Good morning my gorgeous readers!
My apologies for being inconsistent with posting lately, my home computer is definitely on the fritz, and I can’t upload anything from there. Unfortunately, there are many more things higher up on the “needs” list for this homestead than a new computer (which Jim and I have discussed), so please bare with me for the time being. I promise to create longer, more in-depth blogs coming up!
Things we are focusing on for the next 2 weeks include:
- getting all of our firewood cut, split and in the basement. This year we are also going to put some into the garage (just a couple rows) to ensure that we have enough should winter run especially long or cold.
- doing a good fall clean up of the house, including washing all walls and windows, packing away summer clothes, decluttering the nooks and crannys, cleaning out the cabinets (don’t you just HATE that chore?!), and doing a thorough clean of all of the appliances
- getting a bear to put in the freezer
- doing down a bunch more canning (this weekend I think will be garden beans, beef stew and perhaps a round of baked beans!)
- getting back into the swing of baking on weekends, especially homemade bread!
- and, I want to sew myself a dress (project I’ve been saying I’m going to do for a few weeks now… I have the pattern and everything!!!!) I want to get to the point where I make more homemade clothing for myself!
Although our to do list is never-ending, we have been having a great run at the homestead lately. Our chickens are definitely enjoying their new run (away from the foxes!), our gardens are progressing nicely, and Jim has been avidly hunting! I do have to admit though, as the nights are getting cooler, my desire to stay in and knit and sew is growing, which we can’t afford for it to do for at least another 2 months!
One thing that has come up lately that I wanted to share with all of you, is how to make and can your own applesauce, which if you haven’t done, I recommend as an easy first go at canning (outside of jam of course).
I have a great childhood friend that has an overly productive apple tree in her yard, and she gave me 2 grocery bags FULL of apples (easily a bushel, if not more). Don’t worry, if you can’t get your hands on free apples, or a bushel of apples for that manner (in Northern Ontario, it’s hard to come by bushels of anything, let alone produce!), you can get them from the grocery store! In this recipe, I don’t state to use a certain type of apple, solely because, as a homesteader, I make due with whatever I can get my hands on. If you want to add less sugar, start with a sweeter variety of apple 🙂
So let’s get started:
Easiest Crockpot Apple Sauce
- enough apples to fill your crockpot (depends on the size of your crockpot and the size of the apples… I’d say we are looking at 14ish larger apples, or about 20 mediums)… any variety
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp – 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 cup water
- Peel and cut all of your apples, and place into the crockpot. Feel free to fill it to the upper brim, as the apples will break down as they cook.
- Add your cinnamon and brown sugar to the crockpot. Now… Here’s where you can choose how you would like your apple sauce to taste. I like to start with 1 cup of brown sugar here, but if you have sweeter apples, you could use less. I also like a good amount of cinnamon in my apple sauce, but you can add as little or as much as you like.
- Add 1 cup of water to the crockpot, and turn on high for about 4 hours, or low for about 6.
- Check every 45 minutes, giving a stir until the apples are broken down to an apple sauce consistency. Use a potato masher to help beat it into small pieces, if desired.
- Taste! If you find that your apple sauce is lacking anything (cinnamon, sugar, or if it’s super thick/thin) this is the time to make any changes by adding more, or letting it boil off more water. Depending on the tartness of your apples, you might want to hit it with another 1/4 cup of brown sugar, let it dissolve, and taste again. When adding water, add until you reach your desired consistency. Either way, bring your sauce back up to boiling in your crock pot
- Prepare your jars for canning by placing them and the lids into a pan of water, bringing the water to a rolling boil for a few minutes to sterilize the jars and lids. For apple sauce I use either 1/2 cup jars (single serving) or pint jars (as Landyn could eat this stuff everyday)
- Transfer piping hot apple sauce into hot jars, leaving about 1/2″ headspace. Follow this by putting the hot lids on fairly quickly, and putting the rings on.
- Once you have all your jars filled, sit back with a rye and ginger and admire your work, listening for the little “ding”s of the lids as they seal. Any jars that don’t seal can be kept in the fridge and eaten as testers!
Super easy, right? That’s what I thought. And you can modify it with whatever spices or how much sugar (brown or white) you want. When I make my apple sauce, it comes out sort of tasting like apple crisp, which when I heat up with a dollop of Cool Whip in the winter time, takes away any chill and warms up my soul. Feel free to play around with the recipe a bit. I tend to wing it and each batch is a little bit different than the last.
You can do this at any time of year when you get low, and keep your family eating good, homemade foods all year long!!
Laurie & Jim