Go Read a Book.

No really, go read a book.

I’m going to start this post by saying that I HATE e-readers…or more specifically my mom’s e-reader. It’s a Kindle Fire, but what kind it is doesn’t really matter. It’s the fact that she has one. My mom used to read books all the time. I think every stock person at Amazon must have had her name memorized from needing to retrieve books to be shipped constantly. Each year she would “cull” her book collection and drop off at least two full paper boxes (the kind used to ship reams of paper) to the local library. This was of coarse after I was able to have my pick of which books I wanted. I have piles of books I have taken and haven’t had the opportunity to read, yet.

Then why do I hate this e-reader of my mom’s so much…because for someone like my mom an e-reader would be fabulous. Well, it is, for her. Not for me. Just think of all the books I’m NOT getting now. We go visit and she’ll tell me about some book she’s started…at least two new ones each week, they all sound super interesting and out of habit I say “Oh! You’ll have to let me borrow it after you are done.” Uh…I can’t it’s on my e-reader.

E-reader, you thwart me!

But, that’s just my personal reduction of on hand free reading material. The library is always free and thanks to the wondrous internet I can select books and have them hold them for me. Fantastic!

Obviously I like reading. I always have it was a way to keep my hyperactive imagination in check so I wasn’t making up demons trying to eat me. Look, I was so freaked out from the raptors in Jurassic Park that my mind convinced me that they were not only real but in my house waiting at the bottom of the stairs to eat jump out, tear me to shreds and then eat me. The movie came out when I was 12, well old enough to know that raptors were NOT in my house waiting at the bottom of the stairs to eat me.

I think I read more than the average kid but everybody I knew growing up read books, and not just for the book report you had to do. No, everyone read for enjoyment. Some more than others but at some point growing up you would either see a person reading or they might mention that they read some book. In high school people were still reading, this was before the advent of every kid having a smart phone…or for that mater a cell phone. It wasn’t uncommon for students to have a random “book for enjoyment” pilled on top of school books.

Then I went to college, where occasionally someone would have a book for enjoyment with them. When said book was spotted by others there was often the lament of “I wish I had more time to read.” In college all you’re doing is reading books the statement there is more of a “I wish I had more time to read books that I want to read for the fun of it.” I’m not going to lie my reading for fun really dropped in my college years, not because I didn’t want to or didn’t have the time it was more of the “I just spent five hours reading Marking, PR, and Management books, I can’t look at another written word!” (and word to the wise NEVER take three like classes in the same semester! I will forever remember that as the most annoying semester of college life because each class teaches the same material with a particular twist, test days were always fun.

This past weekend I went back to my old college to help as an alumni, and when I was there I started to wonder…does anyone bother to read…anything any more? Is the younger population so wrapped up in…well whatever the hell they are doing that they can’t stop and open a book, or hell, pull out their e-reader (because I’m sure most college kids now days have something of the like) and read something. Maybe expand their mind a little bit?

I went to a very technical-esq university. The technical aspect of the school is one of it’s greatest strengths and weaknesses. Going to the university I went to it was known that you would graduate knowing how to do whatever you went for top notch. Students at the school were sought out in their respective career fields from all over.  When I started there, and for years prior their student population had a 97% placement rate in the workforce. Many degrees boosting that their graduating class was hired before they graduated. That was true. There were students who were hired in January and graduating in May. Companies were willing to wait for students. But then the job market fell out and the placement rate plummeted, and extra sadly the market tanked, and only got worse the first year I was in college. So a person graduated with having great technical skills, but with all this emphasis in technical skills the “well rounded-ness” or broad knowledge of other subjects can get lost. I can’t say that one or the other is better.

When I was back at my old university there involved some reading to be done by the current students. I was amazed and appalled by the amount of reading mistakes that were made and by the lack of understanding of the material. We’re not talking about anything too hard, just basic stuff that would have been learned by picking up a book in high school, and reading it. I don’t blame the university because words, and being able to read words should be covered before ending up in a college setting. I left feeling sad for these students because they obviously lost something in their education prior to making it to college and being a technical based school it was highly unlikely that they would be in a class forcing them to read a good amount of literature.

I actually asked when I was leaving what the lack of reading was all about…which I was then informed by factually members that’s how just about every student comes into college now-a-days…with basically a lack of any worldly knowledge and understanding for compression reading.

