, but at least I have chutney. And I'm going to a Guy Fawkes party tonight!

what's happening in the kitchen

The title should read "What's happening in the kitchen, or what should be happening soon."

What happened: Yesterday, I used the dehydrator to dry six trays of apples. As I planned to watch the Cleveland Browns' game, I figured at least I would get something substantial done that day and not feel guilty. (Though I was knitting some boot cuffs, too.)

Oh, what a game!! The Browns' defense was absolutely horrible for the first half - they were losing 10-28!!! But the second half was heart-stopping, and they pulled it off and won 29-28!

what's happening in the kitchen
Lots of dried apples - Sephora likes them, too

What happened: This morning I started another batch of sauerkraut; and I added onions.
What better happen soon:  I have another head and a half of cabbage, so I'll do another quart or two, after I pick up some caraway seed at the store, and maybe add apples, too.  We have a lot of apples.

what's happening in the kitchen

What should be happening : And another project:  some pear and apple chutney. I picked up the pears at the Farmers Market on Saturday. Not sure which recipe I'm going to use.  I'm going to scour my many canning books to see what I can find.

what's happening in the kitchen
One of my favorite bowls - look, hollyhocks!
What should be happening (non-kitchen related):  More yard work and laundry.  Hahahaaa, yeah right!

EDIT:  So you all don't think I'm totally lazy, I did go out into the garden and picked everything that was ripe and then picked all the green tomatoes and tore up the plants.  I am thinking of planting some garlic.

I'm heading out to my son's house in an hour or so to help to continue helping them with their basement.

collard chips

The other day, the husband used the dehydrator to make kale chips. Today, he made a ton of collard chips.

collard chips

At the grocery store today, son and I saw some dried green beans and okra.  He bought some of the okra and they were very good.  I'm going to try drying some green beans tomorrow. I have a lot of green beans, and I have enough dilly beans to last for awhile.  I was going to freeze them, but I think I'll try drying them. And we have a lot of apples to do, too.  Maybe I'll use some to try making apple sauce.  I have never made apple sauce, just apple butter.

That dehydrator was one of the best purchases ever.

apples, beets, and Hell on Wheels

I'm dehydrating some apples (they're a bit mealy for straight eating):

apples, beets, and Hell on Wheels

And pickling some beets with spices:

apples, beets, and Hell on Wheels

Then off to a city commission meeting at 5:00 (I better remember this time - last month I totally forgot what day I was on and missed the meeting!)

Dinner, then Hell on Wheels later tonight - so glad they recently added Season 3 on Netflix! If you haven't checked out this show yet, I highly highly recommend it.

apples, beets, and Hell on Wheels

more apple butter

My wonderful sister-in-law brought over a bunch of their delicious apples.  Many were windfalls, but I was able to get six pounds of good apple from them.  So I started up another large batch of apple butter, using the same recipe as before (from Canning for a New Generation)

more apple butter

I ended up with four half-pints.  One didn't seal so I popped it in the fridge, and will give to my son tomorrow.  I also have a little extra to snack on!

more apple butter

I am knitting some 'necklettes' - from the pattern Mochi Neck Cozy by Sarah Keller.  Here's a photo of one of the ones I am working on - it's actually not completely done yet- I have to find some buttons!  Once I get the buttons on, I'll take a photo and share it here.

more apple butter

a few thingswe need a word for thisso many apples, so little timehappy birthday!mango chutney and footballthe chutney canning testwhat's happening in the kitchencollard chipsapples, beets, and Hell on Wheelsmore apple butter

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