Tuesday, January 31, 2017

How 'Bout Them Apples?

After lunch today, our daughter (otherwise known as Chicken Mama to some) and I attacked two and a half 5-gallon pickle buckets full of apples in an attempt to turn them into applesauce.  I'm happy to report the mission was accomplished.


We used my new Victorio Johnny Apple Peeler for the first time.  Turned out to be a great little tool.


It did a jam-dandy job of peeling and coring the apples, no matter whether they were big, medium or small.


It also sliced the apple at the same time.


We got a little carried away trying to think of ways we could use the long lengths of apple peelings.  Chicken Mama suggested we dry them and use them as garlands on next year's Christmas tree.  I said we should just drape them outside on the trees as they are and the birds would love them.  (Or not, and they would start looking really bad really fast.) In reality, the peelings and cores went out to our poultry yard and a full bucketful went home with Chicken Mama for her chickens.

Okay, here's something for you to ponder.  How long is the continuous peeling from one medium sized apple, the peel being 1/4" wide?  Yep, we measured so we know.  How long would you guess?

As I was bottling up the first of the two batches of applesauce to go into the canner, I commented I'd always wanted to make homemade apple jelly, but had never done it.  Chicken Mama was still game for playing with more apples so I suggested she look up a recipe that appealed to her and go for it.


Unfortunately, we ran short of time before completing the jelly (pot of the simmering apple chunks above) but she got it to the point of draining the cooked apples in cheesecloth overnight to extract the juice.  Fortunately, tomorrow she's coming back, the juice gets reduced, and jelly gets made.  I can hardly wait to sample it on some toasted bread!

32 comments:

  1. Mama Pea,

    Hey....nice applesauce!!! I'm excited for you and Chicken Mama getting those apples peeled, and canned up.

    Enjoy, sending hugs to you and your family.
    Sandy

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    1. Sandy - Having help with any canning/preserving project is not only more efficient, but lots more fun! I'm so glad she enjoys it as I do.

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  2. Looks good! I give the scraps to the hens, they love them! I like making apple butter too... Nancy

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    1. Nancy - We've never been too crazy about apple butter so I'm really hoping this apple jelly turns out to be something we like. We'll see!

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  3. Did you keep some peel and core to make apple cider vinegar, I make up a couple of bottles at a time. an apple peeler is on my list of wants :-)

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    1. Dawn - Nope, have never tried making apple cider vinegar, but I know lots of folks do. Maybe I'll give it a go next time around? (You may have to be my mentor on that!)

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  4. What a wonderful day of companionship you had with your daughter!

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    1. Vera - Yes, we work well together. Having enough space in the kitchen really helps that!

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  5. What a fun day with daughter. You're so fortunate to have yours close by. And mmmmm-I'll bet the smell in the kitchen was wonderful.

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    1. Sue - I know I'd be unhappy if she lived as far from us as your son does from you. After college she lived for a while away, so we're glad she chose this area as her settled home. I think we were so immersed in the kitchen works we couldn't really appreciate the wonderful apple aroma, but the guys popping in and out sure did!

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  6. You're making some great memories with Chicken Mama. Love it. Don't you just love having the right tool for the job? I'm guessing the peel was 50 inches long.

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    1. Laurie - Ha, so far you're the only one who guessed at the length of the peel! Nope, you're way short. It was 7-1/2' long. Can you believe it?

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    2. What!?! I would never have guessed. Your chickens should enjoy that one for a while.

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  7. Isn't that Victorio peeler awesome?!? It will peel some really ugly apples of all shapes and sizes. The only thing I've seen that it can't handle is soft apples. It just turns the core out without cutting an inch.

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    1. SmartAlex - I was amazed that it could handle the differently sized apples so well. And, yes, we definitely found out soft/mushy apples do not work!

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  8. I'd love an apple pealer like that. Next year I must save more apples. We've still got eaters though but only for another month at this rate, maybe not even that with all these kiss!

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    1. Kev - This is the first year in many that we've had enough good eating out-of-hand apples, and are we ever enjoying them. Hope yours hold out as long as possible for your three little apple-eaters!

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  9. I love homemade applesauce. Tastes so much better than store bought. I have no doubt that your jelly will turn out great as well. Those peelings could be used to make apple cider vinegar.

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    1. DFW - I also like "chunks" in my applesauce so I don't put it through a strainer at all. Daughter is working on the apple jelly as we speak. And, yes, here's another example of you learn something new every day. I definitely could have used the peelings to make some apple cider vinegar. (Wonder if the poultry would give them back?? Nah, forget that idea.)

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  10. I agree with Dawn, you should have tried making apple cider vinegar. Easy peasy.
    Apple jelly is my second favorite, right behind rhubarb. Hope you enjoy your day and your jelly.

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    1. odiie - Okay, now I really feel guilty, especially if making apple cider vinegar is so easy. Maybe I should go work up some apples just to get the peels, etc. to redeem myself! ;o}

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  11. As always, you are a wealth of good information! I have wondered about those peelers - peeling bushels and buckets of apples is a PITA by hand. Now I know! I've put the peeler on my wish list! I'll be looking forward to hearing how the apple jelly turned out. Someone told me you could make it with the peelings - yes? no? My sheep and llama love apple peels and I could just see them, ala Lady and the Tramp, out in their paddock with the 12 feet of peels...

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    1. Even if you don't have bushels... I needed to make two apple pies and at first I sighed because I didn't WANT to peel apples. Then I remembered! I have a peeler! Took about 5 minutes to peel 8-9 apples! I spent more time washing up than peeling.

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    2. Susan - Apple Jelly is now renamed . . . Apple Syrup. Blog post to come. Daughter did express some concern as to whether the poultry would possibly choke on the looooong apple peelings, but her dad assured her all their beaks/bills were sharp enough to chop off edible pieces. (Hope he was right!)

      SmartAlex - Since the apple peeler is store in the pantry, I'm not sure I'd get it out every time I wanted to make a pie . . . but then I don't really mind sitting down with the hand parer, and I'm pretty fast with it! But for a large batch? The apple peeler tool is the way to go!

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  12. I make apple jelly out of the peelings and cores - since it is strained through the cheesecloth you don't get any seeds in it - plus it is a nice rosy colored jelly if I use red skinned apples. I have the apple peeler too - love it - great for making pie filling to freeze too.

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    1. JoAnn - We "cooked" the apples with peels on (washed apples first, of course) for our jelly, but could have/should have put in all those peelings, too, to get more rosy color! Next time.

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  13. I make jelly with the peels, but you can also make homemade pectin to use in other jams and jellies. There are recipes online, but I think I'll put mine on the blog. I've enjoyed your blog for years. Thanks for sharing!
    Anne
    Www.livingthedream.com

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    1. Hi, Anne - Thanks for commenting and your very kind words! I'm fast coming to realize there are lots of things to do with apple peelings of which I'm ignorant! Gotta get with the program, I do, I do!

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  14. Thanks for sharing this. I've wondered about those apple peelers. To make mine, I have to core them, cook them, and then run them through the sauce maker to remove the skins. Yum!

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    1. Kristina - I know I make more work for myself but I don't put mine through a strainer or food mill because I like "chunky" sauce.

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  15. I heard you can sprinkle apple peels with cinnamon and sugar and then bake till chip-like.

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    1. Heather - Oh, my! Now THAT sounds really good!!!

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