But, I think there is hope, and it’s at the library in the form of a book (or an e-reader). So, go read a book, read it in public, read to kids and be that lame-o relative that gives out books for Christmas. Maybe even plan a family trip to a Shakespeare play. As a parent building a love of reading doesn’t stop after the end of  “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.” It includes reading yourself, so you’re children see you reading…and reading for enjoyment. Literature is amazing.

Here are some books I think everyone should read:

Homer’s the Odyssey and Lliad – because they are the oldest known written works and end up in various portions of other stories as allusions and referenced in pop culture.

Shakespeare – anything. Shakespeare turns up in culture and other forms of work. I’ve never read nor seen  Henry IV and there have been many times where I’ve missed key points/plot lines because of this. Just think of how much some other people are missing because they’ve never read any Shakespeare.

Charles DickensA Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. In truth I am not a fan of either of these books. They were a forced read and I’m glad I had to read them, because these books are a part of our culture.

And an abundance of fiction anything. Some of my all time favorites are Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass by Louis Carol,  The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, The Lord of the Rings  and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Song of Fire and Ice (Game of Thrones) by George R.R. Martin, The Dr. Doolittle books by Hugh Lofting.

So, what are some of your must read books for fun, for life.

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Processed Foods.

We don’t normally eat a whole lot of processed foods, but we at the same time we do because it’s just how food is produced here in America and to get around it you’d have to quit your job, move to the Alaska wilderness and start living the homesteader lifestyle. Even if were not very dependent on that many processed food I still ate them like once in a great while if we didn’t have anything to pack for a lunch I brought spaghettiO’s to work, or canned ravioli, or a can of soup. You get the picture. I totally used canned vegetables all the time too. 

Since the second one was born and I have recovered from 9 months of pukefest, I started to use less and less commercially manufactured foods, including canned vegetables, beans and such. For the most part we get our vegetables for storing from Schawn’s. If you read their ingredient list there is only one ingredient in their vegetables…just the vegetable itself. Go read that Green Giant label in your freezer right now, there’s about 20 different ingredients. I’ve even started getting bulk dry beans in more of an effort to save money than avoid processed foods. 

So, I’ve been at this for about a year now where just because of how I’ve been cooking and in an effort to save money slowly eliminating manufactured foods. Last week I was starving. This happens rather frequently in the middle of the night and I have to eat something…as in the equivalent of a whole meal not just a snack, or there is no way I am going to fall asleep. I just lay there awake feeling hungry. I wasn’t feeling ice cream, my traditional go-to before bedtime food and decided on a can of ravioli, the Chef Boyrdee kind, pretty standard. I’ve eaten 100’s of those cans, that and the Beefaroni. 

I couldn’t eat it. 

I made it, tried to eat it and it tasted so disgusting that after a few bites of choking it down I eventually gave up and fed it to the dogs. They did not care and thought it was super awesome that instead of getting saved one measly bite of canned pasta product they got almost and entire bowl. 

I was perplexed on why I would find canned pastas nasty. They are by far not the best thing but they work in a pinch. It was after the ravioli event that I started to pay closer attention to what I was eating and in particular what I was NOT eating. I found that I was not liking a number of products that I used to greatly enjoy. One of them was microwaved popcorn. Our microwave has issues with popping pop corn and I had always wanted a popcorn popper. For the past year the popper was the only thing I was using for popcorn. My first bag of microwaved popcorn was a bit of a surprise. This leads me to the conclusion that much of what we eat actually tastes rather gross but we’re just used to it, so we think it tastes good. 

Fuddruckers.

I was perusing the internets and I came across a list of restaurants, one of the restaurants listed was Fuddruckers. 

I have never been there and we don’t have one anywhere near where we live either, but ages and ages ago when I was a little kid we had one in town. It got good reviews. I think it was just a bad location because everything after that one moved out also failed miserably and is now just rotting away on some prime frontage of a busy street.  

One day as a little kid my grandma was watching us kids and we were out on a mission to find a place to eat out. I think my grandma still to this day enjoys using the excuse that we’re around to get fast food-esq food. Many times when we go visiting we end up arriving by lunch time and we have little kids so they need to be fed on a schedule or major melt downs are imminent, so we pick up something from one of the local restaurants, like KFC or Pizza. Everything time you’d think we brought in a tenderloin wrapped in thick cut apple wood smoked bacon grilled to perfection with a side of perfectly sautéd mushrooms and onions, and a baked potato. So when grandma was watching us it was always a dinner night out, typically to the Wendy’s. (That was back when Wendy’s had that super awesome salad bar.) 

