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.
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.