Canning your harvest

Canning Applesauce

I want apple trees in our mini orchard and plan to plant some next spring, until then I foraged for apple to make applesauce. There are a couple of trees in our city park that I eyeballed last year and called the city parks department to make sure I could pick from them. (Always check with the land owner before picking or harvesting) They gave me the ok so I set out to picking.

I only picked what I know I will use. When foraging leave some for others, it's the polite thing to do.
Now they are not the prettiest apples but they are free and will make some great applesauce.

All I do is peel and core them, slice them and put them in a large sauce pot with a little water. Just enough to keep the bottom of the pot from drying out until the apples start to break down.
Add a little lemon juice to prevent browning (about a Tbsp). 
Add sugar to taste. 
I add about a half a cup to help with the cooking process. A little sugar pulls the juices out of the apples. I then wait until the apples are cooked down to add more sugar and taste it to get it to the sweetness that I like.
You can use a hand mixer to make it smooth or leave it chunky. I like mine chunky.

 Then can them in a water bath canner for 20 minute for pint jars.
You can get instructions here


Sweet Pepper Relish 

My peppers are getting big and a few of them have turned red. It's time to make some pepper relish. This is a new adventure for me so we'll see how it turns out.

So here is what I did.

I chopped up 12 peppers and 1 large sweet onion.
Put them in a large sauce pot, added 1Tbsp pickling salt and 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar.
Start the pot on simmer and add 1 1/2 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp mustard seed.
Bring pot to a simmer and cook down by half.

Then I ladled the mixture into the hot sterilized jars( I used half pints because I wanted small batches. I don't want any to go to waste once opened), tightened the lids and rings on finger tight and processed the jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Take them out when done and let them cool on a towel covered counter. Don't forget to listen for the "ping".


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