For some reason we were not near the Wendy’s and driving around we were passing a restaurant named “Fuddruckers”  someone in the car mentioned that we could try that place. 

Grandma sees the sign and says “What the hell kind of a name is Fuckers for a restaurant? That’s just unacceptable.” 

No…It’s FUDD-ruckers.

FUCK-ruckers? That’s not any better. 

NO! FUDD ruckers. 

Oh. so it’s not fuck-ruckers? 

No….no it’s not. 

Remember we’re little kids, like elementary school age. Having your grandma drop a whole lot of F-bombs in the car is quite scandalous and well, hilarious. After we were able to get over our initial shock and explain that it was Fuddruckers and not “Fuckers” we were laughing so hard that our sides hurt and I still remember it quite clear to this day. 

I have no idea where we did eat but it wasn’t Fuddruckers or Fuckers, I do know that. 

Freezer Meals (stock): Turkey Rice Stuffing – With Photos!

I was asked for some of my freezer meal recipes. Oh boy, listing out all of them will be an undertaking since 90% of what I make is stuff I don’t bother measure and just eye ball it. Recipes are simply a guide – guides I haven’t used in years unless I’m trying something new and even then I’m adjusting and changing on the fly.

So starting out here is the one I finished up this morning and actually wrote down as I was finishing it up.

Turkey Rice Stuffing Mix

  • 1 1/2 cups wild rice (cooked)
  • 2 cups long grain brown rice (cooked) (option: cook rice in turkey stock, great way to use up any leftover stock and gives the rice extra flavoring, omit salt if using this method)
  • 3 cups turkey cooked and chopped up
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper (roughly the same size as the red pepper – since green peppers can sometimes run large use about the same amount as the red pepper)
  • 8 oz mushrooms – fresh
  • 2 cloves garlic – pressed or minced
  • 1 tsp each of dried sage, rosemary, thyme,
  • 1 tsp Salt, pepper (reduce salt if using pre-packaged stock or bullion)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup turkey stock
  • 2 table spoons butter
  1. Melt butter in large saute or fry pan
    Pan with butter and bowl with celery and onions
  2. As butter is melting (or before) coarse chop all vegetables, including mushrooms and garlic.
  3. Once butter is melted and hot add vegetables, sauté until the onions are just tender – since this is going to be frozen and recooked it’s wise to slightly undercook the vegetables
  4. As vegetables cook get very large bowl, add rices and turkey, once the vegetables are just tender add to rice and turkey.
  5. Add spices to the vegetable, rice and turkey.
  6. Mix well, taste season to taste with salt and pepper
  7. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of the stock and stir until the mixture is moistened and slightly sticky.

This makes 10 cups of rice stuffing mix.

Once prepared freeze in Zip lock bags, or other heavy freezer bag. The Foodsaver works well, however I use Zip Lock because I’m too lazy to get out the Foodsaver, and the Zip Lock quart bags are perfect for my storage needs.

I package them in 2 or 4 cup quantities. Four cups will over stuff two good sized acorn squashes and nicely stuff a sugar pumpkin, a roasting chicken or four cornish game hens. Since the meat is already in the stuffing we typically use this for stuffed squash or as a meal with roasted squash like a Hubbard or Butternut. The wild and brown rice really complement the earthy flavors of the squash.

Freeze them flat, once frozen stack in freezer for ample storage space.

Freezer Meal: Meatless Enchiladas

Yet another one for the freezer! This one is great as it’s a meatless meal that will get even the meat lovers to admit they didn’t miss it in this meal. It does use cheese so it’s not a vegan meal.

Meatless Enchiladas with Rice, Beans, and Corn: 

Makes 2 pans, 6 enchiladas each pan.

  • 2 cups cooked long grain brown rice (any rice will do)
  • 1 15 oz can corn – drained
  • 1 15 oz can black beans – rinsed and drained
  • 1 can Ro*tel Tomatoes OR 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes (depending on level of heat you like) – lightly drained
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • 12 fajita shells
  • 1 – 28 oz. can of enchilada sauce
  • 2 bags (2 cups each) cheese of your choice

Variations: Add one chopped onion and/or shredded cheese.

