Red Delicious, White, and Blue
Editors Note: Okay, so everyone’s getting a bit Americana sappy this week here at ES. Evo Diva spins a tale of patriotism, apple sauce and canning to finish our week of gloating. But that’s not to say it won’t roll over into next week.
I felt something this week that I’ve never felt before in my life: a profound sense of patriotism. So I donned my red, white, and blue on Wednesday and wandered around my town like a tourist seeing everything for the first time. In a sense I was seeing something new, and enjoyed absorbing America’s renewed spirit. It’s compelled me to want to do things that are “American”: drive cross-country, volunteer, read up on U.S. history. But what’s more American than cooking apples and blogging about them?
I had joined the ES crowd for some apple picking a few weeks ago. I made apple sauce with all those apples and then I CANNED it – that’s right, Ball jars and all. The prospect of canning these apples was an overwhelming task in my mind – which is why I procrastinated for three and a half weeks! (The apples were still crisp in the fridge after all that time) But the canning process turned out to be super simple.
First of all, I had no idea where one might procure these jars of lore – especially when not in close proximity to farmland USA. I got mine at a local hardware store. It’s SO much cheaper if you buy a whole case (12 jars in a case ~$12-$15). But I only needed a few and wanted a variety of sizes. So I spent 20 bucks on 5 jars.
I had picked a bunch of different apples not really knowing what I would do with them. I can’t remember what kinds I got but I know I picked a bunch of the “York” variety, which are described as: “Tart, great for baking, unique lopsided shape, keeps the longest.” (What luck that I picked the procrastinator variety!) I peeled and sliced the apples and put them in a pot with about ½ cup of water and then cooked them on low, covered, for about 45 minutes. Then I mashed them, added some sugar and cinnamon to taste and voila! I mean, eureka! Um, yee haw?
Homemade American applesauce made with a renewed sense of pride in my country. It was definitely yummy, but it only made two freakin jars! It kinda wasn’t worth all the work peeling the damn things (I LOATHE that task). And it ended up costing me $30 for those two measly jars… But I still wanted to follow through with the preserving part.
I dumped the applesauce in the jars (I would suggest washing them first!) and placed the lids on – I just set the flat part of the lid on the top and then barely screwed on the ring part. Then I put the jars into a pot of water and let it boil for about 20 minutes, but I should have let it go longer. The lids are supposed to be completely sealed (no pop-up in the middle) but one of mine wasn’t. So I’ll eat that jar this week in thanksgiving for our nation’s new direction. The other jar will be saved for the official Thanksgiving holiday.
This preserving thing is pretty neat and not too difficult but it’s probably not worth the money if you don’t have a garden with a ton of produce and nowhere to put it! I’m not really sure if this technique is “American” or not. But I think that trying new things (or even old timeless things) on the dawn of a new era sounds pretty damn American to me.