I made more applesauce yesterday. Tried the double-boiler method this time, since I have been having trouble with scorching apples lately. Here’s what my set-up looked like:
One stock pot with boiling water, the smaller one with the appples set inside of it, handles resting on top. It’s really hard (impossible?) to burn your food when you cook it this way, but there’s a downside. It takes forever. EIGHT HOURS LATER:
I added more apples as it cooked down, so some of those have only been in there for a couple hours. I kept having to add more water to the bottom pot because it would boil away, then I’d realize that it wasn’t even in contact with the apples anymore, so they probably weren’t even really cooking. It went on and on, and of course I was really distracted during the whole process (2-year-old twins will do that).
I finally took the 7 quarts out of the canner at 11 p.m. The good thing with canning is that you learn something every time; I’m getting a lot better at guessing amounts, etc. Because the canning process takes so long, I generally do NOT want to run through the whole process twice, so I have to make sure I do not make more than 7-8 quarts of applesauce. Our canner holds 7 quarts at a time.
On the other hand, as long as I’m going through all the effort, I’d like to make as much as I can. So this is the 4th or 5th time we’ve used our canner and last night for the first time we got it just right: 7.5 quarts of applesauce. The extra 1/2 qt. went into the fridge and we’ll eat it in the next couple days.
I think I might be reaching my upper limit on the amount of canning I feel like doing… last night for the first time it didn’t really feel like a fun adventure anymore, just more like a chore that I needed to complete. I had picked a whole grocery bag full of apples at Adam’s parents’ house and didn’t want any of them to go to waste.
Here’s our canned-goods shelf as it looks today:
That’s not too shabby for my first-ever year of canning, right? There’s 13 quarts of applesauce there (we’ve already eaten 4-5), plus the tomatoes we did several weeks ago. Not bad considering all those apples were free from either our tree our Adam’s mom’s tree.
I’m trying to give myself permission to go ahead and say ENOUGH canning for this year. I’m exhausted. Mentally, physically. I want to curl up with some good fiction and chill out for a while, for pete’s sake. So I doubt I’m going to do any more, and I’m going to have to decide to be OK with that.