  1. Mix rice, corn, beans, tomatoes, and taco seasoning until well blended.
  2. Warm shells for easier stuffing and rolling.
  3. Place a light layer of canned enchilada sauce on bottom of both pans
  4. Roll up fajita shells with mixture, placing seam side down in pans
  5. Cover with remainder of enchilada sauce
  6. Spread a bag of cheese over each pan of enchiladas
  7. Cover with foil and place in freezer

Things to have on hand when planning on eating them, sour cream, lettuce, avocado and any other toppings.

If freezing label with instructions for freezing:

  1. Thaw for 15-20 minutes
  2. Cook covered in a 375 degree oven until hot and bubbly – roughly 45 minutes to an hour depending on stove.
  3. Remove cover for 15 minutes to make sure cheese is melted – may not need this step, but I tend to do it this way so the cheese is extra gooey.

We happen to really like cheese, smothered on everything, if you’re not that into cheese cut down on the amount of cheese to top the enchiladas.

I’ve also done this with out adding cheese until the very end after cooking. It works just as well. Typically I’ll leave the cheese off when I don’t have any or it’s all frozen (yes we freeze cheese). I hate the idea of cheese starting to partially thaw and then re-freeze on the enchiladas.

Since this recipes makes two pans, and it uses canned products it’s hard to try and cut it down to one pan. What I’ll do is make one for dinner and make the second pan for freezing. This way I’m not adding any extra time making freezer meals but instead getting double duty out of one meal. It’s a great way to not have to eat the same thing multiple days in a row.

Another update on the Grandma

So…she does NOT have an infection. 

All the problems is caused from internal bleeding from the Coumadin. What happened is Grandma fell. Then started having the pain a few days later, went to the ER of the Hospital of the North, then went to ER in the big city. After some doctors and tests one of the doctors looks at her in an examination and goes “It looks like there is some bruising, by chance did you fall recently.” 

Grandma goes “ummmm, I might have….I don’t remember.” 

What!? 

She remembered she fell, she was just embarrassed and didn’t want to admit that she fell. So two ER visits, and admittance to a hospital for a week it comes out that the internal bleeding was caused by a fall. Makes sense with whacked out clotting factor.  

She’ll be in rehab for some time because of the fall and bruising. 

Freezer Meals: Meatballs

Prepared meatballs are great, and super handy for just about everything. Toss in pasta, sever over egg noodles, or CrockPot them with your favorite sauce.

Meatballs in a gallon freezer bag

Freezer Meatballs: Just like store bought but a 100 times better

  • 2 lbs lean beef
  • 1 16 oz tube of sausage – your choice – hot will give the meat balls a good kick, sage sausage will make them nice and savory, or Italian if planning on using them in pasta dishes. Since I wanted an around meatball I used half hot and half italian sausage.
  • Dried bread crumbs (roughly 2 cups)
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoon dried spices – sage, basil, organo, thyme, etc. Use what matches the sausage choice. If using sage sausage don’t use sage spice, too much sage, but adding thyme or rosemary is delicious. If using pre-seasoned bread crumbs cut down on spices if added at all.
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
  1. Mix beef, sausage, onion, eggs, spices and milk until well blended. Begin adding bread crumbs, continue mixing as bread crumbs are added until well blended and the meat mixture holds a ball shape well.
  2. Make meatballs, use a table spoon to get meatballs with a uniform shape and thickness.
  3. Place on a baking sheet, about a 1/2 to inch a part, so they are not touching each other.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Checking for doneness and preventing over cooking.
  5. Remove from oven, cool slightly, move to paper towel to absorb any grease that came out during cooking.
  6. Place cooked meatballs on a cool baking sheet and place in freezer, once frozen package in Zip Lock bags. Freezing them on a baking sheet prevents them from freezing to each other.

Making the meatballs themselves do not take that long, but cooking and freezing can take up an entire day if one doesn’t have multiple baking sheets that can be used for cooking and freezing.

Beans, the musical fruit, literally.

In and effort to save money I’ve been buying dry bulk beans instead of canned. Besides being less than a third the price of canned there is also the added benefit of less preservatives, sodium (salt) and whatever the hell else is in canned foods. (Really read the ingredients).

It does give up the convenience of canned beans, and not going to lie I still use them….all the time, but with a little forethought using dried beans can be just as easy as canned.

