Monday, September 27, 2010

Sunday: Apples and Pears

After no rain at all for so long the soft rain on Sunday felt like a blessing on our skin. I can only imagine how the plants and the soil felt.

We had a lot on the to-do list this weekend and surprisingly we got it all done. First was additional cleanup at the cabin which we did on Saturday.

Then it was on to putting up food. While the gardens are pretty much done with the exception of the peppers, the apple tree and pear tree are loaded. So far we've made about 30 gallons of cider and there are still plenty of apples and pears.

So Sunday was designated as Apples and Pears day. While Larry worked outside on cider (and stacking logs, an ongoing project to organize the logs from the cabin), I worked inside on mincemeat, pear conserve and applesauce.

I made green tomato mincemeat, my favorite kind. Instead of suet, I used venison in the mixture, just as I did the last time I made it. The result is tasty and spicy. You can find the recipe I use on this blog post.

The tomatoes were from the farmer's market because mine are long gone. I made one and a half times the recipe, ending up with 15 and a half pints. I loved the bright green of these tomatoes, and they were good and firm, too. 

 This year I added a couple lemons to the mix as well. The color as I chopped was a visual treat; just wish the apples had been red. But in the end, it doesn't make much difference, because once ready for cooking, the mixture looks like this:




But once it's cooked? Ah, rich, spicy brown.


Next was pear conserve. This is a recipe I concocted a couple years ago and it was so good that we hoarded jars of it to use on special occasions. The combination of pears, orange peel and juice, red cherries and spices is a taste treat, especially on a warm biscuit. It's so pretty in the jars, too.

No photos of the cooking process this time, but you can see my recipe with photos by clicking here.

I'm still working on making applesauce for apple butter cooking sometime soon, and I think I've very near my goal of 60 quarts. I cooked another half of a bushel yesterday, and hope to do one more bushel by the end of the week. My only concern is that these are all yellow apples, and I am not sure my apple butter will cook up to the rich brown color it usually does since there are no red skins lending color to the process. I guess we'll find out come cooking time.


After the day's work, it was good to relax with homemade corn bread and vegetable soup in front of our first fire in the fireplace since last April. There is no place in our home as cozy as the log room. I'm wondering if the new room will be as welcoming and if it is, how we will choose between the two in the evenings.

15 comments:

Peggy said...

I have 3 5 gallon buckets of pears. Thank you for a different recipe to try!!

Anonymous said...

How neat. I am also 59 years old.
And my home state is WV.
Bridgeport/Clarksburg area is my hometown.
Brifgeport WV is a happening and wealthy area. One of the nicest in WV

Pamela
Mt Pleasant Michigan

Anonymous said...

How neat. I am also 59 years old.
And my home state is WV.
Bridgeport/Clarksburg area is my hometown.
Brifgeport WV is a happening and wealthy area. One of the nicest in WV

Pamela
Mt Pleasant Michigan

Granny Sue said...

Peggy, you won't use up all those pears with this recipe, unless you sell jams :) I think I used about 15 pears to make mine, and you see the yield! But it sure is good, and makes a nice gift.

Have you tried drying your pears? I haven't done that but I think I'd like to try. We used to buy dried pears and I loved them.

Granny Sue said...

Welcome, Pamela! You're right about Bridgeport--it's the growingest (is that a word/) area in WV right now, along with Morgantown. We get there every now and then, passing through to Grafton or points east for storytelling.

Lainie said...

That's it, Granny Sue. I'm comin' over!

MsEmJ said...

Hope you don't mind me asking, but would you recommend fresh or prepackaged suet? I've always wanted to make mincemeat, and this sounds like a fun recipe to try.

Stumbled on your blog while searching for info about Appalachian ballads. I love it.

mamabug said...

You've been a very busy girl! That pear conserve looks so yummy. I'm thinking about trying the mincemeat recipe, hubby's dad adores the stuff. Your log room is so lovely and looks like a very homey, comforting room to be in.

Twisted Fencepost said...

My goodness, Woman! I don't know how you do all that you do.
I have an idea of how to choose which room...one for morning and one for evening. LOL
Now the question is which one is which?

Granny Sue said...

Lainie, come on down! We'd love to have you--and when that room is finished, it will be a lot easier to have guests :)

MsEmJ, I cannot find suet any more in my area, so I used venison. You can use beef too, and I would bet the old timers did just that--used whatever meat was on hand. You can even make it without meat, but I'd add a little vegetable oil to replace it, maybe a tablespoon or two. And ballads--don't you love them? I'm learning a new one right now, Holland Handkerchief. Do you know it?

Granny Sue said...

Mamabug, I can guarantee the pear conserve will be a favorite once you've tried it. You can make something similar with apples too.

And Becky, last night I was almost useless. Tired out! I spent the evening sorting paper and receipts, nice mind-numbing work because I couldn't face the apples and pears waiting in the kitchen.

Mountainword said...

I'm not sure, but I think you gave me a jar of the first bit of pear conserve you made. It's kinda marmalade in texture, which is what I called it unknowingly. It IS really great tasting stuff - in fact I just finished off the jar you gave me. Got any more? :)

Granny Sue said...

Yep, just for you, jason!

MsEmJ said...

I've heard a similar story, but never the ballad! Thank you, most of the ballads I know are murder ones (Knoxville Girl, Omy Wise, Pretty Polly, etc). I've been trying to expand my knowledge.

I think I might be able to find suet. The local butcher shop found some sweetbreads for me once, so I don't think it will be much of a problem.

Janet, said...

I wish I had your get up and go. We have pears, but I haven't did anything with them yet. I make preserves and they don't get used up, so I think we might can some next week.

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