Canning, Recipes

A weekend of Applesauce

My eyes were definitely bigger than my stomach this weekend. I went to our local market to buy apples for applesauce, and the price was so astonishingly great that I bought two bushels instead of one. Yay apples!

Apples_Bags

I spent all day Sunday (from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) making applesauce — with a little help from my older sister who was in town — and only got through one bushel. Considering it took seven hours, I don’t know when I’ll get to using the next bushel — hopefully one night this week. I think I’ll turn the remainder into apple butter. Yum!

Anyway, if you want to read about how I make applesauce or see one of the few videos I’ve made for A Smith of All Trades, check out my applesauce post from 2012. My dad, little sister and I have made applesauce each year for the past three years. After the first year and a limited supply of sauce, I started doing a batch with the family and a batch on my own. This weekend was my batch and I made 28 jars (24 quarts, 4 pints). Next weekend, the plan is to do it again with my dad. Double the help = half the production time!

Apples_Cans

In my 2012 post I shared a bunch of different add-ins for the applesauce. It is a family tradition to doctor the applesauce with things like vanilla, cinnamon red hots, brandy, candy canes — all sorts of stuff! This year, I added in fireball whisky. I’d never had it before, but our family friend suggested the cinnamon flavor would taste great in applesauce. Well, he was right. It might be my new favorite thing to add in!

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Craft Projects

Knockoff: DIY Herringbone Art

I stumbled upon a fabulous blog the other day that you all should DEFINITELY check out. Sarah at While They Snooze is incredibly talented and just recently competed in Creating with the Stars over at East Coast Creative. I was perusing her blog and saw the most magnificent artwork that I wanted so badly for our house. SO BADLY!!!

Here’s one of those times when beautiful things should be admired and not replicated. They never turn out how you want them to. Following her lovely tutorial for her DIY Metallic Herringbone Art, I created my less-than-adequate version of her masterpiece.

Instead of telling you what I did, you can scroll through the photos below of the steps I took. But what you should really do is go and check out Sarah’s art. Because it is amazing. And yeah, you have to click over. I don’t like borrowing photos. Trust me, it’s worth your time.

{A Smith of All Trades} Herringbone Art1

{A Smith of All Trades} Herringbone Art2

{A Smith of All Trades} Herringbone Art3

{A Smith of All Trades} Herringbone Art4

{A Smith of All Trades} Herringbone Art5

{A Smith of All Trades} Herringbone Art6

{A Smith of All Trades} Herringbone Art7

{A Smith of All Trades} Herringbone Art8

Now that you see my finished piece… what do you think? I wish I had had gold spray paint on hand. I just might try this one more time, even though it took a while. I just love her finished piece and have TOTAL art envy.

Recipes

Homemade Blackberry Jam

Blackberry Jam

Yup, a third recipe. Don’t worry — back to crafts after this. I couldn’t help it though 🙂 I never ever bake or cook exciting things, so when I do I feel compelled to share. Remember Mean Girls and “word vomit“? It’s like that. … it’s blog vomit. Weird, but it sorta works.

Moving on… After you are done making your amazing strawberry jam, try your hand at making some blackberry jam. I was in Costco and saw a huge thing of blackberries and had to buy them to make some jam for my momma. I know she loves her some blackberry jam.

This recipe is fairly similar to the strawberry one. Here goes.

I filled a quart-sized baggie with blackberries and smashed the heck out of them. I didn’t want to chop them up, and they are soft enough that squishing does the trick.

Looks yummy already, huh?

Blackberries

I poured my blackberries into my jam maker, adding a tablespoon of butter and 1.5 tablespoons of pectin.

After four minutes, I added the sugar. I added 1 1/3 cups to this batch. Blackberries aren’t always as sweet as I’d like, so I added more to this jam than I did to the strawberry jam.

Let the jelly maker do its job (remember, this can be done on the stove, too!) and can immediately after the jam is done.

If you plan on eating some right away, put it in the fridge. Once it is cool, slather it on some toast an enjoy.

Blackberry Jam on Toast