I want to try a black bean soup recipe that I found on pinterest – ahhh pinterest my crack cocaine of the internet world.

Spicy Vegan Black Bean Soup from Kalynskitchen.com

This recipe is part of a collection of “Fall Soups for Fall” pin that seems to be making the rounds. I think I’ve seen it daily on my pinterest feed.

Sometime this week I will be eating that soup, but it uses canned beans and I only like to use the canned beans when I’m in a bean-mergnancy, such as I have less than 10 minutes and need to bring a salad to a potluck. Hello beans, fancy meeting you in my pantry, you’re going in a salad. I hope you enjoy being delicious.

Thanks to the internet, and that the dry/canned bean ratio is easy to remember it’s a peach to figure out how many dry beans needed.

Here is the basic break down for Dry/Canned beans:

15 oz canned beans = 1/2 cup dry beans. (about 1 1/2 cups soaked/cooked)

1 lb dry beans (about 6 cups soaked/cooked) = 4 15 oz cans

Simple and easy to remember.

Put beans in a large bowl to soak. I try for over night.

As the beans are soaking I keep hearing a “pop” “POP!” “pop” all though out my house. It sounds like the snap a canning jar makes after it’s been processes. I can not figure out where this strange popping noise is coming from.

I look for the cat. Nope sleeping.

I check the kids. Nope they are sleeping too.

I check my pumpkins and the stove and the sink, and nothing that I check is making this strange and rather lout popping noise.

Then I walk by the table where the beans are soaking when one of them snaps.

Uh…what? The beans are popping as they are soaking and rather loudly. Every minute or two there is a snapping pop noise coming from my kitchen, so beans really are the musical fruit and I’m not talking about the music that comes out the butt after eating them.

Grandma Update

Here is the short of it: She’s in a nursing home for the next three weeks. Then will be reevaluated. If you want to know which one you can send me a message. As of right now no room number available.

Here’s the long of it:

Grandma had a bunch of tests run on Wednesday, and I’m going to try and skip all the medical jargon. Speaking with my mom is always an adventure when it pertains to health because she speaks the medical jargon and I do not. I have to stop and ask “Okay…now what is that, dumb it down.” Example: My mom tells me that Grandma had an I&R test and it was a level 4.5. Yeeeahh. I have no idea what that means, I have to keep backing her up to explain it in laymen terms, something I think she is rather annoyed by or has trouble trying to figure out how to explain complex matters like that in terms any bum off the street can understand, luckily I don’t mind stopping and clarifying (and probably why all my doctors seem to be exasperated by the end of all my appointments).

Grandma is in Coumadin (and until 10 seconds ago when I googled it I thought it was spelled with a K). Coumadin is a drug that thins the blood and is used on people who have a clot risks, which Grandma does. She’s been on Coumadin for years after a few blood clots floated around and ended up in her lungs. If a person is on Coumadin they have to have blood draws every week to every other week to have the clotting factor monitored. Grandma does that. However, something happened and she ended up with her blood too thinned. If a person is on Coumadin for blood clots the ideal level is “2” – I had to ask for clarification on this one. The two stands for clotting time, a normal person with a cut that is X deep by X long will clot in one minute, an ideal for a person on Coumadin is a cut X by X will clot in two. The X’s mean I have no idea what that measurement is. Grandma came in reading at a 4.5. That means that with a basic cut from a general household mishap could have caused her to bleed out.

Now, like I said this is monitored pretty closely, but some how when the doctor office called, Grandma missed the call. Previously the office would have called my mom and left a message for my mom to give the instructions to Grandma, but Grandma got annoyed by the office calling my mom so Grandma called the office and told them not to call my mom again.

In hindsight maybe not the best decision.

This caused some internal bleeding. Husband asked me “from where?” The answers to that is I don’t know. I think as people’s bodies get older they eventually get to the point where the body just goes “eh f’ it,” and weird things start to happen. Like blood seepage from wherever. This was the case with my Grandpa (Dad’s dad) that eventually lead to his demise. So that was causing some of the pain.

That was just a complication of the real problem.

The real problem is an infection.

Grandma is prone to getting infections. This is most likely caused from her habit of eating spoiled food and poor hygiene. Yes, Grandma has poor hygiene.

So bacteria floats around the body and ends up getting into her fake hip, because it’s more difficult for a body to fight it off in fake body parts.

