Archive for November, 2014

Preserving food, yes in my RV house

November 10, 2014

So I am sitting in my nice warm RV house and looking out the window there is snow falling on us here in Denver. It doesn’t look like much will stick but it is our first snow storm in several years.

So I have some time (since I am not going anywhere in the 27 degree weather outside, brrrr) to tell you about some of the other things that I have been doing lately.

When we arrived in Denver to be with Kara and Nick until their baby arrives, Kara had some apples that had been given to her. It seems her sister-in-law has a tree on her property that was fairly tall. So they had harvested the ones easier to reach. So she and I got busy and made some apple chutney. It was delicious. It had some jalapeno pepper in it so had a little bit of a kick to it.

Then I wanted some jars of applesauce although she had already made some for them, she made some for Kent and I. We made that in her new Vitamix food processor and boy was I impressed! That tool is amazing! That was the easiest applesauce I ever made, because the tool did most of it.

There were still apples left and I wanted to make some apple pie filling and can it. Well, Kara got busy one day without me and had all those apples finished off. BUT Nick climbed that apple tree and got me some more apples so I could make some apple pie filling. It was my first attempt so I did learn some things that I would do differently but here is the pictures and my end product.

So for those people that do not know anything about apples and canning…I will tell you my whole process. First, you have to have wash the jars and rings with new sealing lids in detergent and rinse carefully. Next they need to be sterilized. If you have a dishwasher you can do it there, but since I do not have one of those, I do it the old fashioned way in pots of water on top of the stove.

Jars in boiling water, Usually I place them upside down but since there were just a few they turned sideways.

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New sealing lids and rings also in boiling water. I always put the sealing lids like this so the rubber part isn’t on the bottom of the pan.

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These need to boil for 10 minutes.

But before you put the water to boil the jars, you need to process the apples. First, wash them in water and then peel, core and slice them.

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I added my spices and 3 T lemon juice at this point. So 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg on top of the apples for nice color and delicious taste. The lemon juice helps to keep apples looking nice as well as adding a nice tart taste.

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Next you need to make your syrup.

10 cups of water, 4 1/2 cups white sugar. 1 cup cornstarch, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1 teaspoon of salt. In a large cooking pot, mix all together and cook until bubbly and thick.

Now have your sterilized jars ready and hot. Have the syrup cooked and hot..and fill the jars with raw apples, fill them up… then pour hot syrup over the apples to 1 inch of top. Continue until you use up all the apples and syrup.

Some of the other tools that I used. Lemon Juice, cinnamon, and cornstarch and sugar.

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Now you need to have a large pot for doing the water bath processing. So place jars in the water and make sure the tops of jars are covered with at least 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil(this may take a while with a large pot of water…) and boil for at least 20 minutes. Since I was doing this in Denver I had realized that I needed to boil for 10 minutes longer due to the altitude here.

So when you are done, remove hot jars from the hot water. The best way to do this is to use a special tool. Thankfully Kara has one. It is that long metal thing in the front in the picture. It has a rubberized gripping stuff on it to hold onto your jars as you pull them out of the boiling water.

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Be careful as you remove the hot jars from the hot water. I always place the hot jars on a kitchen towel out of a draft. Then listen for the Popping sound of the lids as they seal. I usually find myself counting the pops in hopes they all seal. Yes mine did!!!

Here is my end product of Apple Pie Filling.

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When you want an apple pie, make a pie crust and put at least one quart of pie filling (depending on how full your pie needs to be.) Put on the top crust and bake at 400 degrees for close to an hour. Watch for the crust to get a light brown. You will need to make slits in a full crust.

This can also be used to make apple streusel, apple crisp, apple tart whatever apple dessert you want to make.

I made this three times. After the first time I changed a few things. First, in the apple pie filling, when making the syrup I added the apples to the syrup and made them all hot before placing in the jars. I did like this better and feel it turned out.

The other change is that I threw out all the apple peelings the first time. I decided I would put the less desirable apples with the peelings and cook them all and make applesauce out of all of that. Yes, it was more work but I was glad to do it. I got applesauce that before would have been thrown out. So I felt better about all of that and am enjoying the good taste. This applesauce was much redder with all of the peelings. I again used my handy mini stick blender to puree the apples after thoroughly cooking them. I also added spices to my taste.

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I do think every time I do a recipe I sort of look for ways to “tweak it.” I am sure that you will too.

Now you know what I did on one day last week. We have already used some of the apple pie filling and eaten some of the applesauce too. YUM!

Here is the end result of all of that day. 7 quarts of Apple Pie Filling and 2 quarts and 4 pints of applesauce.

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Deliciously finished!

Jan for the Roaming Reimers

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Turning 60

November 2, 2014

Yes, I do admit that I am turning 60..or really have already turned 60. I did think it would be terrible but in reality I found that turning 60 was better than turning 50.

I feel good and healthy. At 50, I started to work out and have been active ever since. Some of you may know of my gardening bent. I am very grateful for good health.

I am content with where I am in my life. I have a wonderful loving and fun husband, who I love more each day. I am grateful to have adult children that are loving and responsible. They bring joy to us every day. We have a wonderful 9 year old grandson that we love and had three whole days with by ourselves this summer.

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Our daughter is about to have her first baby and we are allowed to be near by to see and hold this little one, not long after he/she arrives. That is a real treat too! and to just be able to hang out with our daughter and her husband has been fun! And yes, we have our RV house here so we each have our own space too.

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So what did I do to celebrate turning 60? I got to spend the entire day with Kara, our daughter. We went to Denny’s for my free birthday breakfast.

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She gave me a beautiful and very sweet card. It made me cry but in a good way. That about made my day from the start! We then went to a really nice shopping mall and walked around and enjoyed the pretty surroundings. No, we didn’t find anything to buy.

I got a free sub sandwich at Firehouse Subs and we split it. We went to a garden area and it was nice and warm enough to sit outside and have our lunch and then walked around the natural beauty a bit.

Then I wanted to watch a movie so we rented “Frozen” from a Red Box. It is a kids movie but fun to watch together. I thought Kara could sit for awhile that way.

Then we met up with our husbands and we all went to a Mediterranean Restaurant. We had a delicious meal

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and then Kara pulled out some presents. One from some friends that was a cup and then..cards, and more cards and more cards, and then even more cards. 81 cards in all. I was flabbergasted!!

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Apparently my dear husband had sent out emails that asked people to send me a card for my birthday…So I was so thrilled to open them and hear from so many friends from many different places. Several from overseas and from many parts of our lives lived all over the country. It was such a nice gift! From my husband and from these dear friends and of course to be with our daughter and her husband.

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What a fun day and I did not mind at all turning 60. Now we are waiting for our newest grandchild(our daughter’s) to arrive any time. We are excited to be able to be on hand to help in whatever way they need. So watch for that announcement!

Oh, and if you sent a card! a Big THANKS!!!

Love,
Jan for the Roaming Reimers