Tuesday, September 4, 2012

In The Kitchen

Wow! This time of year can be hectic. With the harvest, preserving and school starting. But it is so rewarding to pick what you have grown and preserve it into something yummy that you can enjoy in the months to come. And it is such a joy to see my children learn and be excited about learning. Well, I have been busy in the kitchen the last week and school has been SLOWLY starting. Here are some of the foods I've been able to put up.

I was only able to can 10 quarts of Dill Pickled Beets this year. Usually I can 49 quarts as I am able to sell quite a few. Oh well, we will enjoy them this year.

My friend traded me some cucumbers for some of my zucchini. So I was able to make 5 pints of Bread and Butter Pickles. My mom always made THE BEST bread and butter pickles and she lost her recipe of course. I tried once a few years ago and they were horrible! So I tried again and they turned out very well.  I also made the most fabulous, simple Apple Juice.  This apple juice tastes just like from the store, with no weird after taste or anything. This is how I made it:

Cut apples in half and fill a big pot. (I used hard, sour, bigger green apples)
Sprinkle 1-2 Tbsp cream of tartar over the apples.
Now fill the pot with boiling water
Put the lid on it and let it sit for 24 hours
Strain juice (I used a colander with a paper towel in it)
Now you can freeze this juice or can it.
I brought the juice to a boil with about 1 cup of sugar
Sterilized my quart jars in the canner for 10 mins
I processed the quarts for 30 mins.

My son is so picky and he loved it. I also thought it tasted very good, although I do not like apple juice.

This is what the apples looked like after they sat in the pot for 24 hours.

I also made fruit leather. I basically made apple sauce, then I added 1/2 a pint of super hard apricot jam I made a few years back. It set way to firm to use, so I use it for cooking with. Then I lined my cookie sheets with parchment paper. I really try not to use parchment paper too much, because it is so expensive here, but I have tried everything else and parchment paper really works the best. Besides, it doesn't take that much to make these. I spread out the apple sauce fairly thick and even. Then I put 2 cookie sheets in the oven at 200 degrees. for about 6 hours. I had to do this a number of times for all the batches. So eventually, I just put them in the oven after I had baked supper, with the oven off. After letting them sit in there for about 2 hours, I turned the oven on to 200 for about 1 hour, then I turned it off again and  let them sit in the oven over night. These ones had such a nice texture. Then I cut them into strips lengthwise and rolled them up and put them in a bag in the fridge.

When I was looking on a link up somewhere, I can across this recipe for homemade pizza sauce from Foy Update. A neighbour had just given me a bunch of tomatoes, so I thought I would try it. We have been using Ragu as pizza sauce and it isn't that good, but cheap. When I was finished canning up 3 pints, there was still about 1/2 a pint left. So, I made a greek pizza with a precooked, homemade pizza crust I had in the freezer. This sauce is really good. It has a fresh taste, not like Ragu. For a greek pizza, I spread the sauce on the crust. Then spread mozzarella cheese all over. On top, I added, thinly sliced onions and green peppers. I baked this until cooked. After it is cooked, I add fresh chopped tomatoes and feta cheese on top. In the background in this picture, you can see the apple juice I made from small red, sweet apples. I used the same technique as mentioned above, but these apples made a different tasting juice. I am going to use it for Hot Apple Cider in the fall and winter. I will pour a quart or 2 (depending on how many friends are over) into my crock pot with some whole cloves and cinnamon sticks. This will be a very nice on our cold winter days.

Well, now I am just waiting for my tomatoes to ripen, which will probably have to happen inside. I estimate that I will have about 40 pounds. And I still need to pick our yellow crooked neck squash. It will be very nice to be done with all of this and just start to enjoy fall, as it seems to have set in around these parts.

God bless you all.

 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

New King James Version (NKJV)

This post was liked up to Homestead Revival Barn Hop


  1. Love it! I'm glad you like the recipe. Onions and green peppers are some of my favorite toppings. In fact that's what we had on one of the two pizzas I made last night with the sauce. :) Must be that time of year.

  2. Exactly what we are doing around here... getting the last of our harvest, starting school and I LOVE homemade pizza sauce. I just froze some small quarts today. Do you can your pizza sauce in a warm water bath or pressure cook it? I am so ready for the fall and a good frost to put all this gardening behind me for a few months! (It was a very blessed year, and I am thankful)

    1. Hi Shannon
      Isn't it nice that fall is upon us? I love it.
      I canned the pizza sauce in a water bath for 30 mins. I added a squirt of lemon juice in each jar.
      Take care,

  3. The apple juice looks so good. I've got two apple trees with apples that will see this fate. I was wondering if you used the apples that were left over in the pot for that wonderful looking apple leather or was that placed in the compost pile and did you start over with fresh apples for the applesauce fruit leather? Just curious. Thanks, Sheri

    1. Hi Sheri
      I actually fed the apples from the juice to our donkeys and chickens and used different apples for the fruit leather. But I think the left over apples would be good to sauce up. They are still hard and look like they've just been cut in half and I think next year I will try it. If you try it first, let me know how it goes.
      Have fun and God bless,