When my mom went to find out what was going on she got two different stories, one from my Grandma and one from my Aunt. One of them was saying they were going to open up my grandma’s hip and “power wash it” out to help get rid of the infection. My grandma is NOT a good candidate for sugary. The other one said that they were moving my Grandma to a nursing home. It was too late to talk to a doctor by the time my mom got to the hospital. My mom at that point was just like well, I’ll find out tomorrow, she’ll either be in surgery or she’ll be moving to a nursing home, I’ll find out when I show up after work.

Grandma was moved to a nursing home.

The nursing home is for rehabilitation and trying to get rid of the infection. Infection is the real problem because it’s very hard to get rid of once in the fake parts. If it gets bad enough the hip replacement will have to be removed. If it has to be removed then Grandma will not ever be walking again because she’ll have to hip. There is nothing left for them to try and create a new hip. There is simply not enough bone matter left. She’s had two hip replacements done in the same hip, and last time she had it done they told her that she couldn’t have any more hip replacements, if something happens to his fake hip it’s game over (for hip replacements).

Grandma will be staying in the nursing home for the next three weeks – as that’s what Medicaid covers for rehabilitation services. After three weeks she will be evaluated and decide if she has go to an assisted living, nursing home, or can return home.

If you would like to send cards, get-well wishes, or give her a call (she has her cell phone but doesn’t always have it on because she thinks she gets charged for minutes if the phone is on) send me an e-mail, leave a comment with an e-mail address or text me (I’m quite terrible at picking up the phone for calls).

I’m also going to try and relate all the amusing parts that have happened,  you know family dynamics, and I started out trying to include that but it was way too long and weird reading. So I apologize if there is some weirdness in this post.

Apples.

Image

 

I amuse myself with my bad drawings of food.

Apples are in season. I went out and picked close to a bushel and a half. I had a half bushel of Cortlands, a half bushel of Gala and something else mixed and 2/3 of a half bushel Honey Crisp (which would be a peck and a 1/2?). Then we went to a farmers market because I wanted to find some pears. When we went to the market I found they had seconds of apples. Woohoo! The price was $8.00 for a 1/2 bushel. That was cheeper than the apples I just went to the orchard and picked myself!

Naturally, I picked up another half bushel. They also had pears so I picked up a half bushel of those as well.

I started with trying to can up apples for pie. Typically I would make and freeze the pie but since I am out of a freezer at the moment canning apples for pie and baking sounded like a good idea. I ended up with 14 quart size jars of canned sliced apples. I was a bit disappointed how they turned out in the jars as many of my jars lost liquid in the processing. The apples are still good but I have had some darkening in the apples. I think the problem with canning resulted from trying to pack too much fruit in the jar. The recipe I was using said I would get roughly four quarts to the amount of apples. I was getting constantly six quarts. The second round I tried to stuff more apples into the jar to match the recipes yield and those were the jars that lost the liquid when processing. In all of my apple canning recipes I ended up with way more apples than the recipes said I would. Maybe I’m not getting as much waste when I peel/core them? I don’t know but I know it’s a consistent problem.

After the jars of apples came apple sauce. I wasn’t planning on making that much apple sauce as both kids don’t eat it. I was only canning it to use on cooking roasts. My half bushel of seconds yielded me about eight quarts. Then I made cinnamon apple rings and apple butter. Which for the record making apple butter is for the birds. It took FOREVER to cook down. I had to let it simmer all day running to the pot to stir it at the same time as taking care of two small children. I will NOT be making apple butter for canning until they are either in school or big enough to entertain themselves for a few hours. I ended up with seven 1/2 pints of apple butter and seven pints of apple rings. The apple rings are all for me as Husband has stated he doesn’t like them.

I dried a few apple slices from the apple rings, because I ended up with way too many apples once again.

Since it seems that when I’m canning I can never come up with a perfect amount I end up with extra food, not enough to can but too much to toss out, or enough to can but I don’t have a jar at the ready. It goes in the fridge. Of this extra food much of it was apple sauce. I decided to try feeding it to the children. They ate it up. Won’t touch store bought stuff but eat my homemade applesauce like it’s the last meal they will ever have. Next time we went out to the farmer’s market I picked up another half bushel of seconds, resulting in about another 8 quarts.

Canned Apples

A selection of home canned apples