And I haven't put up a new post in ever so long, right?
It is winter here. Bam, smash, crash, we hit November 1st and Old Man Winter moved in. Very cold weather (down around 18°-ish at night) and not climbing out of the 20s during the day. Top that with very little sunshine, and it feels more like December or January than the first part of November.
We even have a bit over an inch of snow on the ground. Our pond looks to be frozen solid, but I didn't take my dear husband up on his suggestion yesterday that I go test it out.
This all wouldn't be bad if we had our "Must Do Before Winter" list completed. But, sigh, we don't. Yesterday Papa Pea had some digging to do and had to use a pickaxe. At least I think he did. That was what I suggested to make his life easier.
Yes, I am (or am supposed to be) elbow-deep into applesauce making. I use my super-sized stock pot (it's so big I can't lift it when it's full of meat, bones and stock) which I fill to within a couple of inches of the top with pared and cut up apples. I can't wash the pot in my kitchen sink, but rather have to take it out to the utility sink in the garage. So when I've finished with my batch of sauce for each day, I've been covering the pot and putting it out on our unheated back porch for the night. I bring it in next morning, and I'm ready to go. (Please don't alert the Kitchen Police of this semi-unsanitary practice.)
* * * * * * * * * *
I'm back. Did you even miss me? Another great diversion from making applesauce came into my life.
My daughter, with the sleeping babes she nannies in the back of the van, called saying she was going past our place on the way to the farm to pick up milk for the kiddies' family and did I want to go along. I had just noticed this morning that I needed to restock our supply of cow juice so gladly donned my duds and said I'd love to go along.
As we were coming out of the milk house after doing our business at the farm, a beautiful black pony came trotting up to us. Turns out he was an escapee from a horse trailer that had just pulled on to the property. But before we could figure out what was happening, he dashed off around a barn and across a field. Had we not had the cargo we did, we would have offered to stay and try to corral the wayward equine.
Back here at home, almost as soon as I got the milk put away, a truck arrived with an order of a gazillion bags of chicken feed. No, I didn't have to unload them myself; that's what I have a husband for. (Haha!) I did, however, make him (my husband, not the truck driver) a good lunch of scrambled eggs, ham, Brussels sprouts . . . and, of course, applesauce left over from yesterday's batch.
It's only 2:30 p.m. now so I could get my day's quota of apples processed yet, but I have a mountain of dishes to tackle and a couple of other tasks that truly do rank higher than the applesauce. So I think I'll take the big, ol' pot out to the garage and give it a good cleaning in the utility sink. Couldn't hurt.
Well, I'm pretty sure the chicken feed truck driver would have liked some of that lunch as well!
The trick to applesauce----do it FIRST THING in the morning. EVEN BEFORE COFFEE. You'll be in a half-trance and won't even notice doing it. Works for me.
Or, you could train that hubby of yours to do that too. He seems to be pretty darn handy!
Have a great weekend
Oh, you are such a wise lady! I have actually thought of that . . . but have not been "strong" enough to do it. Sigh. My dear husband has offered to sit down and help me prep the apples, but I've told him he has more important things to do. (Remember digging in frozen earth? Using a pickaxe? I should not complain about sitting in a warm house, listening to an audio book, making applesauce. I am such a bad person!)
I finished making my apple butter, now it's time for apple pie filling. Luckily for me, I don't have any more apples, and I'm heading to Texas on Saturday......so, I guess my apple pie filling will have to wait until I get back.
Apples don't spoil right away giving you plenty of time to determine when you want to prep your apples, and make the sauce. Perfect time for another cuppa joe :-)
You have been a busy bee. Golly, you got a lot more done than me,ha ha! Sounds like it was a very interesting day too.
Oh my now you got me thinking about the applesauce pumpkin bread I have been craving!
If you didn't get to play hooky every once in a while, think of all the adventures you would miss! I am a big procrastinator, I'll readily admit it. How do you store your chicken feed? I would love to get mine in larger quantities, to save the mileage, but am worried about my overactive rodent popluation helping themselves to it.
Sandy - GOOD point about the apples having a relatively long shelf life if stored properly. They're certainly not like other produce harvested from the garden that will lose their nutritional quality or good looks (!) if not processed post haste!
Kristina - Every day is interesting on ye ol' homestead if you can look at it with humor and remember to appreciate all that is good. Even on exasperating days, my hubby will often say at the end of it, "Well, just another quiet, boring day on the homestead." Said with tongue in cheek, of course!
Amanda Pope - Your applesauce pumpkin bread sound like just my cuppa tea. Love heavy, moist sweet breads! So perfect for this time of year, too.
Susan - We have a (relatively) mouse-proof feed room so we have much of our grain/feed in open 55-gallon barrels. We leave the chicken mash in the bags it comes in for storage, then pour them in the open 55-gallon barrel when it gets empty for easy access. Hubby does run a trap line in there, but we don't often catch a mouse. Happily, we don't have rats . . . that I know of!
Don't feel bad about putting your pot on the back porch. I lived in Germany for 7 years every winter they put metal cabinets on they porch as a extra frig . It works great especially during the holidays, since they only use small frigs in they homes.
I absolutely LOVE your honesty! What a great life you lead.... spur of the moments with your daughter, a wayward beautiful pony, homemade homegrown eatin'..... yep, you chose your priorities well this day.
Michelle - When our daughter was growing up, I used to make lots and lots of different cookies at holiday time. I'd pack them in colorful tins and store them in our unheated entry porch. Years later, a good friend of my daughter's told me whenever she sees a Christmas tin, she remembers with much fondness (you know the girls used to snitch cookies every chance they got!) all those cookies in the tins stacked on our porch.
Lisa - The pot is too big to fit in a refrigerator and the temp on the back porch is colder than in the refridge right now, so any "residue" in the pan is actually perfectly safe! I do admit, though, that anyone coming through the porch and lifting the lid to find something scrumptious cooling might be a bit confused!
Sounds perfectly normal to me as I remember my Oklahoma grandmother using her garage as a 'refrigerator' to store all those extra Christmas pies and goodies! It's too warm down here most of the time to do that - but I have been know to use our basement on occasion. Sometimes a girl's gotta' do what a girl's gotta' do!!! Love homemade applesauce. That's the best!
November".....We were 75 last week, and dropped to the 30's, with teens overnight. Thankfully it's going to warm back up again. Our normal is 60's for this time of year.
Oh the apples...it is slow going isn't it? I actually looked at apples at the store yesterday, with the idea of making sauce, but then I held off. I will save it for a day when it is more enticing to me :)
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